I live a relatively normal life in comparison to those around me. I get up, go to work, visit friends and go to bed. There is one difference between me and the many people around me; they have legs. I was born with a genetic disease that caused me to lose my legs at the age of five.
Throughout my life, doctors told me, it would be unlikely for me to be a functioning member of society and that I would probably live an uninspired and inactive life. To them; the doctors that did their best but underestimated me and my family; I say, today I am an active member of society who gets up every day to tell my stories to companies and schools alike. I talk to organisations like YPO/WPO, companies like Virgin Atlantic and schools like London’s Harrow, about what it’s like to redefine what is expected of you; what it’s like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and what it’s like to spend summers building schools in places like Ghana, Kenya and India.
I work for a social enterprise called Me to We, that focuses primarily on people, planet then profit. The whole idea behind Me to We is thinking less about ourselves and more about the people around us and how through our daily choices every day we affect our local and global community. My favourite part about Me to We is through our products and services we make the world a better place. Half of Me to We’s annual net profit is donated to Free The Children, a charity partner of Me to We.
I started speaking with Me to We because I realised I have the power to encourage people to “change the world” through my story. I also wanted to meet the incredible students and companies that are working so hard on the ground in the countries that Free The Children has a presence in. Most recently I wanted to join the ranks and work alongside these incredible people, and to do this, I decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and walk 186 miles between two Canadian provinces to raise money and awareness for clean water project in East Africa.
Every speech I deliver I tailor to the audience that is present. For instance, in my corporate speech I talk about key lessons I have learned throughout my life, and how I implement them into my everyday living. I dig into detail of how I have learned these lessons more than once, and how the audience can take the lessons and apply them to their own lives, families and businesses. Alternatively, in my school speech I tell stories from my personal journey, but also the journey of others who have motivated and inspired me along the way. People like, my parents, global change makers and the incredible kids and community members I’ve met overseas. Finally, I leave the audience with a few key ways that they too can get involved, make a change and stand up for what they know is right.
That is why, I do what I do.