There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.
Born without arms or legs, he is a painter, swimmer, skydiver, and motivational speaker. Motivating thousands and thousands of lives with his undaunting and relentless positivity.
Nicholas James Vujicic, born 4 December 1982 is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of arms and legs. He is one of the seven known surviving individuals planet-wide who live with the syndrome.
Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1982, to Dušanka and Borislav Vujičić, Serbian immigrants from Yugoslavia. He was born with tetra-amelia without some fully formed limbs. According to his autobiography, his mother refused to see him or hold him while the nurse held him in front of her, but she and her husband eventually accepted their son’s condition and understood it as God’s plan for their son. Vujicic has two small and deformed feet, one of which he calls his “chicken drumstick” because of its shape. ‘When I get in the water I float because 80 per cent of my body is lungs and my drumstick acts as a propeller.’, says Nick.
When Nick was born his father was so shocked he left the hospital room to vomit. His distraught mother couldn’t bring herself to hold him until he was four months old.
His disability came without any medical explanation – a rare occurrence called Phocomelia – and Nick and his parents spent many years asking why this cruel trick would happen to them.
‘My mother was a nurse and she did everything right during pregnancy but she still blamed herself,’ he said.
‘It was so hard for them but right from the start they did their best to make me independent.’
‘My dad put me in the water at 18 months and gave the courage to learn how to swim.’, said Nick
He was born with this extremely rare congenital disorder known as Phocomelia, which is characterised by the absence of legs and arms. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Nick struggled mentally, emotionally, and physically. Bullied at school, he attempted suicide when he was just 10 years old.
Eventually coming to terms with his disability, Nick decided to become vocal about living with disabilities and finding hope and meaning in life. Vujicic started his speaking engagements at 19. In 2005, he founded an international non-profit organisation and ministry, Life Without Limbs. In 2007, he founded Attitude is Altitude, a secular motivational speaking company. He starred in the short film The Butterfly Circus. At the 2010 Method Fest Independent Film Festival, he was awarded Best Actor in a Short Film for his starring performance as Will. The charismatic Australian now travels the world addressing huge crowds. He has visited more than 57 countries and given over three thousand talks, some of which have attracted audiences as large as 110,000 people.
I would request the readers to have a look at this video, trust me you would be thankful afterwards.
In 2012, Vujicic got married to the love of his life, Kanae Miyahara, and the couple has been blessed with a son, Kiyoshi James. They live a very happy life.
“There are some things in life that are out of your control, that you can’t change and you’ve got to live with. The choice that we have though is to either give up or keep on going” -Nick Vujicic
According to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends and the many people he has encountered along the journey have inspired him to carry on, as well.
“You see I will try 100 times to get up, and if I fail 100 times- And if I fail and I give up,
Do you think I’m never going to get up?
But if I fail, I try again! And again and again ! For as long as I try there is always that chance of me getting back up.
And it’s not the end until you’ve given up!” -Nick Vujicic
‘I felt cold and bitter. I hated God for doing this to me and was terrified of what would happen when my parents weren’t there to look after me. I could brush my own teeth with a wall mounted brush and wash my own hair with pump action soap, but there was so much that was impossible for me.’, Nick.
At age ten Nick tried to drown himself in the bath but luckily the attempt was unsuccessful.
‘I felt there was no purpose when you lack purpose and strength it is hard to hold on,’ he said.
But with the help of his religion, friends and family, Nick managed to pull through to become an international symbol of triumph over adversity.
“I realised why God had made us like this – to give hope to others. It was so inspirational to me that I decided to use my life to encourage other people and give them the courage that the article had given me.I decided to be thankful for what I do have, not get angry about what I don’t.”, says Nick.
‘I looked at myself in the mirror and said: ‘You know what the world is right that I have no arms or legs, but they’ll never take away the beauty of my eyes.’ I wanted to concentrate on something good that I had.’
In 1990 Nick won the Australian Young Citizen of the Year award for his bravery and perseverance.
This motivational speaker is best known for his saying, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!”