October 26, 2015

Wolstein Center features 'Life Without Limbs' speaker

By Adam Scraga

Three million miles flown on 2,500 airplane flights. Thirteen presidents met. Six hundred million people worldwide receiving his message.

This description may make one think of a movie star or an athlete, but it is instead Nick Vujicic, an inspirational speaker for Life Without Limbs. He finished a week of events in Ohio by coming to the Wolstein Center on Oct. 10 to deliver his message to the Cleveland State and Greater Cleveland communities.

Vujicic was born without any arms or legs in Melbourne, Australia in 1982. The doctors and his parents were equally surprised — nobody was able to see on his ultrasound that he did not have 10 fingers or toes.

The doctors also had no idea why he was born limbless. It is a condition called phocomelia, having no arms or legs with no medical, genetic, or environmental reason.

Vujicic’s early life was a struggle. He had difficulties with feeling lonely and depressed and was constantly wondering what his purpose in life was. Vujicic explained he used his faith in God to get him through some of the more difficult times, but it was not easy.

“If you loved me like you loved them, why’d you give me less?” Vujicic said, addressing God.

Vujicic stressed the importance of hope and how it begins with faith. He has one normal foot and one smaller foot that is not always visible.

He asked the crowd if they wanted him to prove he has another foot by showing it. He did so, and then said, “It was there whether you believed or not – just like God.”

Vujicic married his wife, Kanae, in 2012 and they now have two children together. Children are very important to Vujicic. He is a sponsor of Compassion International, a program that allows people to sponsor poor or at-risk children around the world.

A short video was shown about the child he sponsors and then the crowd was asked if they wanted to sponsor a child and, even though none of them were expecting to that day, more than 50 people ended up sponsoring a child.

The Life Without Limbs Foundation was established in 2005.

“Life Without Limbs is all about sharing this same hope and genuine love that I have personally experienced with people all around the globe,” Vujicic said. “My greatest joy in this life is to introduce Jesus to those I meet.”

Vujicic has traveled to 54 different countries to speak for Life Without Limbs.

A majority of Vujicic’s speaking engagements are with schools to promote an anti-bullying message.
He was bullied himself in school and went into depression, even attempting suicide. He said he is very grateful for the chance he has to make a difference to others.

“I can honestly say that I am thankful to the point that the suffering I went through is all worth it, if I was able to help a person by giving them hope,” he said.

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