My dad has taught me some of the greatest lessons in life. I always say that I get my looks from Mom, and my brains and my attitude from dad, and that is so true.
Shelby and I have been traveling together and speaking together for almost 20 years, and kind of sharing a relationship and experience together that's just been amazing. We are able to travel, and advocate, and make all kinds of fun. Everywhere we go, we experience something new.
I think the thing that I admire most about Shelby is her fierce determination. She has faced so many challenges in life, through surgeries, and therapies, and just access.
A lesson my dad taught me was that, yeah, I have a disability, but it's not all of who I am. I'm just me.
I think it has to do a lot with the way the child is raised, and the way in which the family sees them and whatever kind of challenges they may have. I was never really allowed to say, "I can't." It was always, "Okay. You may not be able to do this this way, so let's figure out a way you can.
To have Shelby be able to express how she feels, and the pain she may be in, and to have that level of optimism, and find the balance between the hard parts, and being able to find the positive. How could you not just be impressed by that? It just blows me away. I'm just so proud of you, Shelby.
"A lesson my dad taught me was that, yeah, I have a disability, but it's not all of who I am. I'm just me. "