This is an interesting and inspirational episode with my good friend Jeremy Elliott and his godson William. It is a unique tale of how a family bond, love of sports, and a mentoring mindset, made a positive difference in the life of an individual with FASD.
Jeremy is a martial arts champion and owns United Family Martial Arts in Niagara Falls. He is also a pro wrestler, having won 2 world championships on his own and been part of 24 others in the circuit. Pro Wrestling Insider has listed him as one of the Top 500. But his greatest achievement is helping others. He recently combined these interests. His first step was wearing red wrestling boots as a take on the red shoes rock campaign, which developed into a logo, which has grown to the launch of their FASD awareness campaign: Embrace Our Journey.
Anything is possible. If you dig deep and work through all of your challenges, obstacles, fears, and opposition...Anything. Is. Possible. All you have to do is unlock the passion that lies within and achieve greatness at all levels, however, you choose to define it.
In this corner: Jeremy talks about his journey growing up with a single mom who inspired him to follow his dreams and in turn help others. He has done this through his Marshall Arts Academy and mentoring and coaching others. He has also written a book (Life as an Art) that will be out in June. His ultimate goals: to support William in whatever he wants to pursue and educate mentors and coaches about FASD so other kids will have opportunities like William.
And in this corner: William shares his perspective of growing up with FASD and how sports helped him. Just as Jeremy was inspired by the Karate Kid, William retells his own journey of discovering his first passion (football) after a chance meeting with Jamal Campbell. He told him, “I’m going to be a lineman like you.” Sports have helped William manage his symptoms, develop confidence and create camaraderie with his teammates. His interest in sports extends to track and field and now wrestling like his godfather.
I would love to be able to watch William do a match. He stands at the end and says, Hey I’m William Gibson. I have FASD. Look at what I just did. You can do it too. That message is going to be so powerful and inspiring.
This is a great story of overcoming odds and dedication to passion. To how finding and nurturing strengths can help individuals with FASD grow and thrive. This is a journey of understanding, compassion, resilience, and embracing the journey. I can’t wait to see where these two go next. I may not be on the road with them, but I will be getting the t-shirt. If you want to follow them, or get the t-shirt, check out the Show Notes for links.
Website: Coach Jeremy Elliott
Get the t-shirt: Embrace Our Journey
Check out our Facebook Page: FASD Caregiver Success
Join our Facebook Group: FASD Caregiver Success Group
Follow me on Twitter: @JeffjNoble