Over the past several months we were given the opportunity to get to know Ron and Gabe Adams as we prepared for their visit to Lincoln, and eventual presentation at the 10th Annual Interdisciplinary Integration Symposium. To be completely honest it is difficult to put into words the effect that our time together had on not only the Staff here at the Institute, but also our course attendees and family and friends who were able to hear Gabe’s Story.
Gabe was born in Brazil with Hanhart Syndrome, leaving him with no arms or legs. The Adams family, residing in St. George Utah were not currently looking to add another family member as Janelle Adams was expecting her 11th child at the time, however after hearing about Gabe it was impossible for them to stop thinking about him. He is now a 19 year old young man, and is one of thirteen children raised by the Adams’. He is entirely independent in his daily life, but the journey from where he began to where he is now is full of falls and failures, that ultimately made him who he is today.
The focus of this year’s symposium of ‘Postural Restriction’ provided a great foundation for Gabe’s presentation, as he has overcome restriction every day for 19 years. Having both Gabe and his father Ron present, allowed us to hear both their perspectives of how Gabe was raised and how he overcame his struggles. Gabe’s Mom & Dad believed that in order for Gabe to ever be fully independent as an adult he had to become fully independent as a child. For Gabe the only way this was going to happen, was by failing, repeatedly, over and over again. He was restricted by literally every single task that you and I take for granted and he learned to do them all. Most of us would have likely given up. Maybe not right away but eventually. Instead Ron and Gabe and the entire Adams Family, embraced them. The struggles changed from day to day but one thing remained the same. He never stopped smiling.
During his presentation, he had the entire room smiling as well. Besides showing us how he performs everyday tasks, such as dressing himself, brushing his teeth, combing his hair etc. he broke out into a dance routine which none of us would ever succeed at! Dance is a big part of Gabe’s life and allowed Gabe to prove to himself and the community that not only could he do it, but he could do it well! Gabe was on his high schools dance team for several seasons, and continues to enjoy it into his adult life.
Gabe’s 19 year journey of overcoming obstacles is profound, and we can never understand the trials and tribulations that he has gone through, but the most exciting thing about Gabe is what’s yet to come. It is easy to focus on how he has gotten to where he is today, but his plans for the future are just as bright. Gabe has a strong desire to one day be able to drive, allowing him to become fully self-sufficient and mobile. His motivational speaking has taken off since graduating high school and he plans to continue sharing his story as opportunities arise. Gabe also dreams of becoming an interior designer and would love to create and design personal spaces for others.
It was a tremendous honor to get to know Gabe and Ron, and as we got to know them it became very clear that Gabe is perhaps the most un-restricted 19 year old we know. Often many of the problems that your patients or clients may have, stem from their extremities. The in-ability to sense and successfully manage these extremities often leads to further issues. For Gabe, none of that is a problem. Although he has the same dominant patterns as you and I, he was forced from birth to learn to manage them and in some cases use them to perform everyday tasks. Gabe has plenty to manage throughout his day, but without extremities in his way his future is truly “Limibitless”.
(Gabe showing the group how he writes)
(Course attendees trying to write like Gabe)
Click HERE to watch Gabe's story at Shriner's Hospital
Click HERE to watch Gabe on the Maury Show
Click HERE to watch Gabe Dance
Facebook: Limbitless Gabe
YouTube: Gabe Adams