Limitations don’t stop Palm Beach Gardens digital painter from creating art

September 6, 2012

The Palm Beach Post | September 4, 2012 | By Michelle Kaplan

PALM BEACH GARDENS —

For every artist comes a day of reckoning. It’s the day when you chose either to charge down the path of passion or take the paved road that leads to a job and a steady paycheck. It’s the day you decide to give up the dream.

That day came for A.J. Brockman when he began to lose the use of his hand and realized he would put his paintbrush down for good — except this was no choice.

“To have to relinquish your passion because you physically can’t do it anymore, it takes something out of your soul,” said Brockman. He lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, often called SMA, a progressive neuromuscular disease that has left him wheelchair-bound since the age of 2.

Brockman, now 24, found a way to retain his passion despite his condition, and now everyone who visits city hall can appreciate what he has achieved. The city — Brockman’s hometown — purchased his digital rendering of a banyan tree and has hung the 8-foot-by-4-foot work in the city council chamber and hosted a reception for him in early August.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

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Wenona pupils learn life lesson from Karni Liddell

September 6, 2012

Mosman-Daily | September 2, 2012 | By Simone Roberts

WENONA students learned a valuable lesson in overcoming adversity from Australian Paralympic swimmer Karni Liddell.

The bronze medallist shared the story of her triumph over spinal muscular atrophy with students.

“I was born missing a few little muscles and my parents were told I wouldn’t walk or crawl,” she told the girls. Refusing to accept defeat, her father created a walking frame for Karni and she learned to walk.

With her competitive spirit, she honed her strengths in swimming to compete at the Paralympic Games in 1996 and 2000, where she won bronze medals.

“It doesn’t matter what body I have been given, what family I am from, where I was born, or how much money I have got. You can do whatever you want with your life,” she said.

Read the article by clicking HERE or on the image below.


Paralympics: Boccia player Nurul charts game and life with her mind

August 28, 2012

channelnewsasia.com | August 23, 2012 | By Leong Wai Kit

SINGAPORE: 1984 is a special year for Nurulasyiqah Mohd Taha. It was the year she was born, as well as that of the Paralympic sport she’ll be representing Singapore in, at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The ball-tossing game of Boccia from Greece was introduced 28 years ago as a Paralympic sport specifically designed for athletes with a disability affecting locomotor functions.

The aim of the game is to toss a collection of balls as close as possible to a white ball known as the jack.

Nurul qualified for the Paralympics last December, becoming the first para-athlete to represent Singapore in that sport.

Born with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 (SMA II), Nurul’s condition causes nerve cell loss in her spinal cord which in turn limits muscle movement.

So instead of tossing, players in Nurul’s BC3 category use assistive devices to launch the balls.

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September’s legacy: Taking on Harvard in a wheelchair

August 27, 2012

CNN | August 27, 2012 | By Ben Mattlin

For many, back-to-school is a season of anticipation, nostalgia, and shopping. For me, it evokes memories of an unsung historical event: the integration of Harvard.

No, I’m not talking about racial integration; I’m talking about the full inclusion of students with disabilities.

When I entered Harvard College as a freshman in 1980, it happened to coincide with a new requirement — all institutions receiving federal funds had to become fully accessible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

I was a 17-year-old lifelong wheelchair-user, born with a neurological condition called spinal muscular atrophy. I’d never walked or stood and my arms were weak as a baby’s. But, as my parents often said, there was nothing wrong with my head.

I had little awareness of the precedent I was setting.

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Music gives disabled man a voice

August 26, 2012

Times Colonist | August 25, 2012 | By Amy Smart

Ari Kinarthy has a severe genetic disability that causes his muscles to waste away. He has been wheelchair-bound since age six – first manual, now electric.

At 23, his health is so fragile that the common cold puts him in the hospital several times a year.

But you wouldn’t know any of that, listening to his debut album, The Lion’s Journey, released June 12. Despite the very limited mobility caused by his Type-II spinal muscular atrophy, Kinarthy was able to compose and record jazz, rock and orchestral tracks, using a technology called Soundbeam.

He says it’s given him a new sense of purpose.

“I love to create things, the joy of creation is really what inspires me,” he said. “I never thought at the beginning that this would be a potential profession for me, but I do consider myself a composer and professional musician now.”

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With a cure in sight, Alyssa plans annual ‘Working on Walking’ fund-raisers

July 19, 2012

With a cure in sight, Alyssa plans annual ‘Working on Walking’ fund-raisers

The Valley Breeze | July 18, 2012 | By Meghan Kavanaugh

CUMBERLAND – It has been just over a decade since 10-year-old Alyssa Silva began designing greeting cards to raise research money for spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that causes her spinal nerve cells to degenerate, leaving her wheelchair bound.

Eleven years later, the 21-year-old Bryant University senior and dean’s list regular has raised approximately $70,000.

And she said scientists may be within five years of finding a cure.

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Composer Makes Music with Movement

June 15, 2012

Composer Makes Music with Movement

CTV Vancouver Island | June 13, 2012

VICTORIA — A young Victoria musician is releasing his first album, despite a big hurdle.

Ari Kinarthy was told he wouldn’t be able to make music . That changed after he started attending the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

The 22-year-old is living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy; a genetic condition that weakens all the muscles in his body.

Thanks to technology called Soundbeam, Kinarthy can compose his own songs and perform them. It turns his movement into music.

Now he’s released his first album, a collection of nine songs titled The Lion’s Journey.

It is available for sale at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Click HERE or on the image below to go to the story…