Spencer West redefines height – in his spirit, in the way he lives, and in the actions he takes to affect other people’s lives.
Now two-foot-seven, Spencer was born with a spinal defect and legs that didn’t function. He was five when his doctors felt they had no choice but to amputate them. They said he wouldn’t be able to sit up or move around by himself. Spencer defied that prediction by learning to use his arms to move. Prosthetics weren’t for him.
While most people would be hard pressed to use their feet to walk the 300-kilometre distance from Edmonton to Calgary, Spencer West recently made the journey almost entirely on his hands. His purpose was to raise funds and awareness for Me to We /Free The Children’s ‘We Walk 4 Water’ campaign. The donations will provide a permanent source of clean water for 100,000 people around the world.
Spencer West is a favorite motivational speaker at Me to We events. Stories of his feats inspire audiences of school children across Canada. For example, he climbed the 19,341 foot-high Mount Kilimanjaro, raising more than half a million dollars in a similar Me To We campaign. He urges others to go beyond their perceived limitations and to give of themselves.
Check out Spencer’s best-selling autobiography “Standing Tall: My Journey”. Also, his experiences feature in the documentary “Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West” that was shown at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.
But here is the next best way to learn more: TOMORROW, JUNE 17, 2014
There will be a LIVE-STREAMING of SPENCER WEST SPEAKING from 10am to 11:30 am EST at: www.freethechildren.com/watch
From: Helping homeless kids put their best foot forward By Laura Klairmont, CNN
When five-year-old Nicholas Lowinger visited a homeless shelter, his mother cautioned him not to show off his new light-up sneakers to the kids there. Nicholas soon understood why.
“I saw other kids my age who looked just like me. The only difference was, they were wearing old, tattered shoes that were falling apart. Some didn’t have a pair of shoes to call their own,” said Nicholas, now 15. …”Homeless children…shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to play sports or go to school because they don’t have a pair of shoes.”
That first shelter visit left a strong impression on Nicholas, who started donating all the shoes he’d outgrown to local shelters. But he quickly realized that his donations, while well-intentioned, weren’t that helpful. “It bothered me that I only had used shoes to give to them instead of new shoes that fit right,” he said. “No two people’s feet are identical, and if you are wearing someone else’s worn shoes, your feet aren’t going to be very comfortable.”
So in 2010, at the age of 12, Nicholas started a program that donates new shoes to homeless children…”I didn’t want to make one donation and stop there,” he said. “I wanted it to be something I could do for the rest of my life.” With the help of his parents, he then started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation. Since 2010, the organization has donated new footwear to more than 10,000 homeless children in 21 states.