Today’s story is about Athletic Coordinator Matt Gage.
One hot afternoon in a small town in Iowa, 9-year-old Matt went swimming with his cousin, as he surfaced he noticed that as he swung his right hand his left hand didn’t follow, suddenly he realized that the left side of his entire body was unable to move, thankfully his cousin pulled him out of the water and prevented him from drowning. Matt passed out right after and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
It was later established that Matt had suffered a stroke and the chances of him ever gaining consciousness were slim, and even if he did, he would live the rest of his life as a vegetable. As a child, he said his dream was to become the next Michael Jordan. Matt’s dad urged him to try to move his leg but he always said, “I can’t”. One day his dad said “Matt, what did “can’t” ever do for you? If you say you can’t do it you’re not gonna do it, if you don’t start believing in yourself and believing something can happen, that you can get better, then you’re gonna be in a wheelchair”
Matt said that was the was the day he decided to not let the stroke define him.
Two weeks after his surgery, he lifted his left leg, days later, he moved his left arm as well. Matt was walking before he left the hospital. He continued playing basketball through junior high and high school.
Matt says he feels that God used the stroke in many ways for him to not only impact others for him (God), but hopefully to give some of those people hope too.
No matter what your story is, never let it stop you.
Read more about Matt’s story here
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t. – Henry Ward Beecher