Jimmy Mulzet only has one story to tell, but it is an incredible one. That story is told in his memoir Facing the Challenge, Beating the Odds: The Jimmy Mulzet Story.
Jimmy was born with cerebral palsy. Today, roughly 33.3% of children born with this condition suffer from limited to zero walking ability. When Jimmy was diagnosed, it was at a time when most people around his family believed his odds were lower. Things got even worse when he nearly died before he could reach his 1st birthday.
Despite this, Jimmy and his parents had faith that he could achieve incredible things. His book talks about the amazing journey of his life and how, through prayer and sheer refusal to give up, anything is possible.
Jimmy recently appeared on America Tonight with Kate Delaney and shared his inspiring story and incredible accomplishments with his host and her listeners.
Jimmy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy right around six months after he was born. During his birth, the doctor did not immediately realize the signs.
It was only when his mother was home that problems began to show themselves. She had found a strange lump at the back of his head. He had difficulty lying on his back as the posture caused him to cry frequently.
This prompted his family to find some better answers and get him diagnosed.
Defying the Odds
Even with his diagnosis, however, Jimmy’s mother wouldn’t give up on him and firmly believed he could accomplish much in life.
And as told in his book, he did.
Among his list of achievements include being able to walk independently despite the doubt that surrounded him. He went on take part in the New York City Marathon (and finish). He’s secured himself not only an education but also a steady job for over 30 years.
Asides from that, he’s climbed the stairs of the Empire State Building and has personally met face-to-face with St. Pope John Paul II.
The New York City Marathon was a particularly prophetic moment in his life.
When he learned that a part of the Marathon would come right up his street, it got him thinking about the possibility of taking part regardless of his disability. And the more he wondered about it, the more he really wanted to do it.
Naturally, many thought he was crazy and thought it was better he didn’t. Regardless, Jimmy really wanted to try.
Right after, he consulted the Achilles Track Club (now Achilles International, a global athletics organization for people with disabilities). Thanks to their support and Jimmy’s undaunted enthusiasm, he trained for the Marathon and successfully participated.
Walking the Marathon
Of course, even Jimmy wasn’t so crazy as to try and run the entire thing. Rather, he and his coach were determined to walk the whole stretch of the Marathon to the end.
For eight hours, Jimmy and his coach traversed on foot from Staten Island all the way to Central Park.
And throughout the entire walk, Jimmy felt fantastic. He was so happy to have done so much that he went on to make the same trip eight times in a row!
Being a Role Model of Faith
For Jimmy, his story isn’t just for people with disabilities. He wrote his book to be a role model for everyone when it comes to never giving up and always having faith.
A devout Catholic, Jimmy often prayed and was taught by his mother how to pray. His memoir serves as his testimony that God does answer prayers. In his eyes, God helped him through his struggle while strengthening him so that he can live happily and independently.
The Power of Faith (and Loving Parents)
Now, if there was one thing that Jimmy is especially thankful to God for, it was his parents. No matter how much doubt surrounded their family and his future, his parents continued to love and support him in everything he did.
It was because they never gave up on him that Jimmy also refused to give up on himself. And if readers could learn one wonderful thing from his story, then it would be that.