It was the tee-shirt that Cilicia van Heyningen was wearing that initially caught RL’s eye. It made me wonder why such a beautiful young woman felt the need to announce to the world on a tee shirt that “Society Has A Distorted Perception of Beauty” As I looked deeper into Cilicia’s social media accounts, I found her to be quite a character that made me both laugh and cry in the time that it took me to figure out her story. It will take you no time at all to fall in love with Cilicia’s spirit, just as I did. She’s one of those cool people that you just want to hang out and laugh with. Continue reading
Mohammad “Shams Aalam” Shaikh; para swimmer has his sights set on the 2018 Asian Para Games. We have every confidence that Shams Aalam will be the emerging winner at this upcoming para event. Why are we so sure? In 2014, Shams set a world record and he holds a title in the Limca Book of World Records for the longest open sea swimming Continue reading
When RL first met Sergio, we ran into him on the tennis courts at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, California. After chatting it up with him, we discovered that not only does he have a passion for two-bounce tennis (tennis played in a wheelchair) but he is also just as passionate about the work he creates as a potter. Continue reading
I was introduced to Blake Leeper in November 2014, prior to writing for Refocused Lives, when he appeared as a guest speaker for Limb Loss Education Day in Palm Desert, California. Prior to that day, I had no idea who Blake Leeper was nor did I have any idea of what he had accomplished in his life. All I can tell you is that I was transformed that afternoon after listening to him speak. His words brought me to tears, not because he made me sad but because he made me feel so empowered. I felt as if I could conquer the world after listening to him. Continue reading
Reggie Showers is one exciting individual. We initially learned of Reggie and the amazing work he does via a Facebook post that was shared by a friend. RL found him so interesting that we just had to share his blog with you. You will get hooked on his passion for life and his desire to motivate others to greatness. See how this bi-lateral, below knee, amputee gives definition the phrase “Amputee Strong.”
Gulfam Ahmed, is what we like to refer to as a “triple threat”. He’s a model, an athlete and a stand up comedian with a bachelor degree in social work. Handsome, smart, stylish and funny wrapped up into one package. You can’t ask for more than that! The RL team reached out to Gulfam for his story and here is what he had to tell us about a tumultuous journey of orthopedic impairment and his will to defy the odds and his persistence to make a name for himself…..
Throughout my eighteen years of life, I have always been very active, always involved with sports and anything that has to do with presence of speed. By the age of 18, I achieved two black belts. One was in Mu Duk Kwan and my most recent was Tae Kwan Do. I spent my high school career playing rugby with some of the best guys I can call my friends. Since I was five years old I began to develop a passion for motocross. I got my first bike at the age of five and have been riding ever since and even started to compete at local race tracks.