When Bonner Paddock falls down, he gets back up in a big way. He has spent his life shaking off skinned knees, broken bones and doctors’ warnings. And at 33, he became the first person diagnosed with cerebral palsy to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro unassisted. No small feat for an able-bodied man, but a monumental undertaking for Bonner. To raise awareness of those suffering from cerebral palsy, Bonner tackled the climb with the determination and vigor that has defined his life. Eight days and 19,340 feet later, he had conquered not only the mountain, but his own limitations.
From the time Bonner was a toddler, it was apparent something wasn’t right. His left leg dragged behind the right and he couldn’t maintain his balance. Seven different doctors gave him seven different diagnoses. At one point, a doctor told Bonner he’d be in a wheelchair by 15, and he might not make it past his 20th birthday. He spent time in a variety of shoes, braces and casts. But he moved forward. To limit his movement, he played goalie instead of flanker. He worked on his 3-point shot. He even stood at home plate in a cast up to his hips and had someone run for him when he smacked the ball into the outfield. He overcame, even if he didn’t understand.
Finally, at the age of 11, he caught a break. A doctor took interest in his case and put him through a series of tests. He diagnosed Bonner with cerebral palsy. That wasn’t exactly great news, but at least now he knew what was wrong. When Bonner was born, his umbilical cord had coiled twice around his neck, depriving him of oxygen, causing parts of his brain to die. That cord didn’t take his life, but it changed it forever. It put him at a disadvantage, but it also gave him purpose.
Today, Bonner Paddock is Founder of OM Foundation. His monumental climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro was documented in the film Beyond Limits and helped raise money for the construction of a new childcare center in Orange County, providing early treatment for children with all types of physical disabilities. Bonner has taken his vision global and currently building more centers around the world to help children live better lives.
Bonner is a passionate and engaging speaker. His presentations focus on finding the inner strength to move forward in spite of difficult circumstances, facing seemingly insurmountable odds, setting and achieving goals and ultimately, not accepting defeat. An inspiration for children and adults around the world, Bonner Paddock is living proof that one person can make a difference.
Bonner Paddock, adventurer, is available exclusively through IMG Speakers bureau for speaking engagements. Bonner Paddock is also available for leadership summits, motivational keynotes, and much more. Please contact IMG Speakers at 212-774-6735 or email@example.com for more information on booking Bonner Paddock.
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