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Man with cerebral palsy goes beyond his inabilities to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Athens Daily Review - 2/28/2017

Feb. 28--In his book, "One More Step," Bonner Paddock wrote, "Force away the pain. Fight your fight. One more step. You are an Ironman, Bonner Paddock. You are an Ironman. I silently repeat it, over and over.

"You are an Ironman. The words are a promise. They are an aspiration."

Paddock is the first person diagnosed with cerebral palsy to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and compete in the brutal Ironman Kona competition to raise awareness of those suffering from cerebral palsy. This would have been no small feat for an able-bodied man. It was a monumental undertaking for Paddock. He conquered, not only the mountain, but his own limitations.

In his book, Paddock says he was diagnosed in his youth with cerebral palsy, swearing he wouldn't let his disorder limit him. For 29 years, he kept the secret about his health. Paddock never turned down a challenge for fear of his physical abilities.

Today, Paddock is no longer defined by his limitations, but by the moments he pushed past them.

"We can all conquer our own challenges and embrace every moment life has to offer," he said.

Paddock said that when he falls, he gets back up. He has spent his life shaking off skinned knees, broken bones and doctor's warnings.

Gun Barrel City Economic Development President Steven Schiff had the opportunity to hear Paddock speak.

"I met Bonner at an event that my company had back in October 2016, and was so motivated at the end of his presentation, that I have been working hard to have others hear his story and journey," Schiff said.

Paddock will be telling his story on Thursday, March 23 at the Mabank High School Auditorium at 2 p.m. Schiff has arranged to bring Bonner's message to teachers, administrators and staff members.

This event is open to the public. There is no cost to attend, and there will be a reception following, where you can meet Bonner, and have him personally sign his book for you. His book, "One More Step," can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Schiff wants everyone to hear Paddock's emotional story.

"It is rare that we have the opportunity to bring someone like Bonner to the Cedar Creek Lake area, and we need your help and support to fill the auditorium," Schiff said.

To reserve your seat to hear Paddock, visit the Mabank ISD website, www.mabankisd.net.

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(c)2017 the Athens Daily Review (Athens, Texas)

Visit the Athens Daily Review (Athens, Texas) at www.athensreview.com

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