“I don’t believe in disabilities,” Sue says from the platform. “I believe in extraordinary people who are faced with extraordinary challenges!! That mountain climber who climbs Mt. Everest can stand at the top and pump his fist and shout, ‘I did it’. But for those who face physical challenges on a daily basis, the climb never stops. Day in and day out they put forth extraordinary effort. Now THAT is an extraordinary person!”
I met Sue Thomas 11 years ago and was immediately captivated by her dynamic and spunky personality. Sue has been profoundly deaf since an infant, but is an expert lip-reader and speaker. In fact, she is a motivational speaker that travels not only around the US, but has also travelled internationally, cheering people on in their life-journey, and bringing awareness to various disabilities everywhere she goes.
In the 80’s Sue was employed by the FBI, and worked undercover as a lip-reader who followed the crooks, read their lips and then reported the information back to the FBI agents. It was a unique, one-of-a-kind job that launched her into a Public Speaking career in which she brings disability awareness to churches, schools and businesses everywhere. For 30 years Sue has traveled extensively with only her Hearing Dog as a companion.
Fifteen years ago, Sue was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She immediately became involved with the NMSS and began speaking for fundraisers and awareness events. “Living with MS makes my deafness pale in comparison,” Sue explains. MS is unpredictable. Her MS started with numbness in her left foot. Today Sue cannot stand without support for more than a few moments. She relies heavily on Rodney, a specially trained Hearing/Service Dog for MS.
With the luggage for two people, the dog, the dog food, cases of books, and a folding walker in the vehicle, there is no extra leg room! Sue owns a motorized scooter, but is not able to take it with her when she travels. This has severely limited her ability to continue to travel and speak. She simply loves to engage with people and to encourage and inspire them to become everything that God so created them to be. Staying home is not an option for Sue! A busy itinerary is already scheduled. Please help me get an accessible van for Sue to keep her on the road doing what she does best, encouraging and inspiring!
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