I Haz Podcast April 2014
Pro-Ject finds influence in some of the most unsuspected places. Detroit is a city that’s struggles and woes have been plastered all over the news for years. But inside this somewhat hopeless city, people are doing amazing things, creating, innovating, inspiring, influencing.
Enter, Pro-Ject friend Marty Sheedy. Marty was born with multiple congenital deformities, including Arthrogryposis Congenita Multiplex (a generic term used to describe multiple congenital contractures) and Eagle Barrett Syndrome/Prune Belly Syndrome. Despite these hurdles, Marty leaps and bounds through life, using his adversity to create a will to give to others, and a drive to adapt to his situation so well, that he doesn’t see it as something limiting, but the exact opposite. It causes him to strive to do more.
Marty is the Executive Director of his own foundation, Project Scissor Gait Foundation where he works to educate, promote and provide research opportunities on the scissor gait walking pattern, a condition characterized by a gait that appears like scissors, usually due to spastic paraplegia. Marty believes that his story and walking technique may benefit others looking to adapt their gait pattern.
We could say more, but we will let Marty’s heartfelt words tell the story:
"Every Tuesday and Thursday, back in 2006 and 2007, I would go with my dad to his over-40 basketball (league) games in Taylor, Mi. One day, riding back home, I had a spark/vision to create an AOL hometown with a short bio and a very amateur video about the way I walk. My first thought was if my walk (scissor gait - crossed legs) could help me, there has to be someone else in the world it may be able to help…
Then about 6 months after the site was up, Robert Cotner - the director of development for Shriners Hospital Chicago - sent me an email wanting me to come out and talk to him about some things. I went to speak with him, and who knew that it would alter my path for the rest of my life. He taught me what a 501 C 3 non profit was and the basics of how to start one…
From there, I found friends to help start the process, but ran into major obstacles that held it up for years. We all hit brick walls at some point, but if you want it bad enough, you will find your way and get around them. I would eventually get around mine. I deeply believe that things happen as they should, and the timing was not right then…
Everything aligns in due time. When you have a goal or vision in mind, and take the proper steps to reach the point you are aiming for, you will get there – but only with persistence, resilience and intense levels of passion to achieve.
Here is a link to the foundation tri-fold that explains our mission:
In the past two years I have been extremely humbled to become so interconnected in the entertainment world of Detroit, which has allowed me to share my medical conditions, message of never giving up and encouraging others to find their inner strength to do things never thought possible, and carry on like a true victor of life.
I always picked up on the signs that align us with our paths, or our purpose here. I believe everybody has a purpose. I consider myself a messenger. I want to reach as many people as I possibly can, and be a source of positive inspiration. I was told I wouldn’t live pass 3. Here I am at 27, fulfilling my mission in a major way. A perfect example of the signs would be a literal sign saying “You Are Where You Are Supposed To Be” while standing next to Kid Rock inside a bar in Clarkston, Mi – after the 8th night of Kid Rock’s sold out DTE concerts at which I spoke and ‘hyped’ the crowd up three times for each night - on behalf of the Shriners. Since then, Kid Rock has been a great supporter and friend. He is one of the most genuine people I have been able to meet.
On the other side, I am very much in the streets and on the move everyday in Detroit, mostly downtown. My condition does not limit me, it only pushes me to achieve and want to do more.
Right now more than ever, it is important for Detroit to come together, and I am proud of the city and the changes happening now. I am blessed to be a part of this shift that is currently taking a place, a renaissance. Detroit is the renaissance city, and it gave me grit and a strong mentality to conquer all the things I have. It is symbolic a friend carrying me on his back up twenty or so flights of stairs, in the abandoned Brewster-Douglas projects (currently in final stage of demolition) and “human flagging” on the pole looking over the city – it kind of feels like victory.
My entire life I knew my purpose here on this planet was to help people and be a light in this world and to others. I fulfill my mission everyday, this is just the beginning…
There is nothing that will limit what I envision and I will continue walking my walk, and inspiring others along my path.”
Check www.martysheedy.com for more information.