2007 Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) graduate Jimmy Curran, who also attended Ridge Park Elementary School, returned to the school recently to share his inspirational book with third graders. Mr. Curran is the author of Will The One-Winged Eagle. Born with just one wing and unable to fly, Will shows tremendous courage and learns to overcome his disability to thrive in the world.
Mr. Curran was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy when he was a few months old and has used a wheelchair since age two. Like Will, the main character in his book, Mr. Curran has not let his condition define or limit him. After graduating from PWHS, he attended Temple University and earned a degree from the Fox School of Business in 2011. For the past six years he has worked as a market research analyst for Independence Blue Cross.
Writing the book was one way to share his inspirational message with students.
"It was a good story because everybody is different," said Charlie. "So even though the author was in a wheel chair, he can still do the same things everyone else can."
After reading the book to the students, Mr. Curran shared his positive outlook and answered questions about his life.
"(The assembly) was nice because the author is different from everyone else, but he can still accomplish the same things that we can," said Madison. "I learned you can do anything no matter how different you are."
"I learned to not judge anyone by their looks," added Brianna.
In addition to writing Will The One-Winged Eagle, Mr. Curran created the brand and clothing line [dis]ABLE in 2014.
"The term disable alone breeds the negative misconception that those with disabilities 'cannot'," Mr. Curran says. "My dad taught me can't means won't so I do. Everyone has limitations, and everyone has the ability to use their strengths and resources to circumvent those limitations. Life is too short to make excuses. Disable your limits."