Monthly Archives: June, 2019

Motivational Monday – Ade Adepitan

Ade Adepitan

Ade Adepitan (born 27 March 1973) is a British television presenter and wheelchair basketball player. He uses a wheelchair as a result of contracting polio as a child which led to the loss of use of his left leg.

2005: Made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to disability sport in. He was also presented with an Honorary Doctorate from Loughborough University, in recognition of his outstanding services to, and performances in, disability sport.

2005: Awarded a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by the Champions Club UK in recognition not only of his efforts at promoting disability sport, but also for being a positive role model. He was particularly commended for his strong and persistent message of hope within the young black disabled community

2010: Presented with the Lifetime Achievement award by the University of East London

2010: Honorary Doctorate conferred by the university in November 2010



Group shot of all who participated holding their paintings of the Muskegon Pere Maquette Boardwalk

What a fun night of painting!

PAINTING FOR A PURPOSE, was held at The Coffee Factory with Create.a.frame ART studio benefitting Disability Network West Michigan. We are celebrating 20 years of serving those with disabilties in Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Mason and Lake Counties!

We painted our beautiful accessible walkway located at Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach, personalizing and making it our own under the direction of Lacy, our professional artist!

Thank you to all who participat

Honoring our Fallen Veterans

Veteran Howard Fisher placing flag on gravesite
Many of our Veteran Connection Group members and Deputy Director & Veteran Will Wilson participated in placing flags at the gravesites of our fallen soldiers at Mona View Cemetery during the Memorial Day weekend. We remember and honor all who served and paid the highest price for our freedoms. Pictured: Veteran Howard Fisher placing flag at gravesite.

LET’S DO LUNCH! Oceana County

CEO Diane Fleser Gourp shot of those who attended

Thank you Oceana County residents, businesses and service providers for a “full house!”

Disability Network West Michigan recently held our LET’S DO LUNCH series in Hart at the Hart Community Center where we invited Oceana County residents, businesses and service providers to meet adminstrators and board members and to discover who we are and what we do in your communities.

We were so pleased to have such engaging conversations while presenting valuable information during a delicious lunch provided by Soup Of The Day Cafe!


A love letter to my Cerebral Palsy

Selfie of Jeffrey VanDykeBy Jeffrey Vandyke, Graphics Design Specialist

A love letter to my Cerebral Palsy

Dear Cerebral Palsy,

 You haven’t always made it easy for me. In fact, you’ve been a pain (quite literally, for as long as I can remember), so much so, that I hated you. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just be “Normal.” I wanted the chance to run alongside my sister, to play sports or just go for a walk. So many of things most typical people take for granted, I’ll never be able to do.

My body is caught in the middle of a tug of war in between what my mind wants to do and what my body will physically allow. However, as time has gone by and I’ve become more comfortable with my body and I’ve learned my abilities (not just my inabilities). I have grown more fond of you.

Don’t get me wrong, the struggles I’ve faced have been mighty and I won’t lie and say things are necessarily easier now, but it is because of the struggles that you have brought with you… the constant surgeries (I lost count at 25?) the bullies, the doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, the scars, and countless daily challenges that randomly seem to appear on a moment’s notice, that I am who I am today.

Yes, I do still have pain, my speech is still occasionally slurred, my movement isn’t as quick as it once was, and my body doesn’t cooperate as much as I’d like, which is frustrating, but I feel like I am also stronger than I ever could’ve been, had I been able to live life without your companionship. Due to the bullies, I am kinder to others because I know what it feels like to be made fun of, because of the constant, ever-changing adversity I am more resourceful, and because of the hardship I am driven to use my life and take advantage of every opportunity to make this world a better, more kinder place for all… disability or not.

I may never be medically healed of Cerebral Palsy as it’s not physically a possibility at this time, but I’ve learned that it’s also not necessary. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned that the only real healing I ever needed was to learn to accept myself as I am today, rather than judging by someone else’s definition of what was “Better”. It is through my greatest weakness, I found my strength. I choose to be happy and positive because life is beautiful and meant to be lived to the fullest regardless of diagnoses, societal expectation, or stigma. It may not be a straight path, but a crooked path is better than none at all. All in all, I hope my life helps someone else know that no matter what obstacles you might face; you can still not only follow your dreams but achieve them as well. So today, it is with much gratitude that I say I appreciate you, Cerebral Palsy… I wouldn’t be who I am today, without you.