Thank you for reading my story and considering my fundraiser. To begin, I must admit that I am deeply uncomfortable with asking you for financial assistance. Indeed, I would not ask now if I did not believe wholeheartedly that doing so is a critical step in achieving my goal of becoming a financially independent tax payer who contributes to the economy and industry of our nation. My name is Joseph Feuerborn. I am a beloved son, grandson, brother, uncle and Godfather. I hope some day to add father to that list of identities. I enjoy working on computers and I am an avid fan of ice hockey and baseball. When I arrived in the world twenty five years ago, it was through a traumatic emergency cesarean birth. I was a tiny two pound newborn, struggling with under developed lungs and a very uncomfortable birthright labeled "cerebral palsy". I face many daily obstacles that able-bodied people do not because this disease makes physical movement very challenging. I am not here to complain about that though. Although no cure currently exists for cerebral palsy, there are typical treatment options: endless rounds of therapies (physical, occupational, speech and language) and various surgical procedures. I have experienced these treatments. Through the hopeful and loving care of my parents, I survived babyhood and adolescence without losing my enthusiasm for life. When I was a baby, the doctors predicted that I would have significant health and developmental delays, and that long term I would be unlikely to succeed at creating an independent lifestyle for myself. At this point, I have learned to “walk” upright using specialized arm crutches by using my upper body strength to launch my body forward. I wear specially constructed stiff boots designed for fire fighters to give my legs the stability to bear weight because a childhood surgery left my tendons too loose to lock my knees into a straight position. When I am out walking in public, I am aware of the stares of strangers. Although some people might be struck with pity or discomfort at the sight of my uncooperative body, I am fully aware of my value and potential and I do not allow others to disturb my self confidence. I have learned to overcompensate for the discomfort of other people by smiling if they make eye contact and responding with gentle humor to set people at ease when they initiate a conversation about me. My ultimate goal is to lead a moral and productive life and to remain open to any opportunities that God gives me to develop myself. A smaller, but equally important goal, is to accept myself fully and embrace the uniqueness of me and be a good steward of the body that I have been given. My parents do not believe that my physical limitations define me. Guided by their profound faith in God, they taught me to believe that I was created in His image and likeness, and that He will guide me to the life that He has planned for me. I hope to be to cooperate with God’s plan and I am willing to work hard to accomplish the tasks that are set before me to do so. At the age of 18, I decided that getting a job and earning my own money was an important goal for me. I sought and obtained a job working in a call center providing customer service and technical support. Initially, my career goals were limited because I have always had very poor vision and limited physical mobility. Working in a call center might sound very boring to most people, but I felt very fortunate to have found a job in which I could learn new skills and develop my talents. I was content to be helpful to the frustrated customers who called me for assistance. I learned to be an active listener and I challenged myself to connect with the callers by asking relevant questions and by providing useful responses in a friendly manner. Every frustrated caller gave me the opportunity to grow in my communication skills and to improve the mood of some really “ticked off” cell phone users. My job gave me my first taste of independence. Although I still relied on my family members for transportation, my job provided me the opportunity to make valuable contributions to a company, to set and meet some professional goals, to make new friends and to earn my own money. As I progressed and built a work history with several employers, I gained confidence that I had discovered my vocation and that I would be able to eventually be promoted into a full time management position. Therefore, I was devastated when I lost my job unexpectedly. My employer hired me with the full understanding of my physical limitations, and then after nearly a year of unfulfilled promises the company refused to provide me with the technology required to modify my computer to perform my job. I found myself “laid off”. The depressed economy in Arizona made my subsequent job search difficult. I finally faced the reality, after several month of diligent searching, that the recession in Arizona was not friendly to a guy who is trained to work in one specialized field. I decided I had to diversify my skills. I made the decision to stop wasting my time trying to find employment and I began taking a serious inventory of the factors that were limiting my "employ-ability". First, I decided to seek medical advice from doctors to become as whole and healthy as possible and to determine if any advances in medicine might improve my mobility or eyesight. I made dramatic changes to my diet to make sure that I was eating the best possible sources of fuel to protect my cardiovascular system, muscles, joints and brain. Next, I found a doctor who was able to perform a surgery to dramatically improve my vision. Then, using my improved eyesight, I was able to perform extensive research on realistic careers for people with limited mobility. I decided to pursue my passion for technology and computers and I immediately enrolled in a nearby community college to earn units toward my bachelor’s degree. My goals shifted as I realized that I wanted to find a job working with computer technology (to help myself) and then eventually start a non-profit organization (to help others with limited mobility to achieve independent lifestyles). In the past quarter century, I have faced many obstacles. Each time, the silver lining in my rain cloud has been that people within my family or the greater community have supported me to make sure that I had access to the resources and information that I needed to move me to the next level in my life. I have attended community college twice (once as a young teenager in Southern California) and I have been able to navigate the campuses (both physically and administratively) to earn good grades and progress toward my goal of earning a degree in computer science. To transfer to a four year college , I am now at the stage in my life where transportation has become a necessity for me. To prepare for driving, I have performed extensive research, consulted with an expert, and I will successfully complete the final hours of my training to operate an automobile equipped with hand controls very soon. I will be a licensed driver, and I have been granted the funding to pay for the hand controls system that I will need in order to drive. My final goal is to raise the money to buy a car. I live in a rural area in Arizona , and to finish school or obtain a job again I need a car to get into the city. My appeal to you today is to consider the positive impact that you can have on my life with your generosity. Any donation, no matter how small, will be helpful. If you can’t afford to donate money, but you want to support my cause in other ways, please pray for a positive outcome for me and share this appeal forward to others who might be willing to support me as well. May God bless you with health, hope, and happiness! Thank you for your time.