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Lizzie2

Emmanuel's Gift

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no i havent i juts watched the trailor and i would love to see it. I wonder if it will ever get to the uk?

Andy

x x

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Linda, if you go back to the website and click on "theaters" it tells when and where. It opens Oct. 21, and it looks like only in a few major cities. :( I've marked it on my calendar and hope to go see it. I'll have to travel 2 hours, up to San Francisco, to see it.

Thanks, Lizzie, for sharing this with us!

Cheri

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I happened to catch him on Oprah last week with Lance Armstrong. I hope I get to see the movie.

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I've just found another article about this amazing guy...

What are we looking for here? Are we looking for courage? For quiet heroism? We need look no further, in that case, than Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a 27-year-old from Ghana whose expression of a simple desire three years ago has changed a nation.

He was in Del Mar, Calif., recently for a private screening of Emmanuel's Gift, a documentary about his life. Emmanuel was born without the tibia in his right leg, which curled up beneath him, withered and useless. Seeing this, his father abandoned the family. In Ghana, Emmanuel told me before the screening, "when you are a deformed child, people think your mother sinned." Some of his mother's friends urged her to kill him, or at least abandon him.

Instead, Comfort Yeboah nurtured and encouraged her firstborn. "She gave me the idea that I could go to school and become a great man," Emmanuel says. In a country whose disabled are expected to beg, Comfort's decision to send her son to primary school was, as narrator Oprah Winfrey notes, "a radical choice."

Comfort was raising a mild radical, a smiling contrarian who was offended by and constantly rebelling against his society's low expectations of him. She died when he was 13. Emmanuel had dropped out of school and moved to Accra, the capital of Ghana, where he shined shoes for $2 a day and hatched a grand plan: He would ride across Ghana, proving to his countrymen that the physically challenged are capable of surprising things; that all people have value.

He would need a better bike. He sent a grant request to the San Diego-based Challenged Athlete Foundation, whose members were impressed that he asked not for money, but for a bicycle. They sent both. Emmanuel's subsequent, 610-kilometer ride (379 miles) across Ghana got huge play in the nation's media, which he used to gently scold the government, whose policy on the country's two million disabled was to ignore their existence.

The CAF invited him to San Diego to ride the 56-mile bike leg in its annual Triathlon Challenge. It took him seven hours to get around the course, after which he observed, in his lilting voice, "I did not know San Diego was so hilly."

While in the United States, Emmanuel was evaluated by doctors from Loma Linda Hospital, who judged him a candidate for a prosthetic. He returned five months later for the operation. The documentary follows him from the morning of his surgery to his first step with the prosthesis to his gutsy completion of a triathlon, six weeks later, to his joyous reunion in Ghana with members of his extended family, who'd never seen wear trousers, or walk without crutches.

He returned for the '03 Triathlon Challenge. With two legs, Emmanuel got around the course in four hours. He was honored that day as the CAF's most inspirational athlete; Robin Williams handed him the award. He flew to Oregon to receive the Casey Martin Award. Nike presented him with a $25,000 check; the CAF matched it. On his way back to Ghana, he stopped in New York City for a meeting with U.N. Secretary General and fellow Ghanaian Kofi Annan.

Not bad for a kid who just wanted a decent bike.

Emmanuel and the UN secretary-general discussed the rights of their country's disabled, where, until recently, the handicapped were not allowed inside the King's Palace. Last March, Emmanuel stood in the Palace alongside the King as five high-end wheelchairs and 15 scholarships -- underwritten by Emmanuel's grant money -- were distributed. He has started a cycling team, a wheelchair basketball team and a running team for physically challenged athletes. A sports academy for disabled athletes is in the works. He has galvanized the physically challenged in his country: one of the many high moments of this immensely powerful documentary shows a rollicking parade of 600 disabled protesters, inspired and emboldened by Emmanuel. Before the screening, he told me he is planning to run for Ghana's Parliament.

Run, Emmanuel, run.

Lizzie

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I saw him on Oprah also, along with a wrestler with stumps for arms and legs and a guy that lost his leg, came back from that and then was hit by a car and paralyzed. Talk about tough!! I am hoping the movie comes close enough to go. I'm also reading the book by the wrestler (I'm rotten with names). It's really an inspiration. I was starting to complain because the snow is coming already and it's going to be tough walking around for a while but then I remember him and shut my mouth. I'm walking and that is enough, I'll make it through the rest.

You know, these are people we need to hear more of. These people are so inspirational. We also need to voice our opinions to rich people like Oprah about televising the paralympics. It is absolutely shameful that we have so many talented athletes that work so hard and yet are not cared about enough in their country to even get a day of tv time. That needs to change and I think Oprah could be the one to do it!

Caroln

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Hi

Has anyone seen the film Emmanuel's Gift? I think it's such an inspiring story... :)

Lizzie

I saw Emmanuel's Gift today with some friends down in New York City. I was moved and inspired, and I would encourage everybody with or without limb loss to go see it when it comes to your area. You will not be disappointed. This is the kind of story that should overpower the rest of the (Nonsense) news that takes the spotlight in media today. It might inspire other people to make a difference to help make the world a better place to live and be more proactive in these troubled times.

Bravo Emmanuel ! ! ! You have accomplished so much for so many. Bravo :)

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This is the kind of story that should overpower the rest of the (Nonsense) news that takes the spotlight in media today.

Even though I haven't seen this film yet (so far, I've only read about Emmanuel), I totally agree!

I was stunned (for days) after I read about how devoted his mother was and also about his overwhelming resilience...and the fact that the story didn't just end with his success - he now helps people with disabilities in Ghana.

He must be a truely wonderful man! :)

Lizzie

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I wonder how long I will have to wait to see this.....

By the time I had finished reading his story, I was sobbing. I don't think anyone who hasn't experienced the harsh and unforgiving African culture first hand can begin to grasp the enormity of Emmanuel's story.

What he has achieved is nothing short of a modern day miracle. His mother would have been so very proud. The sacrifice she made in her decision to raise him as a 'normal' boy must have cost her dearly.

Unbelievable story.

Ally

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