On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas

The doctor cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, but I have bad news.”

He paused, looking down at the floor. He looked back up at her. He started to say something and then stopped, looking back down at the floor.

That’s when Pat began to cry.

She’d argued with herself about even coming to the doctor’s office. Her baby was a year old, and he hadn’t started crawling yet. He tried, yes, dragging his legs behind him as he struggled to make it just a few feet on the floor, but it didn’t look right. Everyone told her that she was worrying over nothing, and maybe she was, but she told herself that she would take him to the doctor, just to be safe . . .

“Your son has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” the doctor said. “It’s a form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects children.”

Pat was speechless. Everyone had told her she was silly. She had hoped she was wrong, prayed she was wrong, but still . . . she knew.

“What’s going to happen to him?” she managed to say.

“Where most children grow stronger as they get older, your son is going to get weaker. He’ll lose the ability to move. He’ll lose the ability to breathe on his own. And one day, he’ll catch an infection that will spread into his respiratory system, giving him severe pneumonia . . .”

She held up her hand to stop him. “You’re saying he is going to die?”

He nodded. “There are three types of SMA. Caught this early, your son almost certainly has Type I. Most children with Type I die of pneumonia before the age of two.” He paused. “I’m sorry.”

Pat looked up into his face and saw that he really was sorry. It made her angry. Not because of his pity, but because in this man’s eyes, her baby was already dead.

“Don’t be sorry,” Pat said, wiping tears away from her face. Her voice was suddenly very calm.”He isn’t going to die.”

“It’s important you understand the situation, Mrs. Morrow. The pneumonia . . . he won’t be able to fight it.”

“He won’t have to,” she said. “I’ll fight it for him.”

The miracle of mothers

Over the next 16 years, I had pneumonia 16 times. But I never died. It sounds strange to say it, but my mother wouldn’t let it happen.

She orchestrated a team of more than a dozen doctors. She slept in a chair beside me in the hospital, sometimes for as many as 30 days in a row. She pounded my chest and back every two hours to loosen the mucus, covering my chest and back with bruises.

Today, at 27 years old, I’m one of the oldest people in the world with my type of SMA, and people tell me it’s a miracle. And I agree, it is. But the miracle isn’t just me. It’s a mother who fought like only a mother can to keep me alive.

By “alive,” I don’t mean just “not dead,” either. You’d think my mother would have been satisfied for me to live at home, tucked away from the world where she could protect me, but for her, that wasn’t living. She insisted that I be great.

When my elementary school principal decided that disabled children didn’t have a place in her school, my mom appealed to the school board and turned every board member’s life into a living hell for two years.

She won.

When I wanted to play basketball, she forced an astounded coach to reinvent the rules of the game so that I could be the “ball carrier” for the team, and no one could take the ball away. Not surprisingly, everyone wanted me on their team.

When I could no longer pick up a pencil, she arranged for honors students at local colleges to help me with my homework after school. I graduated at the age of 16, not only near the top of my class, but with college credit.

If you’re a mother, none of these things surprise you. Some mothers are weak, sure, but the vast majority fight for their children, especially when those children are defenseless. It’s not because they’re trying to be heroes. It’s because that’s their job.

And I think we can learn something from them. Not to minimize what mothers do, but I’ve come to believe that our job as writers is not all that different.

Fighting for your ideas

Growing up, I always had to fight to get people to listen to me.

The worst part about being disabled isn’t the pain or the struggle but how the world tries to shove you into a corner and pretend that you don’t exist. After all, what could you possibly have to contribute? You’re going to die soon, poor thing. Here’s a nice, quiet room and some morphine to ease the pain.

They don’t proactively hold you back, no, but they don’t expect you to succeed either. I’ve spent my entire life fighting against the weight of those expectations.

Like when university professors were flabbergasted when, on the first day, I asked my attendant to raise his hand, so I could answer the question that no one else could.

Or the vaguely constipated look on the face of a venture capitalist when I asked for $500,000 of startup capital for my first software company.

Or the disbelieving stares of people at a real estate conference when I gave a talk about buying million-dollar homes without even being able to get up the stairs to see the inside of them.

Their disbelief has never stopped me, of course. It’s not a matter of persistence or strength or attitude, as some people think. It’s a matter of shame.

How could I possibly look my mother and father and all of the others who have sacrificed so much for me in the eye and tell them, “I can’t?” I couldn’t bear it. The shame of dishonoring their sacrifice by giving up would poison my soul.

And so I fight

If my mother could ignore a doctor who would condemn me to death, then I can ignore my inner demons who tell me I’ll never make it as a writer.

If my mother could demand that I achieve straight As in school, then I can demand greatness from every blog post I publish.

If my mother could lobby school administrators and government agencies to get me the help I needed, then I can lobby bloggers and social media power users to get my idea the attention it deserves.

Not to imply that I’m unique, because I’m not. Yes, I’ve had to overcome a lot of adversity, but so does every creative person who wants their ideas to see the light of day.

If you want to succeed, you can’t wait for the world to give you attention the way a cripple waits for food stamps to arrive in the mail. You have to be a warrior. You have to attack with the madness of a mother whose child is surrounded by an army of predators.

Because, let’s face it, your ideas are your children. Their future is as tender and delicate as that of any newborn.

You can’t just write them down and expect them to succeed. Writing isn’t about putting words on the page, any more than being a parent is about the act of conception. It’s about breathing life into something and then working to make sure that life becomes something beautiful.

That means spending ten hours on a post, instead of 30 minutes.

That means writing a guest post every week, instead of one every few months.

That means asking for links without any shame or reservation, not because you lack humility, but because you know down to the depths of your soul that what you’ve done is good.

You have to realize that your blog is more than just a collection of ones and zeros floating through cyberspace. It’s more than the words on the page. Your blog is a launchpad for your ideas, and you are the rocket fuel that lifts them off the ground.

So burn it up, baby.

Your ideas are counting on you.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is Associate Editor of Copyblogger. Get more from Jon on twitter.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is CEO of Boost Blog Traffic. If you'd like to learn more about what it really takes to get more readers, build your email list, and become an authority in your niche, subscribe today.

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Comments

  1. What a beautiful story, Jon. I can’t imagine all that you’ve gone through to get where you are today. Your trials make most of ours seem trivial by comparison. Yet, we can use struggles to inspire us to work harder and expect more from the only life we get.

    Bravo to you, and here’s to the next 27!

    Happy holidays!

  2. What an inspiration. I am printing out and posting this next to my computer. Next time I start blowing up balloons for a pity party, your words will remind me of the fallacy of CAN’T. God bless your mom and dad.

  3. I’m reading your post with tears in my eyes, Jon. Your mom taught you well – For every “No”, there’s a YES to be found, forced or cajoled.

    Thanks for reminding me of that. Happiest of holidays to you.

  4. Beautiful story. Incredible to think about the deeply ingrained force of expectations — both ours, and others’ … and the power of persistence in overturning them.

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Do you know I was going to write a blog post tomorrow about the importance of keep on keeping on, fighting for your ideas and just getting out there and doing it.
    The reason I felt down and despondent was because I fell and sustained a bad cut while sledding. Now I feel rather ashamed that mys pain is really so minor after all you went through.
    I must have been feeling pretty sorry for myself. Not any more, thanks.
    Although I will have to think up a new blog post now !

  6. Powerful post, Jon. Thanks for sharing your story, and your indomitable spirit!

  7. Holy crap man. Holy crap. Thanks for setting a great example and kicking so much ass so hard. I dig ya dude.

  8. Jon, with a pen, you are Jon Tzu, agile warrior of words. You write with a confidence that mirrors your hard-nosed mother’s determination.

    Great write. Thank you both.

  9. Tremendous. Isn’t it the bane of everyone in a creative pursuit the fear of not being good enough, of being ridiculed for our ideas and failures?

    When you believe in what you are doing, pursue your dreams with dogged determination.

  10. OK, that brought a tear. Bravo, Jon. Especially for “vaguely constipated.” That is going to bring a smile to my face for a long time. :)

  11. Jonathan Fields :

    Powerful story, powerful writing…powerful example.

    Don’t know whether to burst into tears or start another damn company. Hell, maybe both!

    Thank you, Jon.

  12. Jonathan, that may just be the greatest pep talk that I have ever received. Such passion. Such motivation. Anybody that reads that and is not inspired needs to take up a new career.

    Thank you!

  13. Now that’s a story I will hold near and dear as I continue to write. Thank you for the insight and inspiration.

    As a martial arts instructor, I’ve never allowed “can’t” into the training hall, and as a result, I’ve seen students who have been told “you can’t do that” all their lives suddenly soar into a realm of possibilities never dared before.

    The human spirit never fails to amaze me.

  14. Jon, Thank you for sharing. You just helped a lot of people with your powerful approach.

  15. Jon~
    Truly inspiring! As a fellow writer, I completely agree with your ideas and can feel your passion.

    Keep up the good work and never accept anything but the best.

    -g

  16. FAR OUT! The point of not dishonoring your soul — as well as having the guts to claim yours in public — is beautiful. I salute you.

  17. I “met” Jon in the Charter forums of Teaching Sells. Every time he said something, it made acute sense, was practical in nature, just do this, then this, then this, and made huge a difference to me. I still have one note that I have used almost everyday since those “early” days as a reminder.
    Here he is again. Making me practically speechless, with lovely clear tears in the corner of my eyes for this story, that love and determination his mother is, what she has passed on… He has shifted my thinking again in a most endearing way.
    Thank you Jon. Again.
    Just beautiful. A mother to our ideas as if they are children… a lovely memorable gift.
    Happy Holidays to you.

  18. I am thrilled by your writing, your clarity, and your courage. I’m forwarding this to my 15 year old daughter who told me – straight faced! – last night that I should let her watch as much TV as she wants because she isn’t do drugs or having sex. The lovingly fierce standard you have set for yourself is a good reminder of what I want for Lilly, and of course, my own writing. Thank you so very much.

  19. I love your story, and I love your attitude. And I loved the kick in the pants, too!
    Facebooked, tweeted, and added to my New Year Resolution list: be like Jonathan Morrow and his mom. :)

  20. Thank you, Jon. Your story is so inspirational. We all have our own personal demons to face, but if you can prevail over the ginormous obstacles in your life, I’ve got no excuse to not face mine. Thank you for the much-needed kick in the butt.

  21. Worth taking printout. In my special school I lost two friends to SMA so to a extent I can understand the pain (and the associated sense of resolve and pride) you and you’re family must have gone through, especially your mother. Do convey my respect to her.

  22. Thank you Thank you for your story. Got this from Chris Johnson and so glad I did. As a mother of three young children and in a hard place right now, thank you for reminding me to fight.
    What an inspiration. My heart is in my mouth, in a good way.
    Gratefully,
    Emily

  23. Thank you for putting my life into perspective for a moment, and for (probably unknowingly) reassuring me of something I’ve been thinking lately: that frankly, there are much more important things in the world. I thought so, and I needed someone to reassure me that I was right.

    And, for the (definitely knowingly) kick in the ass I needed to remind me of what I always wanted to be here for – getting ideas across to the people who needed them.

  24. John, Like many others in here, your story brought a tear to my eyes.

    This should be one for the “history books” as one of the greatest blog post written as well as one of the greatest inspirational stories of our time.

    God bless your Mother for fighting for her belief and god bless you for showing the world that her faith did not go unwarranted.

  25. “10 hours on a post.” Thank you for this.

    I can crank really good blog posts in 30 minutes or less.

    Writing *truly great* blog posts requires much, much more time. It really does.

    ps: Big fan of Sean Stephenson here as well.

  26. awesome … and thank you

  27. Jon,

    Fabulous post…of the stickiest kind. It oozes the kind of inspirational emotion to change people’s action and get them to fight on. A great way to start the new year!

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. Absolutely wonderful. You’ve inspired me more than I can say. Thank you so much, and Merry Christmas, and God bless you, Jonathan.

  29. John this is really a lovely story, its really great to hear that you being about to die have become such a successful entrepreneur. This is a highly inspirational story for everyone, it is such stories that really inspire me not to loose hope. Your mother is another great person, who always believed in you and never lost hope, I think she’d be the happiest women seeing you in such a high post.

  30. Very powerful story, Jon. Thanks for sharing this.

  31. Great post Jon. And one I read all the way through open-mouted. A beautiful post which will inspire many of us as we head into 2010.

  32. As someone who was born 3 months too early, mostly blind in one eye and living with breathing problems, I, too was given less than a day to live – yet here I am almost 30 years later. I hung on to every word of your story and felt your triumphs (and your mom’s triumphs) as well as your tears.

    Thank you for reminding me that we all have a purpose and to keep hanging on when other people have let go. There’s no magic pill that can give anyone more fighting spirit. Kudos to you (and your mom) for showing all of us that we can be so much more.

  33. Thank you for this. What a call to forget excuses and fight for what we believe!

  34. I will remember this post for a long long time…truly inspiring!

  35. We all know, when we’re struggling that ‘somewhere out there’ someone has a harder struggle than us.

    That’s far too vague to do us any good. Well, it *was*, until you un-vagued it, Jon. Thank you. And thank your Mom from the entire internet; all of it. That’s, like, what, a billion people? Yeah, let her know a billion people are better off because she couldn’t conceive of failure.

    I have important things to do today; far too important to let how I feel (or don’t feel) stop me.

  36. This is indeed a very inspiring read. While we all carry our own tribulations it’s within this spirit of social relation that we come to realize the strength we have and how unstoppable the human will is. Thank you.

  37. What an incredible story. What incredible writing. You rock! This post blew me away on several different levels. Thank you!

  38. That was the most inspiring and amazing story Jon! I can’t tell you enough how much, what you wrote means to me.

    Godspeed Jon

  39. Jon, you and your mother take the idea of living what you believe to the place where it belongs. Thank you.

  40. Jon, I hope you’ll pass along to your mom how much we think she rocks, and how glad we are she kept fighting for you. I’m very glad we’ve got you around. :)

  41. What an amazingly powerful post. If you can fight for your dreams and ideas after all that you’ve gone through what excuse do we have. This is an amazing post. I’m so thrilled that I came across it.

  42. Wow. Just, wow. Thank you for this post, your words are so inspiring. This is a perspective I haven’t considered. We were told my son would end up in an institution because of his severe epilepsy but I fought it HARD and he’s 5 yrs seizure-free today. I am sure your mother us proud beyond measure, and loves you more than you could ever know.

    Steph

  43. Not only is this a wonderfully inspirational story, it is so, SO well written. You hooked me from the first line. Not only can we learn from your admonition to keep going and not say “can’t,” but also on how to write the TRULY GREAT blog post. The ten hour one.
    Happy New Year!

  44. Wow. I am just speechless and amazed. What an inspiration! I hope I am half the mom yours is.

    Pure curiosity, but do you still get pneumonia? Do they have a way to help you better now than when you were a baby, so your mom still doesn’t have to pound your chest? I hope so! I’m not trying to be funny, just curious, actually because someone I know just had pneumonia two weeks ago. She’s doing well now.

    Thank you for this post! Great timing with the holidays, so we all can be thankful.

  45. You rock, Jon!

  46. @Lucy Thorpe, I think you should still write your post! Things can hold us back at any level, and your post will help folks keep moving. And I’m coming to believe that keeping people moving is one of the most important things we can do.

  47. That was just the kick I needed. Thank you!

  48. Simply outstanding. Inspired me to publish my long pending articles. :)

  49. Excellent. I’m so glad your site was linked on facebook so I could find you. I’ll be back. You have an amazing and inspirational story. Thank you for sharing.

  50. Jon, this is simply beautiful! Your story is a gift to all. Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad I found this post. :)

  51. This is quite possibly the most influential and amazing blog post I’ve ever read. Absolutely incredible and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story.

  52. Jon, you’ve offered a study in courage and a lesson in fearlessness. Brilliant.

  53. From Cork Ireland I greet you and all your friends. I’m sure you know by now how inspiring you are, how your precise words, flowing with empathy and edge, cut through to the heart.

    Congratulations to your parents who gave you a model of how to care for others and yourself.

  54. @Nicole: Nope, I haven’t had it in 11 years now, thank God. Part of it is that I learned how to take care of my immune system. The other part is the wonderful new drugs that are out now. Properly treated, no one has to die of pneumonia anymore.

  55. Bravo to you Jon, your mother and family. And bravo to the doctors and nurses who didn’t give up on you either!

    Jan

  56. Maria Pulsoni-Cicio :

    You and your mom are my new hero’s!!! I am tweeting, FB posting and emailing your post to every contact I have! Thank you for sharing this amazing story. You are an inspiration!

  57. David I. Rachlin :

    Thank you, Jon.

    Your mother, your life, your attitude and your post are all magnificent and inspiring to me and soon to countless others. Yours is the final, swift kick in the rear that I need to stop licking my wounds from 2 ill-fated ventures, and get back in the saddle. With your great guidance, I know how to make my 3rd one The Charm. Your example of 10 hours to achieve great writing is a huge load off my mind. Before reading that, I feared I was the only one with that addiction and affliction!

    All my best wishes to you and yours for a great New Year in 2010 and many, many more. Warm regards, David

  58. This might be the best blog article I have ever read. Ever. A true inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  59. Definitely an inspirational story. But beyond that, I love the writing. The lead absolutely demands that you read it, and then there are sentences like this: “You have to attack with the madness of a mother whose child is surrounded by an army of predators.” Great stuff.

  60. Wow. What a post.

    Unlike many others, I don’t think ‘inspiring’ or ‘wonderful’ properly describes your story. Those words make me think of fluffy fairy tales with golden heroes and happy endings.

    This post was great for me because it hinted at the toughness, the down and dirty reality that we must face to succeed. “my mom . . . turned every board member’s life into a living hell for two years.” Let’s drop the fairy tale mush and get to work. It’s messy, it’s tough, AND it’s worth it. Bravo.

  61. Jon – Your story is inspiring as is your mother. Your mother reminds me of my wife and how she has fought for our son over the last 25 years. Thank you!!!

  62. All I can say is WOW! We ALL owe it to your mother to be great!

  63. Got it. Thanks.

  64. @Ami, I think that’s a great point. To quote the Coen brothers, “It ain’t Ozzie and Harriet.”

  65. Be still my mama heart. Thank you, Jon, for reminding me what I’m doing here in this world, as a mother and as a writer.

  66. Thank you for the inspiration, Jon.

    Doctors told my mother my brother’s legs were going to stay crooked unless they could break them and reset them in place.

    My mother refused that diagnosis. Instead, she massaged his legs every day until they were set in place correctly.

    Today my brother is an army vet who loves playing football.

    Ideas take a lot of work to succeed. So make sure you’ve chosen big enough ideas to warrant all of that energy.

  67. Thanks for the swift kick in the behind, Jon. Needed some inspiration right now, and this fits the bill nicely.

  68. Bravo.

    Dear God Almighty, bravo!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  69. Wow! I’ve only ever previously read the occassional blog post and those normally by people that I know.

    Today is the first time in my 52 years that I have looked on the internet to find blogs to read. My aim being to move closer to maybe starting to write a blog myself. And the first blog post that I read is this post of your’s, Jon! I count myself very fortunate to have come across it.

    Your mother comes across as an exceptionally strong woman and you come across as an exceptionally strong man – well done Jon, and thank you for giving of yourself.

    I am sure that I will return to this post of your’s. This time I am focussing on the para “You can’t just write them down … It’s about breathing life into something and then working to make sure that life becomes something beautiful.”

    Very Many Thanks

  70. This was more than a post Jon, this was a gift to everyone on the web. You have reminded the world that the words they put on the page should be worth the read. Thank you!

  71. All I can say is, damn! Wow.

  72. Inspirational story. I admire you and your parents.

    I like the angle you’ve taken in how one can view their writing and how it relates to their blog. Certainly something to think about.

    I interpret this post as: If you can kick ass… Then kick ass. Stop the crying. Stop the excuses. Do what you got to do.

  73. What an amazing story you have, John! Thanks so much for taking the time to share it.

  74. Jon,

    Our story is much like yours. Our daughter, Carrie, was born with a disease called Methyl Melonic Aciduria. She was just starting to walk when she exhibited the first symptoms and went into a coma. She almost died 8 times in 2 years. She became a quadriplegic and could just move her eyes and her left hand. Her cognitive skills were great, but her motor skills were shot. The doctors told us she wouldn’t live to see 6th grade.

    We cried a lot. Then we pulled up our socks and waded into the life of raising a disabled daughter, along with her healthy active brother and sister. We got her an electric wheel chair when she was seven, that she could control with a joystick. That was the start of a wild ride for all of us. 8th grade graduation was a huge party. She lettered in HS, as the stat manager for all the teams. She coerced a friend into doing the writing, while she checked everything over after games. She was graduated co-valdictorian. She went on to college. It took her 12 years, but she received her Masters degree in December of 2006. We lost her at age 34 in February of 2007.

    From the beginning, we told her that she could achieve great things and she did! The whole family helped her brainstorm on how to get around physical limitations. She was such a fighter. Through her spirit, she challenged us to pick up our own game and reach higher. Our lives were enriched by her laughter and courage. I miss her everyday. When I’m down and discouraged, I think of Carrie and how she would react. I decide to smile and get my butt moving. Like the old saying goes: ” I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw the man that had no feet”. My problems are very small compared to the challenges that face others.

    Thanks for the memory. I will treasure your article. You put our Carrie’s life into words

  75. WOW. DOUBLE WOW. THANK YOU.

  76. Wow! Can you say wake-up-call? Thank you Jon and I bow to your Mom as the Mother of All Mothers.

  77. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It touched me deeply :)

  78. Thanks for sharing the story Jon. I should commend you on your efforts and even the writing style. I was able to visualize while readin…. And yes its true, u can get anything all you have to do for living is to die for it….
    God bless.

  79. Wow Jon! That was powerful and inspirational. Good on you and your mom for your achievements and for giving us all a fresh perspective on bootstrapping from the very core.

    All the Best,
    Amanda

  80. Very touching, Jon. I am so inspired reading your story. You and your mom are awesome. God bless you and your loved ones.

  81. Jon – How inspirational and timing is every thing. The post gives every one hope for the next year. To over come all that and to stay so positive is inspiring to me. Thanks to you and the other comments for this bit of inspiration and hope

  82. Congratulations on all you have achieved against the odds….
    and your mother is one hell of a woman.

  83. Thank you for sharing your story. It makes me want to cheer for you and for your Mom!

  84. Susan E Snyder, MD, PhD :

    Bravo Jonathan! And ditto to your parents.

    I found myself checking your location and photo on twitter to see if you were the same kid whose care I was briefly involved in years ago with a similar story I’ll never forget, even though his name escapes me at the moment. You’re not. But I’m glad to see there’s more than one charming, bright, high-achieving fighter like you out there setting examples for those who think they can’t and need hope and motivation.

    I’ve had many patients, patients’ parents, patients’ schools, and colleagues who would benefit greatly from hearing your story. Frankly, I think most people would. I will save it and prescribe it as needed. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world.

  85. Wow — That was intense. Much more than I expected to find when I sauntered over this morning.

    My young brother is also alive today only because of the love and determination of his friends and family (and modern medical science, of course). It is a most powerful and moving thing to experience, knowing someone you love is on the edge of death and just by not giving up you actually do have the power to save a life.

    Well written and poignant, thank you Jonathan for that post!

  86. Thank you for writing this. It is beautiful and inspiring and everything a blogger and human being should ever strive to be in life. I commend you for your opennness and strength and hope that your readers appreciate what you have given them.

    Sincerely,
    Lauren

  87. Great storytelling, Jon. Great content that’s deep and penetrating to the soul, inspirational and useful. Thanks for starting our day with such meaningful perspective.

  88. “you are the rocket fuel”
    This phrase and – oh – EVERY other one in your post – resonated deeply in my heart. Thanks! for all of it: the inspiration, sharing your story, the kick in the rump, the aim higher/aim straight talk – ALL of it!

  89. A really inspirational story Jon. I lost my mother this year very sudden and unexpected.. and I did not get the chance to say ‘Thank You’.. but I decided I will lift up my own spirit and encourage myself to go for my dreams.. In my moms spirit I will do whatever I can to be a better person, and like you not let adversity stop me..

    You take care.. Happy Holidays to you..

    Cheers.. Are

  90. I am almost speechless Jon, this is one of the most powerful, inspiring, heart touching articles I have ever read. I solute your courage, and the mother who taught you all these incredible lessons. I really appreciate that you chose to honor mother, not just with your words, but with your whole attitude toward life. My sincere thanks to you for sharing your story, I am deeply moved and inspired.

  91. This really got me. Man oh man.

    I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at 12. I’m now 21. Everyone (unfortunately, most of my family included) expected me to go home and spend the rest of my life in bed, maybe getting up to do some basic household chores, like ironing.

    Not start my own business. Not become an artist. Not try to inspire other people to live a life that makes them happy.

    Tell your mother she’s a damn fine woman, especially for never expecting you to live like a corpse. I think I’d have less trouble following my dreams if my parents could have done the same.

    Thanks for reminding me today why I keep going, even when things hurt like hell.

  92. Jon, that’s one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever read. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’ll be sure to forward to my friends and family. Please keep writing, the world needs your strong voice, we just don’t always know it.

  93. Wow, that was one of the best stories I have ever read. I honestly still have chills all over my body. Very heart touching Jon.

    Thanks for that…Thanks for opening my eyes to looking at my life and how grateful I should be, because so many times I take it for granted.

  94. Wow. Hands down one of the best Copyblogger articles ever. Jon you are a stud and your mom is truly amazing.

  95. Beautiful and inspiring post, Jon.
    Thank you.

  96. Just adding my name to the long list of fans of this post. Absolutely fantastic. Like a kick in the backside from someone who knows where to aim.

  97. Thank you Jon.

    ‘Inspirational’ is an understatement.

  98. Jon,

    This is likely the single most beautiful thing I have ever read. And I’ve read A LOT. I help people to write their books and never, ever have I come across anything like this. I have no idea how widely read your blog is, but I genuinely hope you gain a vast audience, online and in print, because you are here to inspire BIG! The tears are drying on my face and I’m still holding my breath with a stunned sense of awe.

    Well done, Jon. Well holy-cow-I-feel-like-I-just-walked-through-a-hurricane DONE!

    Cheryl

  99. @Steve, thanks so much for sharing Carrie’s story with us.

  100. Where else but copyblogger would such a moving story belong? Exceptional example of how to use what you’ve lived to make an important point.

    I hope you’ll take this message to heart and convey it to your Mother for me. What she did for you is NOT what most Mothers would do. Very few would have done what she did and she deserves to know how amazing she truly is.

    Most parents do whatever society tells them to do and believe whatever others tell them about their children. Bravo to your Mom for refusing to let anyone decide what only God controls.

    And bravo to you for living your life following the example your Mother set. You are both role models for us all.

  101. Oh my god. What an amazing story Jon. I’ve been following you for a while and knew that you had a bad disease, but I didn’t know that it was THAT severe.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it must have been hard. It makes us appreciate ourselves and our lives a lot more, especially since you are so smart and powerful.

    Keep fighting.

  102. OMG, Jon, what a wonderful Christmas season gift you’ve given all of us–a beautiful example of clear, compelling personal truth. I clicked on your name under this title and looked at some of your other posts. I am that English teacher you wrote about, only nowadays I spend my time looking for excellent writing online. Stop. Found it. You are a rock star in my grade book! This post is profoundly touching. Thank you. Peace and joy!

  103. Jon,
    It brought tears to my eyes, but good tears. My parents, too, fought for and with me as I battled a congenital defect in my leg, experienced numerous surgical procedures that ended with amputation in my teens, and a happy, productive life as an adult. Then the tables were turned and I had the privilege of being the strong Mom. After I married, I gave birth to a little boy who had a serious heart condition. We almost lost him, but we, too, fought for him. Two open-heart procedures and 15 years later, he is strong and healthy. So bless your Mom and all the parents who support and fight for their children. And bless the children who learn such great lessons from their loving parents. We can only hope to honor their devotion and follow in their footsteps.

  104. You just kicked my butt into gear but good. Thanks to you and your mom. I don’t even know you but I love you both. Thanks!

  105. FABULOUS!!!!

  106. Great Post! Thank you fro sharing your inspirational journey. Keep doing great work.

  107. Jon

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said.

    Truly inspiring.

    We all need a dose of someone else’s reality and well-earned victories to kick our own self-focused butts out of self-indulgence and into action.

    Thank you.

  108. I started read your post while standing in a department store customer service line. By the time I reached the head of the line I was practically blubbering and could barely exchange my item…

    What a remarkable story–and a remarkable mother to love so fiercely and inspire such fierce love.

    Thank you for spending ten hours creating this beautifully written piece that delivers an important message to each of us.

  109. ~~~All I can say is one word:

    POWERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  110. What a wonderful post! Mothers are amazing, they way they don’t give up for their kids … and bless you for being the kind of son who won’t, in turn, let her down, no matter what.

  111. Thank you, thank you!! for sharing this amazing and heart warming story. What a wonderful and loving mother you are blessed with.
    What a wonderful and inspiring son she is blessed with.

  112. An amazing story. Glad you wrote it.
    An inspiration for those who fight SMA as well.
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/182/petition-to-cure-SMA

  113. “Writing isn’t about putting words on the page, any more than being a parent is about the act of conception. It’s about breathing life into something and then working to make sure that life becomes something beautiful.” — it doesn’t get any more impressive than that. You are an inspiration– and you’ve instantly made me a fan.

  114. I just posted a link to your post here:

    http://www.copyoracle.com/blog/nowthatiscopywriting

    I don’t think I will ever hear someone say “I can’t” in the future without thinking about this post.

  115. Thank you Jon. I popped over here to Copyblogger for some inspirtation and a reminder of good writing, and I got more than expected. Your story is remarkable and very inspiring. Definitely a keeper. Thanks! I’ll be passing it around.

  116. WOW. After reading this, I will not whine again about any trivial junk again. What an inspiring post for me, not only as an artist, but as a person.

  117. This is the best post I’ve read in a very long time; certainly the best every in regards to writing on the web. It reflects my feelings to the tee. I started my own blog in July of this this year. It is probably one of the most unfocused blogs on the web as far as content but it is a reflection of me. I’ve often gone back to re-write, update and re-post things and have others tell me this is a waste of time. I’ve had so-called journalists tell me that what I write is nonsense and doesn’t follow AP standards so it’s not “real” writing. I very quickly came to the conclusion that being “just a blogger” and not a “real writer” is okay by me. I may not be eloquent but I write with honesty. I write to share… and most of all to have people share back and interact with me. I have browsed through “next blog” on Blogger and have seen many blogs that have been published far longer than mind but don’t seem to have any “movement” going on at all. I am appreciative of all those who take the time to read what I have to say and having people respond is the best thing ever. Of course, I do work to get them to see me but also know I have to work to keep them coming, keep them interested. Otherwise, I’d just be talking to myself. Thanks for the great post.

  118. Jon. Great post. Thank you so much not just for your story but for the important, inspiring lessons you find in it for the rest of us with our own struggles and our own contribution to make. I will be sharing your excellent message with others. Let me wish you in the meantime continued health and continued success. With thanks.

  119. Great post Jon, thank you for sharing your story.

  120. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel rejuvenated in my mothering and in my writing. I loved the change of viewpoint after the introduction. It was powerful.

  121. Mary E. Ulrich :

    “If you’re a mother, none of these things surprise you. Some mothers are weak, sure, but the vast majority fight for their children, especially when those children are defenseless. It’s not because they’re trying to be heroes. It’s because that’s their job.”

    Thanks Jon I needed the inspiration and encouragement. Right now I’m fighting with my son’s caregiver and his day hab provider. Then there is the fact that “someone” decided the kitchen cabinets were for meds and needed locks–and there is no room for the dishes!!! Did I mention the staff doesn’t want to have to bend over to turn on the Christmas tree????? Geesh.

    You are absolutely right, we have no choice–we have to keep fighting because it is our job, no one else will do it, and our child’s life hangs in the balance.

    Please accept a virtual hug for yourself and your family.

    I passed your post on to Dr. Colleen Wieck, director of the Parallel in Time project, http://www.mnddc.org/parallels/index.html
    You are the next generation of paradigm pioneers. They also have a program called Partners in Policymaking. http://www.partnersinpolicymaking.com/
    It is an international organization to help parents and self-advocates like Jon and his mom. If you know someone who wants to become a more effective “warrior” this is a terrific program and resource for parents and self-advocates.

    Jon, If every person who reads this post shows a little tolerance and acceptance to others who are different than they are, you will already have impacted many lives.

  122. Thanks for this great and inspiring post Jon. All the best to you and your mom this holiday season. Both of you have reasons to be very proud of each other.

  123. It is an amazing story. She is amazing, my sister Pat. And you, Jon, are worth it all!!! Hearing your perspective on these experiences is very powerful. You truly inspire me! I love you!!!

    Aunt Rachel

  124. What an amazing story and such an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. This definitely reminds me of what is truly important in life.

  125. You just totally rocked my world by telling me exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks.

  126. I came across your post as an example of good design in an article on effective blogging, and I followed the link for that reason. (http://writerunboxed.com/2009/12/18/5-things-that-make-me-stop-reading-websites-blogs/) At first, I was looking at the design elements, and then I read your post and realized that you have the same disease that my one-year old niece is battling and that our family has been living since she was diagnosed 7 months ago. The synchronicity is overwhelming to me. I thank you for sharing your story and for reminding me that my mission has become living my life more fully in honor and in love for my niece. Thank you – it was a reminder that I needed.

  127. As the mother of a Special Needs Angel I understand your mother. Now I understand my son a bit better.

    Thank you.

  128. WOW, Jon. Anything I can think of to say here doesn’t come close to expressing how powerfully your post affected me. (Thanks for making me cry openly in front of a room full of onlookers, by the way!) This affected me both in terms of the “never give up” mindset that I’ve had to drag myself back into numerous times in recent years, as well as my current quest to finally become a mother myself as I begin the long process of adoption.

    I don’t think you realize how widely the impact of this one post will be felt, and what you are going to end up doing for untold numbers of people. I own a martial art school, and I am going to hold it up to my students as a portrayal of the line in our student creed (which they recite in every class) that reads “I Work Hard and I Never Give Up”; I’m going to use it in our weekly discussions of how perseverance and the will to keep fighting for what you want actually works in real life — not just in recited creeds and rhetoric; and if I can get your permission, I’ll be putting it our monthly school newsletter and in the monthly newsletter that I send out to our community – again as a way of illustrating this principle more vividly than I ever could.

    And I know many other people will be spreading this among their spheres of influence as well.

    You hit it out of the park with this one, Jon.

  129. Welcome to Copyblogger, Aunt Rachel. :)

  130. I call this as fight for own luck. Luck do not come if we only wait, we must fight for it.

    Great inspiring article. Thanks.

  131. The acorn hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Way to go. Both of you.

  132. What a Mom! What a Man! What an Inspirational Life! Jon, this a Home Run amidst a wildly cheering crowd happy for you, ecstatic to win with you and really glad to be in the game on your side :) also wishing we could all be you too. This blog will travel far and wide to deeply touch so many lives! Thank you & a blessed Christmas to you, Mom and the rest of your indomitable support community.

  133. This is an amazing story, Jon. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. Kudos to your mom for being so persistent. “Do not ever give up” should be a motto for us all. Happy Holidays!

  134. Very powerful and inspiring post Jon. Indeed, sometimes in order to be heard, one must really speak up his mind with persistence as the great moving virtue.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  135. I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been posted, but I have to say something at least! That was the most inspirational blog post I’ve ever read in my entire life. Thanks for sharing this. This makes us all want to do something amazing someday.

  136. You’ve got some good genes in you there. Thanks for writing this story and sharing it with us. It really is inspirational. 27. So young and so much achieved. I wonder what the next 27 hold for you:)

  137. Jon,

    Amazing story, excellently written blog post.

    I love how you used “If” to begin three sentences in a row, and then later, used “That” to begin three sentences in a row.

    Elegant repetition that forcefully makes your point.

  138. Wow, I needed this story this morning. Sometimes one tend to forget to be thankful for what you have. Jon you are a true inspiration for everyone.

  139. Your post really moved me and really puts life and bloggng in perspective.
    My mother died a 1 1/2 years ago from ALS. THe doctors orignally gave her a few months to live, she suffered through it for 3 terrble years. At first she lost her mobilty, then the ability to swallow, then she couldn’t eat or talk and soon she was totally unable to communicate. Her frustraston was agonizing to see. My mother always wanted to be an author and attempted unsuccessfully to publish her work. I started my blog, taitegallery.com, four months ago and in many ways her struggle and belief in me are what motivates me to keep going, wrtng a new piece every day, hoping that somewhere up there she is able to read it and smile. The hardest part of blogging is the feeling that you are writing to a nonexistent audience.
    Thanks again for such a motivatng blog. It’s the sort of essay that helps keep the rest of us going

  140. Thank you, Jon, for sharing your story and lifting our spirits. You and your devoted mother have inspired me to find the strength to demand more of myself and my child. You are a living testament to the power of love, and I wish you and your family all the best for the New Year.

  141. Thanks for such a moving and inspiring article. I’m glad I discovered your blog. We all need to keep the faith and fight for our ideas. I’m glad your mother fought for you. You write beautifully… I hear your voice… Fay

  142. Jodie M. Cordell :

    Wow! I’m just speechless…I just signed up on Copyblogger yesterday and I’m just starting out in my career…mostly because I was too afraid to jump in before now…and I get this post in my email today. What a way to kick start the New Year and my budding writing career! You truly are an inspiration and I will look to you and your amazing mother as I venture forth. As a mother myself about to do battle with doctors, teachers, other parents over ADHD and the proper treatments, I know that I will fight for my young son so that he gets everything he needs and deserves…but to think that way about my writing…well, that’s just brilliant! And technically speaking, writing was my first child….it’s always been a part of me. So, thank you so very much for the reminder of just how much my work, my passion really mean to me. I hope that you and your mom have the most wonderful of holidays.

    ~Jodie

  143. Now I understand the difference between the great bloggers and normal ones.

  144. What an inspiration you are! Thank you for sharing your story.

    “Can’t” is not a word in the vocabulary of successful people.

  145. This is a rare article that achieved to inspire me. Bravo Jon!

  146. Inspiring blog. I can identify with a couple of the stories. At age seven months, my daughter Tiffany nearly died. As she lay hooked up to various drips and drains in the intensive care unit to consultant cataloged a number of deformities; one being a life-threatening cardiac malfunction. After our consultation with the cardiologist, we learned that she wouldn’t live past age 15.

    Knowing that this was a great possibility since her lungs has also been damaged, I vowed to give her the best life possible.

    But Tiffany’s life was extended by six years! I recall the morning she was taken by ambulance to the hospital. After all the connections and monitoring, I was called into ‘the little room’ and given the prognosis….”Tiffany has a very, very, very, bad lung infection. And coupled with her heart problem, it is unlikely that she will ever be able to breathe on her own again.” After my recovery, I instructed the doctor not to resuscitate her. Tiffany died five days later.

    I’ve since written a book portraying my daughter’s life. People say it was a short life, but to me, it was a happy and eventful life. Who is to determine how long a person’s life should be. What matters is the wisdom gained from being a part of that person’s life and how one uses it.

    Please visit http://www.raisingtiffany.com

    Deborah Trenchard – UK

  147. Jon,

    Thanks. I’ve always been a fighter (whew, have I), but from the minute I became a mother, almost 11 years ago, I knew exactly what my strength was given to me for. Peace and joy to your mother at this holiday season. I’m glad she fought for you.

    That means asking for links without any shame or reservation, not because you lack humility, but because you know down to the depths of your soul that what you’ve done is good.

    Goes for more than links in my world! If we want to help others with that good work we do, we’ve got to get out there and shine.

    Regards,

    Kelly

  148. Beautiful story beautifully written. You had me hooked to every word.

    You’ve inspired me not only to write better but, as my wife and I are waiting for our firstborn, to decide to be the best father in the world and to never give up on our child whatever the situation may be.

    Thank you and Merry Christmas :)

  149. Cousin Jon,
    You inspire me!
    I pray God gives us the wisdom and strength to follow our dreams for His glory, because He is able.
    “God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight…” (Ecclesiastes 2:26)
    – Jim

  150. Jon, your blog took my breath away.

    Your mother’s love, strength of purpose, and determination is an example of something I wrote … “Never stand in the way of a woman with momentum” … and your mother is a personification of the power of that momentum.

    And, you, with your capacity and well-spring of belief that you CAN to do all that you want to achieve, with the ability to express it with such elegance and grace, is truly inspiring for any person, whether they are writers or not.

    Thank you, Jon, and thank you, Jon’s mother, for being who you are, and who, through your actions and beliefs, prove that all things are possible!!

  151. This is one of the very best things I’ve read in a long, long time.

    Thank you, Jon! Fight on!

  152. Beautiful piece Jon. Once again the proof that the only true power in the universe is love. Heart trumps mind.

    Dean

  153. Thank you for your courage and inspiration. As the mother of a profoundly handicapped child and a suffocating writer I found your story moving and encouraging. The doctor’s said that my son, who is now ten, wouldn’t make it past three. He is learning to read, about the solar system and under water creatures. He can do arithmetic. And although he cannot speak in the way most of us consider language, he is expressive. He challenges those of us whose lives he has touched to find a deeper and more basic, yet profound means of communication. He has taught me about living in the moment, acceptance and the utter chaos that we call life. These lessons inform everything thing I do, every relationship I have, whether personal or professional.

  154. I really love this article. It really inspired and motivate me to keep on fighting to achieve my goals. There a lot of consideration to think about if we have an idea to do something. So what? Whatever it is, you will face on rejection and so on.

    By reading this article, it makes me realize that we need to fight for anything that we want in our life. No matter what it takes, only me myself make a decision. It might sound selfish, but think again. Do you want someone to decide who you are? Or you yourself will decide it?

    I thank you again for publishing this post.

  155. I don’t know you, but I have so much love in my heart for you — and for your mom. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Merry Christmas!

  156. What an inspiration you and your mother are! At the ripe old age of 49 I started my blog and found Copyblogger. I have been a fan for awhile now. The information I find on Copyblogger has improved my writing, and sparked the desire to start a new path at almost 50 years old. I’ve returned to school to get a certification in a field of study I’m very interested in, and use my blog writing to reinforce what I learn. Thank you!

  157. I don’t have the words to express what this post means to me. Its power is immeasurable. All I can say is “Amen.”

    Merry Christmas, Jon!

  158. Thank you for the superb and very inspirational post!

  159. A very inspiring story. But also hurtful to those moms who’s children did not survive SMA. And not because they didn’t fight for them, or care for them, or love them.

    My sister is one of them. And I can never forget her darling Rebekah.

  160. Not only was this post important and great, and for all the reasons the 161 comments before this one have stated, but because it leads by example. More than most, it reaches out and touches, yet it teaches. It uses an intimate peek into another life to get it done. Thanks for sharing this Jon, you’ve moved a few thousand writers into action today. And one of those actions might be an extra hug for mom, or just as valuable, an extra moment with our children. And our blogs.

  161. Wow, this is really a moving post Jon.

    My step brother has MS and is in hospital at the moment. We aren’t really close but I see the impact that these diseases can have on families. He is about 28 years old and he’ll be lucky if he makes it to 30.

    My step dad has been fighting at every step to get help for him because much of the medical profession in England assume that not much can be done for him. It’s amazing what your mother did for you. Many people don’t have the strength.

    I’m trying to create my blog in an industry where i’m not sure if it will work, but this post has made me realise that I haven’t even begun.

    Thanks.

  162. Jon, I don’t have anything to add to what others have said. I just wanted to join in the chorus of saying … thank you for posting this, thank you for making me ashamed of the times when I’ve had some feeble little excuse, and thank you for not only the inspiring words here but for all your posts on Copyblogger.

  163. Noreen, perhaps “hurtful” was not the word you really wanted to use there. A painful reminder, certainly, but hurtful implies that Jon is unsympathetic to those who have succumbed to SMA. His relentless fundraising activities to find a cure suggests otherwise.

    Just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page. :)

  164. God gives mother care.

  165. It’s amazing what text can do.

    But it’s not just the text, it’s the whole story behind what made that text appear.

    Your whole life took many years and incredible struggles that none of us had any idea about while they were happening, but in one brief moment, thousands (and probably millions) of people experienced your whole life with you and will change their life for good because you were able to package up 27 years into an incredible arrangement of text.

    Thanks for the gift that has been years in the making.

  166. Hi John,

    Thank you for this inspirational and moving post. This isn’t the first time you have inspired me Jon. Your mum is an amazing person and her positive energy and love for you and life lives on through you and the people you both inspire.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  167. Wow Jon. Just wow. I had goosebumps from start to finish. What a wonderful, wonderful expression of so many important things. Words will only cheapen how this made me feel, so I’ll just say thank you. And wow. Freaking wow.

  168. Wow Jon, very inspirational story you have. Thanks for sharing!

  169. Hi Jon,
    This was inspirational and appreciated, especially at this time of the year. I’m a PI and don’t believe in the word “can’t” either. I born and bred here in NC and thought I was a pretty tough guy, but I’m not near as tough as you or your mom! Congratulations on continuing the fight. My feeling is that the best thing anyone can ever say about us when we finally do die is, “Man, that guy REALLY lived!” I’m proud to be from the same state as you. If we can ever help you with anything up here in Greensboro, let me know.
    Merry Christmas, Jon, and may God continue to bless us in 2010!
    Best,
    Greg

  170. “Burn it up, baby.”

    Just as limitations bring out the best of creativity, adversity brings out the best of human spirit. I love this post. Thanks for the inspiration and insight.

  171. This BusinessWeek article on Idea Parenting is worth reading:

    http://www.maddockdouglas.com/idea-parenting-video

  172. Thanks for the post Jon.
    Too often in day to day living one looses perspective in a real world sense. Its great to be enlightened by a post like this.
    And yes it really is amazing what pure words on a computer screen can do. Thanks again for such an uplifting story.

  173. Great story Jon. Very inspiring.

    Thanks for giving me a great Xmas present…a little more FUEL!!!

    Happy Holidays!

    Best,
    Dennis

  174. Jonathan I am so proud of the man of faith and perservance you have become you are a testimony as is your Mom of faith, hope and love!

    Lovingly,
    Jana

  175. Thanks Jon,
    You know, I was looking in the mirror yesterday. My eyes looked haggard from too much late night writing and designing. After having 5 kids and mothering for 15 years so far, I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?”

    The answer came swiftly and softly, “You’re feeding something inside of you that hasn’t eaten in awhile.”

    Thanks for writing from your heart – it’s rare find and an inspiration.
    Blessings this Christmas season.
    Debra

  176. Incredible. Powerful. Beautiful. And very inspiring. Point well taken. THANK YOU for making my day by this story. THANK YOU!

  177. So inspirational and true.
    Where would we be without our mothers?

  178. Thank you, Jon. I sit here in tears and truly I think this is the most powerful post I’ve ever read. I will share this with everyone I know. As a mother of a non-verbal child with autism your story inspires me to always, always, ALWAYS believe. I’m so full of gratitude for your perspective, honesty and love. Please let your mom know how much I admire her devotion to creating the reality for all of us experience your gifts. It is an honor to read your words.

  179. Jonathan, what a wonderful testimony. You are truly an inspiration to all of us, as is your Mom. I am sure that your Mom is beyond words proud of you ( as she always is).
    Have a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year!!!
    Keep on being His Miracle!!
    Love,
    Carleen

  180. What an emotional reaction, your writing is touching people, with honesty and sincerity, and casual candour.

  181. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so touched, inspired, moved by this. Bravo to your mother, to you, and the strength and determination to succeed on ALL FRONTS.

  182. Jonathan,
    I sincerely mean it when I say that this is the most inspiring blog post I have ever read. Thank you so much for sharing your story and that it sometimes takes you many hours to write something. I MUST keep pushing forward with my photography and blogging in 2010!

  183. This is easily the most beautiful, inspiring and humbling post I’ve ever read.

    Thank you for sharing and firing me up for my babies – both kinds.

    Happy holidays and I wish you happiness and fulfillment beyond your wildest dreams.

  184. This was an amazing post. Your mother (and you) are both inspiring people.

  185. “You have to attack with the madness of a mother whose child is surrounded by an army of predators.”

    A single sentence… Just a single one, and it packs vivid images more explosive than megatons of TNT. Truly awesome, Jon. I am filled with positive emotion. Thank you and more power.

  186. Thank You Jon.

    10/10

    Ed

  187. Jon, I’ve read a gazillion posts and yours is the only one that brought tears to my eyes. I dare say that your post made EVERY mom proud. Dad’s, too. Your post has raised the bar HIGH for anyone that dares to call themselves a writer. Write big or go home! Your post inspired me so much that I finally went to Twitter and figured out how to tweet just so I could retweet your post. Imagine my newbie-horror when Twitter went down a minute later. I thought, crap, I broke Twitter. Then I realized that it was a sign from the writing gods that I should get my ass off Twitter and go write something. I stopped here first though to thank you, but I have to go now before the gods take out Copyblogger, too :) Thank you for the ass kicking Jon — I needed it, and judging from the comments above, so did a lot of others. Have a great one!

  188. Comment #188: Thank you.

    And happy holidays to you and all you love.
    Recently, Jim Humble’s malaria experience touched me, too. May be his remedy is worth looking into.

  189. Hi Jon,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your story. This really is something
    which is very deep and have full spirit of life.

    You mother is Great WARRIOR! So are all great mothers
    of this world. Wow you are also great example and role model to follow for everyone facing any type of adversity.
    Instead of accepting the defeat you and your mother have fought like True Warriors. I Congrate both of you for inspiring the world with your actions and attitude.

    Happy Holidays and Prosperous New Year,
    Mohsin Rasool

  190. Wow, Jon Wow. Hats off to your mom and to you. No more pity parties for me. I am printing this out and pasting it on my wall. Thanks you have done a great favor to me today.

    Happy Holidays.

  191. grit and compassion, a combination that always gets things done, have a great year end and many more to come…

  192. Very moving story Jon… It also jut goes to show the power of the internet as “the great equalizer.” The people on the other end of your words and your business don’t care about your background or your abilities… they just want their problems solved and are greatful to the person that delivers them.

  193. Jon,

    Thanks for the heartfelt story and my sincere admiration for you and your Mom.

    Also THANK YOU for motivation I so desperately need at this momement.

    The Happiest of Holidays for you and your loved ones.

  194. Major Props!! You rock it on a regular basis and give meaning to the word “parenting”

  195. This is a wonderful post. Jon has given us a great holiday present that if we take it with us, will last through-out the year.

    Although I don’t face anything like what Jon does, so many times in my life I have been told by people I can’t do what I want, I’m not smart enough, it isn’t practical, the competition will eat me alive. All in the name of trying to “protect” me from failure.

    Before you can believe in anything else in the world, you first must believe in yourself. If you weren’t lucky to have someone like Jon’s mother, than you have to buck up and create that belief for yourself.

    Jon, I hope 2010 brings you the very best!

  196. For those of us parents who seek recovery for our children (no matter what the diagnoises), and despite that we were told to “go home and learn to live with it, this is the rest of your life”, this is what our children would tell us if they could. Thank you Jonathan for writing the words I hope my non verbal, 8 year old, with Autism will say about me someday. I fight for this daily!!!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my fellow warrior parents and our wonderful children.

  197. Jon, Thank you for sharing your strength, inspiration, motivation, love… thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for encouraging me to continue to fight the good fight even when I grow weary and heavy-hearted.

    Your inspiration has lit a new fire under me. Thank you from the depths of my soul for sharing so transparently. May God continue to bless you mightily beyond anything you have ever imagined or seen. Thank you so much Jon!

    A Grateful Heart… Warmly,

    Nellie

  198. Congratulations….what a powerful story and testimony to the power of love and perseverance. May 2010 be a banner year for you and your business. Peace.

  199. What a blessed kick in the pants…
    I came across a Vimeo video a few months ago about how to do online video. It was done by you. I was so impressed. Here you are with disabilities and doing not just average work but down-right amazing work. It made me feel like I’m the one who has the disabilities.
    I applaud your writing, your insights, and your honesty. Thank you for your courage and wisdom. You have inspired me.
    I wish you a very happy holiday and all the best in 2010. Thank you.

  200. Deep gratitude Jon, allot of what you said jumped out and motivated me. I love how you word “being disabled isn’t the pain or the struggle but how the world tries to shove you into a corner and pretend that you don’t exist.” I’m making a documentary on a subject I feel most of the world would rather do the same thing with. Thank you for inspiring me! Your courage, honesty and joy for life ROCK! Looking forward to reading your posts in 2010

  201. Thanks for the inspiration, Jon.

    My 2010 will be much better as I try to live up to your standard.

    You simply rule.

  202. Hi Jon,
    Finding and reading your post on Christmas Eve is an unexpected gift, thank you!
    The Great Mystery that is Life, as you so powerfully demonstrate, offers each of us unlimited potential to courageously live the dreams our own “inner demons” may tell us are too big or impossible. The greatest teachers and way-showers are now those whom we all can look at and say, “If he did it, I can and I will!”
    May 2010 Bring You Deep Happiness & Creative Joy, Kathleen

  203. A wish for you from my heart John. Live long and prosper. You deserve to.

  204. Thank you for this powerful inspiration on Christmas Day!
    I was feeling a bit down about my writing today (again). I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months but this is the “kick in the pants” I needed.
    Best Wishes to you and your family!

  205. Thank you for sharing! Your story is such a powerful reminder of why we should keep going even when there seems to be no hope. So many things can seem too hard and giving up is so easy. But if you and your mother can push through such difficulties, it gives the rest of us hope! Merry Christmas, and thank you again for giving us your story!

  206. What a great kick-off for 2010!

    You and your Mom are inspiring. Thank you.

    Love her how to’s: — her questioning, doubting and then INGENIOUS problem-solving.

    What a great kick-off for each day: Eating problems for
    breakfast!

  207. Jon –
    Your story is truly inspirational!

    As a mom with an autistic son, I can echo many of your moms fighting desires. Thank you for the kick in the ass and thanks to your mom for proving a mothers love (and determination) is enough.

    Be blessed, and Merry Christmas!

  208. I’m on vacation and am having a tough time with some things and having trouble working on some ideas and some personal work…i was secretly looking for a spark and I am in debt of gratitude towards you for what you have to say about fighting for your own self!
    Thank you in truckloads for sharing!

  209. Wow, very powerful article…

  210. Thank you, Jon!

    In this post, you have spelled out your personal courage and drive to live a worthwhile life. You and your mother have worked for not only life but excellence and achievement.

    Yes, people judge others on first sight having no clue as to who or what inner intelligence, creativity, and passion burns within. I’m glad this never stopped you and that you jar others awake with your full alert personal presence. And I’m so glad to have found you by a link on Twitter. I’m a writer who spends hours on each page. Now one of your fans and followers in Tweetville.

  211. What a fantastic story. I spend most of my working days with injured people. Some of them amaze me with their perseverence, the way you do, while others roll over and give up. I’ve often wondered what the difference is between these types of people. Maybe the difference is having the example of a strong and determined mother. Your story is also a reminder about the importance of committed parenting. Wow.

  212. Your story is very inspiring and motivating
    thank you for sharing
    and thank to your mother for making a good example of how love can win the life fight

  213. One of the best blog posts I have ever read.

  214. My son outlived every expectation of the doctors. One doctor said that it was because of me. Now I understand.

    He was born with a ‘problem’. It became very obvious by 6 months of age. Tests were done. He was diagnosed correctly at 15 months of age. It was terminal. We had only a few years.

    Life took on a completely different persona. It changed the soul of everyone who came into contact with the family.

    I learned there was no such thing as ‘can’t’. I learned to get doors opened. I learned that inside every mother ‘cat’ lies a ‘lion’ and wow behold anyone who dares to poke that ‘lion’.
    He lived 27 YEARS.

    My life has never been the same. My soul wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I learned that there are miracles.

  215. Jonathon,

    What a great story. I have had a similar experience, but flipped 180 degrees: My Mom was rendered blind, half paralyzed and unable to speak because of an aneurysm. Her life completely changed in a single moment when I was 7 years old.

    The doctors told her she would never walk or talk again. With all of her strength, she flipped the doctor off and tried to say “fuck off!” (literally).

    Over the next 10 years, I saw her fight battle after battle. I saw people treat her like a vegetable. But she won.

    She taught me, through her own example, how to gear up for battle, how to endure.

    John

    P.S. One of my clients is a non-profit that fights SMA.

  216. Jonathan,

    I admire and envy yours kill as a writer. As I read the final section, “And so I fight”, I heard an impassioned voice inside my head. With each successive paragraph, ‘If my mother could…then I can” I heard the voice speak louder and louder, beginning to shout and ending in a crescendo of inspiration.

    Fantastic stuff.

  217. All right. After months of monkeying around, starting and stopping, my extracurricular writing is back on. Holy smokes. I’m inspired.

  218. Awesome, in the truest sense of the word. Your Spirit has triumphed over The Shell and we all benefit. Thanks for sharing your (and your mother’s) story.

    Best, M.

  219. This is great article! Thanks

  220. Jon, that’s amazing. I’ve been reflecting on your post for a couple days. Thanks for the encouragement and the kick in the pants.

  221. Fantastic story of the triumph of the human will… your mom should be the one on stages talking about persistence and never quitting.

    And, your words should be everywhere. Fantastic story!

    – Todd

  222. Wow! I am speechless, with a huge lump in my throat. You have totally inspired me. Your mother is an amazing woman, and you’re an amazing child. Thank you for sharing this.

  223. Thanks for this motivating post. I also have been in some kind of fight for a long time, and I know I have to work more and more to win it. Sometimes it is difficult to motivate yourself, what drives me is that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  224. My FAV post from you ever (and I enjoy a lot of your posts). Partially because I’m a mom and can certainly relate to the mom’s fight – we will go to the extreme for our children & you NEVER want to mess with mama lion’s cubs, we will claw your eyes out! And partially because it’s a very touching personal story….and because you’re so right that it relates to fighting for your ideas and endeavors. If we fight that hard for everything else in our life, there’s no way we can do anything BUT succeed!

  225. This was a great piece.

    For two years, I’ve followed Copy Blogger. Yet, this is the first time I’ve commented.

    Thanks for inspiring me to comment. Thanks for sharing your courage.

  226. Very deep good stuff im touched

  227. This is very inspiring. You just inspired me to fight for my ideas and put them into words, no not just words but try to breathe some life in them. Thank you for this opportunity. Really, really liked reading this. :-)

  228. What a great post – and how small it makes all my worries, hesitations and reservations now seem. It’s the perfect way to kick-start 2010.

    Well done – for this, and for everything else you’ve achieved. You’re an inspiration (as is your mother!).

    — Kevin

  229. Jon, you always have some surprises up your sleeve! Your post took my breath away, and put tears in my eyes. So many have commented on your writing, and your personal experience. You shared it in such a way, that many people have been uplifted and encouraged. It is amazing to see how many people can be reached through a well-written post, and lives changed for the better.

    My life has certainly been enriched by having you in it. You have helped me become a better person.

    It is the hope and faith in my heart that has given me the strength to fight for you! As you lay dying in a hospital bed with pneumonia at 18 months, I heard God whisper you were going to make it. You would have thought I had just won the 10 million dollar sweepstakes, I was so happy! Miracles can happen, and I have seen it come true in your life, and mine, more than once.

    I truly believe that you are just touching the surface of the impact you will have on the lives of millions. Congratulations to you and your achievements! I am excited for you as you move ahead in 2010. I’m still cheering for you!

    Love, Mom

  230. Dear, Jon’s Mom,

    ~SO many people have been moved and left breathless and inspired by Jon’s story…including me.

    I would be honored and thrilled if I could interview for my blog on Skirt. com….

    Your words will resonate deeply and passionately with all women and all mothers.

    ~~~you can reach me at siammuse@msn.com

    God’s Blessings! Joy! Peace! Happy 2010!

    Kim

  231. Thank you, too, Jonathan, for the amazing encouragement. As a single mom of a 13-year old, I can relate to your mother’s determination, courage and refusal to accept the prognosis of death. I also take greater encouragement to see how YOU have refused to let your “disability” get you down. I find myself feeing ashamed – that I, with everything I have intact, have not risen to the greatness of opportunities in my own life. You are an inspiration – thank you – and Happy New Year!

  232. Allyson Henkel :

    Hi, Jon. I met you and your mom at the FSMA conference in Chicago a few years ago. I rode in your car when we all went out for pizza. I am happy to know that you are doing well! Our son Peter (age 5 1/2) is a weak type II; he had 6 admissions with respiratory issues over 12 months. He is doing great now. I am always happy to learn about successful adults with SMA. It makes me proud. Hope to see you again soon. My best, Allyson Henkel

  233. This is a truly moving story. It speaks to everyone fighting their own battle, trying to make their little voice be heard despite all the buzz.

    Reading just this post, It earns a link to my blog. I say, Amen to this!

  234. This is amazing Jon. Really Amazing.

  235. Dear Jonathan,

    I thought about your post often after reading it and commenting earlier. I found that it moved me so much, I wrote a post about your post and how it made me feel.

    http://www.writersroundabout.com/fizzgig_sh/2010/02/living-beyond-expectations/

    Cheers Stephanie

  236. Dear Jonathan,

    I’ve had health issues and still do but nothing as serious as what you’ve been through… Your post touched me deeply and yes, did inspire me to fight even harder for what I believe in. Thank you for sharing, you’ve made a diference!

    Richard

  237. Hello Jonathan,

    You were right to push it and your mother was right to move mountains for you : you are a writer.
    You found the right words and rythm to deliver that story, and it does work more than well.

    I can only be touched by such courage and dedication. I’m sure it doesn’t seem that big of a deal to you : you had no choice but to fight to see tomorrow’s sunrise. But for someone like me who didn’t go through such a hard youth, it seems extraordinary.

    Thank you for reminding us that nothing comes easy, but that things come to place in the end if you put your heart and guts and mind and energy and rage and anger and strength and tears ans sweat.

    Keep up the good posts !

  238. I’m not inclined to sentimentality easily, but your story is genuinely inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.

  239. No words. Even if I thought about it for 10 hours, I don’t think I’d have sufficient ones.

  240. Holy shit, Jon. I know I’m late to reading this post, and I know I’m not really supposed to swear at Copyblogger, but holy shit.

  241. Thank you Jon. My son Alex just turned 7 last week and he has SMA Type I/II – it’s hard to say for sure since they keep changing the guidelines :). But you are so right, we have to fight for everything because life is worth it. Our goal is to give him the best life possible no matter what anyone tells us. You are a true inspiration. I will make sure Alex hears of your story. Your mom is a wonderful person.

  242. I’m so taken by your story…..your mother reminds me so much of my sister. My niece, Brianna, is 6 years old, and she too, has SMA. This has devastated our family. Brianna is such a joyful child, depsite her problems. She has never taken the much taken for granted steps..yet she is such an upbeat and way beyond her years child. I give all the credit to God, and my sister….who will never give up. I am so amazed at her courage. She is such a strong soul and I love her so much…I want to take away all her pain but there is nothing I can do, except pray that there will be a cure. I love Brianna and my sister so much..please..we need everybody’s prayers!!!!!

  243. Jon,
    My name is Jennifer and I am the mother of a 3.5 yo with SMA I. I was truly inspired by your article and your passion for life. I noticed you live in Charlotte. We live in Matthews and so enjoy meeting families who are on the same journey that we are. If you have any interest, my email and website are both included.
    Once again BRAVO for you mother and BRAVO for you!!!! and by the way, where did you graduate high school? Was it here in Charlotte? There is another young man, just your age, who gradutaed from Char-Meck School System and I didn’t know if you had made his aquaintance?
    Jennifer

  244. Jon,

    This is hands down one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read. I finally caught up on a few emails from Sonia Simone, and she sent me to your posts here on Copyblogger. I’m so happy she did.

    I’m the mother of a son with completely different disabilities, and have some of my own that are minor in comparison. You’ve both inspired me as a writer (who keeps getting stuck) and as his mother. I am renewing my commitment to keep him from giving up, and to get past the voices in my own head.

    Congratulations on the victories you’ve obtained so far and in the years to come.

  245. Dude,
    You rock. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I will pass this on.

  246. Riveting. You’ve overcome tremendous adversity with your mother’s incredible faith and support.

    Love your writing, and your mom too.

  247. Thanks for sharing your story, and your indomitable spirit!

  248. I read your blogs and your advise and I always find it useful but this story was ispiring too – I’m proud to share the same surname

  249. John, I’m just blown away by this one. This is by far one of the best articles on Copyblogger. I don’t have a damn thing to add, I just wanted to say thanks for bringing it to us.

  250. Jonathan- I am truly humbled and inspired by your post. Thank you for sharing this tribute to the human spirit.

  251. Jonathan,

    I’m touched, moved and inspired by your story. Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your personal life journey to success with your mom as your partner, cheerleader and advocate.

    You have given the rest of us the most powerful and heartfelt charge to writers I’ve ever read. I’m now empowered to fight for my words and my thoughts and stand up against the outer and inner demons who would deem my work anything less than beautiful. For the world is waiting to be inspired, instructed and uplifted by what I have to say.

    Thank you again.

  252. i almost decided NOT writing this, when i saw the number of comments you already had received, jon.
    i mean… i thought, everything, in every possible way, would have already been said.

    then i thought of a mother. who is talking about her child.
    she can never hear enough about the beauty and wonder of her child, especially when the child has stirred life itself inside a person.

    so, who am i to decide that you don’t need to hear how shaken AND stirred i felt, unlike Bond’s vodka martini.
    : )

    i went through such a smorgasbord of emotions and expereinces reading through the piece, it would take me another post to describe it all.

    i think, the effect of it all would suffice.

    the post left me feeling so vulnerable in my human-ness, it hurt. but it also opened me to experience an intense pride and beauty of my human-vulnerability. and lurking beneath these, in my hunan-ness, i was able to sense the rumblings of my true power.

    i can safely venture… this has been one of the best – probably amongst the top 5 – piece i have ever read: compelling content, powerfully presented, with an easy eloquence.

    thanks seems to be an utterly impoverished word just now.
    so i will just say good-bye.

  253. Wow Jon,

    As I brush the tears from my eyes, I, like many others already, simply want to say thank you.

    Thank you for sharing this intimate and personal story, thank you for your openness, and thank you for your inspiration.

    It’s quite amazing and extraordinary how a blog post can conjure up so many competing emotions at once.

    I’m fueled, and ready to go. I’ve “known you” for a while now, but this clearly connects the dots. I truly look forward to crossing paths again and again.

    Thanks, Jon.

  254. Incredible story!

    I love it when people (Mothers) fight what doctors say. Perservance, passion, and prayer are powerful tools.

    Mark

  255. This is wonderful! Not only is your writing beautiful, but the story is astounding. Thank you so much for sharing! Just what I needed on a Monday morning.

  256. What an amazing story-your spirit is effervescent! Thank you for breathing life into your dreams, and in the process honoring your Mother’s strength.
    Warm Wishes,
    Carla

  257. What an amazing and inspiring post! Wow.

    This is a strong reminder that as human beings, we all have the potential to overcome the toughest difficulties and debilitating illnesses in life – if we are prepared and committed to fight for our ideals, better circumstances and good health.

    Thank you for sharing this touching story.

  258. You do and say everything I preach at my blog about the power of story. Live it. Do it. Say it. Write it. It connects people through their hearts.

  259. Jon – What a terrific testimony this is. It’s hard to come up with any good excuses NOT to do something after reading your inspiring story. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  260. Whoa man, and we lazy bums whine and crib and take a day off when we have a head cold. This story reminds me of those legless pilots and soldiers who escaped thousands of miles through enemy territory while nursing a grievous wound/fireman lifting a wounded comrade/existing on zero supplies.

    The old saying about wills and ways seem to have been made for you, Jon

  261. Very powerful story.

    I’m glad I’ve read it.

  262. Jon this story is amazing!

    I think this is why you’re where you are today. I can say I haven’t been through the same as you but kind of. I had leukemia when I was a kid and I can remember those days when my mother was there to fight it with me.

    What would we be without them?

    Hope to have a chance to meet you someday.

  263. Thanks for sharing your inspirational story

  264. Jusswhatthehellwasthat?
    Your mother deserves an award. You.
    Wow. Inspiring is not the word. A tribute perhaps. Just wow.
    If your mother wasn’t enough, you yourself just went ahead and did the whole ‘impossible’ things all over again. God bless you. And your mother. :)

  265. ONE WORD -> Inspiring!

  266. This is inspiring. I’m ashamed of the excuses I make for myself keeping me from being the the best I can be. Now, I need to correct that and turn my excuses into action motivators.

  267. This is one of the best post I have ever read. Your story is awesome.

  268. As a parent of an 8 month old with SMA1, thank you for the inspiration and for staying strong. Well done.

  269. Jon,

    How is your mother doing? And You? I loved interviewing her! What an awesome lady.

    Kim

  270. As a father of a newly diagnosed SMA Type 1 baby girl, your post lifts my spirits and gives me hope. I know first hand how your mother must have felt, as I too am fighting the battle daily for my little Getty Owl, as we call her. She is now 8 months old, but she is happy and as healthy as can be under the circumstances. Cheers to you and your mother.

  271. Fantastic. Inspirational. Perfect, Thank you!

  272. Your story demonstrates the belief that personal capability begins with wanting it, and then giving yourself permission. In this big world there is truly a need for self-determined people, and you are such an inspiration!

  273. Hi Jon,
    I can identify with your story in so many different ways but for now the life and death that’s facing me is my business via my blog. I am like your mom, I’ve wiped my tears, sat up and prepared to share my story of how I succeeded – that’s why I’m up reading at 1:21AM Amsterdam time.

    Like the Christian bible says, life and death are in the tongue and what we say should happen – will happen. Thanks mother of Jon and Jon thanks for sharing the stroy.

    Margaret

  274. How’s it going, Jonathan?

    I run a basketball website and I was wondering 3 things:

    1. Would you be interested in writing an article about your disability and basketball experiences?
    2. If not, would it be okay if I edited this story to put more a focus on the basketball aspect and shared it with my readers that way?
    3. Do you know of any charity that combines Spinal Muscular Dystrophy with sports? I have a section of non-profits on my blog that I am looking to add to.

    Thanks for this inspirational story!

  275. That was the most inspiring thing I read in quite a while! WOW!

    And not just because it doesn’t play the disability card, even though that was well-served. But mostly because of how passionate you sound when you speak about your writing and your ideas, my dear god!

    Some weeks ago I was sitting in an idle state at the kitchen table and somehow my fingers caught on a pen and newspaper. I started scribbling on it and before I knew it I had half the page covered with

    I LOVE WRITING I LOVE WRIING I LOVE WRITING I LOVE WRITING I LOVE WRITING

    I just really love writing! And I love seeing people like you who feel that passionate about it. Oh, and I plan on starting a WALL of great content and inspiration with this piece here, and highlighting the part where you say
    ————————
    How could I possibly look my mother and father and all of the others who have sacrificed so much for me in the eye and tell them, “I can’t?”
    ————————-

    THANK YOU!

  276. Jon,
    One of the most inspirational posts I’ve ever read. Thank you.

  277. I read this right after reading your post from today, and holy shit, Jon, this has shaken me. This is my favorite Copyblogger post, ever. I’m sitting here struggling for words, because I just don’t think there is a way to explain how this has hit me. I have an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, which seems like it might be Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are days when I just cry, because I’m in so much pain and so tired. I’m sick of being sick, but I’ve had it stuck in my head that it’s just going to get worse, and it’s just going to keep taking things away from me. I’m struggling through every eight-hour work day, looking forward to coming home and resting, but also yearning to do some writing. By the end of my work day, I’m usually completely burnt out, and yet my goal is to live off of my writing and work from home. Sometimes it feels like a circle that I can’t break out of.

    But you have shown me that it’s possible. I just have to make it happen, and learn to push through the pain and fatigue. Thank you.

    PS: You didn’t mention how you are doing today! Do you still get pneumonia a lot? How does your disease affect your day-to-day work process? How do you push through those days when you feel like you can barely muster up energy to exist, never mind work?

  278. So inspiring! What an amazing mama you have! Thank you for sharing this.

  279. What an amazing story. So glad I came across your blog today…as a first time mother I can’t tell you how much this touches me. Thank you for sharing this powerful post…

  280. simply beautiful, and an incredible gift to so many here… Thank you, Sir.

  281. Jon,

    I catch this post when you first wrote it. I just read it now, after read your post, “How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World.”

    I have tears in my eyes, reading more about your experience, and also reading what you say about your mother.

    I have an older sister who has cerebral palsy and I will be her guardian when my dad is gone. My mom was an advocate for my sister, Barb, in so many ways. When Mom and Dad were first finding out why Barb couldn’t crawl as a baby, and why other aspects of her development were delayed (and why she would never catch up with others her age), some people provided “advice” that, despite being well-intentioned, was far from helpful to them. Part of it was the advice to institutionalize my sister and resume life as it had been, as much as possible, before Barb came. Mom would not have none of that, and made sure Barb, who lived at home, was as actively involved in family, school and community activities as she could be.

    Barb has done more, and contributed more to society in her own ways than she ever would have had Mom not listened to her own motherly instincts, and had the courage to follow them. And yes, the experience of having her as a sister had big effects on the rest of the family, as well. We always knew how lucky we were to have normal health, and we always knew how lucky we were that Barb had made it through the birth accident that almost took her away.

    I applaud your strength, your persistence and your success, and your mother’s strength in the face of the challenges you both had to meet.

    Thanks again, Jon, for sharing your story, as well as the story about your mother’s courage and strength.

  282. Like a previous poster I’m not inclined to sentimentality, and normally dismiss “feel good” posts, but this one was truly inspiring. You probably inspired many people to go beyond their comfort zone and dare to achieve what was believed impossible.

  283. You and your parents are such inspiring people. As a Mom to a daughter with a laundry list of health issues I can relate to so much of this. My daughter was basically the bubble kid when she was born with off the charts food allergies, severely painful eczema and auto immune diseases… the combination of everything she was dealt with made most doctors scratch their heads and predetermined that she would not have a “normal” life and because of such her quality of life would be low.

    She is nine years old now and she has more life experiences than most adults. Nothing stops me from advocating for her and giving her every chance to have a “normal” life. If I can’t find a team, after school program or class that will accommodate her I either create it, run it, be a part of it or provide everything necessary to make it happen for her.

    At nine years old she is more appreciative, thoughtful, inspiring and motivated than most of her peers because of her illnesses. I’ve always hoped that the struggles we have endured would create a foundation of her being stronger and accomplish more as a result. It is hard to see that at times when the world is against those that just aren’t a “gerber baby”…

    I cannot adequately convey how thankful I am for you being an amazing example, inspiration and kick booty person. I’ve been soaking up all your videos and articles. Thank you for helping others the way that you are.

  284. Dear John

    As a mama, and blogger this hits home. I am so inspired by you and your mother to do even more. Thank you so much for sharing as now I am more motivated then ever to provide what I see as a much needed service: a trusted source for anyone anywhere to bounce their medical questions off of for free!

    Looking forward to future posts!
    Rajka “Ryka”

  285. Reading this post made me ask myself “what am I complaining about again?” to get a better understanding of your point that a lot of what we want is in reach if we not only believe in ourselves but also work like hell to see our ideas come to fruition. Thanks for providing some inspiration for others who want to become such a warrior like yourself.

  286. Hi,

    I am really touched by your story .. Actually i am going through a phase in my life where i would have to fight for my place in this world. I have to be my own hero and stand up against the rest of the world in order to get the best college.

    Sure, there are loads of obstacles in the path but becoming an engineer is a dream and i going to fight for it.

    Thanks a lot for this amazing blog post.

    I am fan of your writing!

  287. I’ve just re-read this post before sending it on to a friend of mine. It’s still just as powerful.

    Thank you for writing this Jon. I use this post, along with Man’s Search For Meaning to give myself good a kick in the rear when I’m feel a “But I can’t do it!” moment coming on.

  288. Thank you for demanding greatness from this post – it is outstanding!
    What you say about fighting for your ideas has really encouraged me – this is how I feel and now you have helped me be unashamed about it. Thanks again, Jon!

  289. wow!!! thank you very much for this post… you’re truly an inspiration Jon

  290. I life lesson for all of us. Thank you so much for the touching story.

  291. I hope every one has the same soul like your mother fighting for their
    Believes ,
    I hope every mother raise her children that way

  292. Incredible, epic tale of work and fighting. Thank you for sharing your personal story (what a mom, and what a son!), and allowing us to learn from it. It brings fresh perspective on what it means to be a writer. A professor once told me that no one will ever care about your work as much as you do, so you have to fight for it. You’re living that every day, and proof of its truth.

    I wish you health and happiness.

  293. My goosebumps won’t go away. Goddamn…

    • I salute your courage Jon.This is very powerful and empowering.May God continue to bless you with good health.You are very unique.
      Happy holidays and Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  294. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything on a blog that made me want to jump up from my chair in thunderous applause. But THIS made me feel this way. I’m floored!

  295. dear jon,
    whoa. really. i am mother to a seven year old boy, calvin, who has a host of serious neurological deficits, but worst of all, medically refractory epilepsy. i am a vigilante, fighting for my son day in and day out (and at night when he’s asleep.) your attitude is kick ass. you must have inherited it from your dragon mom. a little over a year ago i started a blog promoting epilepsy awareness called Calvin’s Story. i post something every day (most of which— like you—i spend hours and hours writing and editing) in an effort to demystify epilepsy and to enlighten, educate and inspire compassion and understanding hoping to eventually increase epilepsy’s paltry research funding. i invite you to read and share with the world (most people don’t know that epilepsy kills more americans every year than breast cancer, many of them our children.)
    thank you for giving me hope that one day, perhaps, calvin will enjoy the fruit of my efforts—and the efforts of others—so that he can be seizure free.
    all my very best to you and your supermom,
    christy

  296. Jon,

    Wow…tears rolled down my cheeks as I read this.

    Growing up, I always wondered what was wrong with me and why my mother would rather continue to use drugs and date a new loser each week, instead of having me in her life? Why did I have to live with my grandparents, when my cousins all lived at home with their parents?

    These things haunted me for years until I was able to understand things better. I wish so much that I had the kind of love from my mother that you describe here.

    I didn’t bother with the eighth grade, since I was already bored with school and eager to move on. I was a straight A student the first year of high school, despite having started a year early and switching between schools eight different times during the span of nine grades.

    Then a series of unfortunate events took place and the pain of feeling alone and having no one to “fight for me,” as you put it, overwhelmed me and took over. I gave up. I didn’t care anymore. I refused to even try. I wanted to drop out. As soon as I turned sixteen, after Sophomore year, that’s exactly what I did.

    Your story is so moving. It makes all the difference in the world when a person is loved and their path to success is paved by loving parents who leave no room for doubts.

    I wonder how much more I would have accomplished by now, if my mother had showed me a fraction of the love and support yours has. You are very lucky….and an amazing writer. Thank you for taking the gifts she gave to you and doing something amazing with them. Thank you for writing this post.

  297. Jon, it was said above so I can only concur. You hit it out of the park. I am going to share it to my friend Iris, who is raising a child with cerebral palsy. From time to time, she shares her stories of difficulty, particularly with hiring helpers for her son, the one criteria of which she states, “They should not see his horizons as limited. He may not be there now, but he can get there.” And with that, she reflects an amazing similarity with your precious Mom.

  298. This was exactly what I needed to read on this Monday morning and jumpstart me out of my doldrums. Thank you for the inspiration ! I will bookmark this and expect to read it again and again when the pity-party feeling becomes overwhelming. I would love to say more but the words would pale in light of your beautifully written post. Thanks again.

  299. You INSPIRE me!! Thank you.

  300. Incredible story & great analogy–our ideas are our children. Thank you for the much-needed kick in the ass!

  301. Dear Jon,
    I just discovered this post today courtesy of your email series. Well said on so many levels. As a person who had meningitis as a child, I can appreciate the tenacity and fortitude of your mother (she seems cut of the same cloth as mine). It’s hard to fight for our ideas, but where I come from (Hollywood), it’s virtually impossible. In the words of Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, “It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about.” So thanks for telling about it :)

  302. Thank you Jon! I’m grateful … and speechless.

  303. Hey Jon,
    Next time I start blowing up balloons for a pity party, your words will remind me of the fallacy of CAN’T.
    All the best,
    Alek

  304. Jon – That is one of the most inspiring pieces I have read anytime, anywhere. You deserve to be paid more highly than any writer at the New York Times. I intend to follow your new venture closely. And BTW, I am about to launch a parent coaching website (teaching adults better parenting skills) very soon. I would be so honored to share your story as part of one of my first blog posts. I’d also love to interview your mom for the site. Let me know if you’re open to that idea…..Many Blessings and Much Love to your mom!

    • Sure, share away. Mom usually isn’t up for interviews, but I’ll pass on your request. Gets her flustered every time. :-)

  305. Wow! You totally inspire me…and so does your mom…:-) Thanks for being so open and honest Jon…a lot of us, like me, need that kick in the pants…so thanks!

  306. Great story, Jon! When you fight, miracles appear!!:)

  307. Wow! What an inspirational story, Thank you for sharing it with us.

  308. Late to the party but I get it. Your ideas are your babies, you have to fight to make people listen, and that’s your job. You don’t just plop out a baby and hope for the best. You bathe it, and hold it and read to it. And fight for it.

    I’m looking forward to your next venture, Jon, because all that stuff you said about people being rewarded for crap on the internet is true and it’s wrong. Count me in.

  309. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Jonathan.

  310. Your Mom and you are an inspiration to me. It definitely kicked me off my newly-disabled-pity-party. For a while there I let them shuffle me off to the closet with a poor you pat on the head. Thanks for this post. Keep kicking ass and taking names.

  311. Though I have read it before, I NEVER tire of reading your story. It is truly inspiring to see how much you have accomplished. Thanks for making my day a little brighter today.

  312. And THAT is why Jon creates such damn-good-content, offers such amazing insight, and conveys such an incredibly indomitable spirit!! I read this article before I’d ever heard Jon present and since having engaged in some of his presentations all I can say is, “No wonder he’s so honest and sincere!” And, oh yah – “Way to go mom!!” Never get between a momma and her cub, it’s always a losing proposition for the intruder, whether that intruder is a stranger or a well-meaning professional (like a doctor) trying to do her/his “job.” Moms are not to be reckoned with lightly, just look who she nurtured into excellence!

    As a nurse-turned-writer/blogger, I can’t say “Thank you” enough for your inspiration and modeling of perseverance and persistence.

    Take care,

    Jerome Stone, RN
    Author – Minding the Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind.

  313. Tonight I was seeking guidance and came upon your email, then your post – which, as the mom of 2 special needs kids, moved me tremendously! I immediately seized the opportunity as a final sign to stop doing what I hate and to focus on my purpose in life, my passion (writing). Thank you for having the courage to lead the way!

  314. Hi Jon,

    What an amazing story! My aunt shared this on her Facebook and I had to read it after seeing the title. I have three children… they’re all healthy, but my daughters and I fled from domestic violence years ago, so fighting for your children (and your ideas) is a fundamental lesson that has to be learned by everyone who hopes to make something of themselves.

    “Can’t,” is a dirty word… I really don’t like that word, and find it discourages way too many people. Thank you for the reminder that our future really is our decision. I just hope that I can be that kind of encouragement for my own children.

    Thanks for sharing – I hope you’re having a great week!

    Jen
    Owner, Broken Publications
    Managing Editor, Phati’tude Literary Magazine

  315. This may be the best blog post I have ever read. It brings back memories of my best friend growing up. She was born with a blood clotting disorder. When she was about 6 she overheard her doctor, in another room, tell her mother that she would not live to adulthood. At that moment, she told me, a resolve formed in her heart, to prove the doctor wrong. How dare he? She’ll be 60 later this year. She’s fighting for her life (2nd round with cancer, unrelated to the disorder) right now. She is my inspiration.. And now, so are you.

  316. Thank you for sharing Jon. Inspirational story.

  317. Wow. Amazing story. Amazing people.
    I was a nurse in PICU for many years and looked after a number of kids with SMA, so am totally stunned and delighted that you’re still here :) Your mum is the best, but I’d say you have a bit of a killer stubborn streak, too!
    I’m now a writer, but will never match your skill. You have an uncanny ability to suck me in every time. Love it.

  318. Jon, that is the most amazing post. I am honoured that we are going to be working together on GuestBlogging. I’ve got a LOT to learn from you.
    Andrea

  319. Daniela Pozino :

    Jon, what a poetic post! Thank you for that.
    Be well and I´ll see you in The Bootstrap.
    Warmly,
    Daniela.

  320. Hi Jon,
    When you wrote this post, I had heard about “Blogging” and was still “researching” how I am going to start following my desire to write. I recently discovered your work through CopyBlogger and only today found this timeless piece. As I read it I was covered in goose bumps with a lump in my throat . I since worked up the courage to start a blog of my own and in comparison I am a beginner of note. I have been reading lately about writing epic posts. In my humble opinion this post is epic! I am inspired and challenged to write with much more care and purpose. At the risk of using a cliche, I would like to thank you for sharing your miracle story.

  321. I’m the mother of a little girl who has SMA. Thank you for helping me to feel like my fight isn’t crazy and that my baby girl can and will do something important with her life. She is 21 months and such a joy! I have a blog for her as well and while it is hard it feels good to write! http://Www.wishesforscarlett.com

  322. Keep fighting, Jon, and writing. You are one tough son of a bitch.

  323. Erica Lance :

    Wow! Thank you for writing such an inspiring and amazing story.
    Many blessing to you and your mom :-)

  324. Hi Jon,

    I just finished reading this, then sharing it with my readers, then my wife and told all of them that it made me cry. (Totally true). I loved the strength, the courage and the faith that you and your mother have in this battle. Truly inspiring.

    Talk to you soon.
    Mike. <

  325. Beautiful words strung together getting stronger and stronger. I am inspired. Thank you. Glad to be in your course that just started Friday.

  326. I’ve read some amazing stories, but this is probably one of the greatest. No matter what you do in life, this is pure life wisdom! Tears flowed, but not just of sadness – mostly inspiration. Thanks Jon Morrow. Your writing is a precious gift to the world.

  327. Hi Jon, I can’t express how much your story inspires me. As an aspiring writer, your perseverance and positive outlook truly inspires and motivates me to keep at it. Thank you so much for your honesty. You’re extremely blessed to have such a strong, amazing mother! But it sounds like you already know that :)

  328. Crikey. What a story, and what a mother. I’m going to bookmark this and look at it every time I feel like I can’t be arsed, or that it’s too difficult.

    Keep fighting, sir. For I like the cut of your jib.

  329. Well, well, well, this blog has given me hope, ideas, inspiration, and I am going to invent a different approach to my writing and blogging. Thank you Jon for talking to my inner being, my soul that mediocrity will not make it. What it take is hard work and determination with authenticity in creating your own work from what others have already done, because there is nothing new under the sun. Thank for reminding me that it is not where you take it from, but it is where you are taking to.

  330. Oh my God! I can’t believe what I’ve just read. What an amazing story you have. What a mother. You say you’re not special but you have just become a hero to me, and I don’t even do heroes. I just pray to have a fraction of the inner strength of you and your mother. Thanks a million for sharing this.

  331. I have read thousands of blog posts and you know what this one out of all of them will be the one I remember in weeks, months even years to come . I am a mother of 6 and I understand the mothering side, yes its our job but its also taught you a valuable lesson, to fight and to bloody fight some more till your voice is heard.

    I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2009 and I lost my career, my friends, my mind, I lost everything till I decided I had to start again, yes I lost everything but I still had my 6 babies and a husband who was so close to the edge holding it all together, we were in a tragic state. I don’t know when I finally got my voice back, it was quiet at first yet here I am almost 3 years later shouting about my journey from the rooftops to anyone who will listen

    Blogging gave me so much, it now gives others hope too and reading inspiring posts like this are what keeps me fighting, to know I am not alone and there are many others out there shouting out load and for that I thank you

  332. Jon, you inspire me, but so does your mum! As a new mum just hearing what your mum fought for really resonated with me too. Not only do I hope t have even half your success but I also hope as a mum I can be even half the mum yours is! Thank you for sharing your story. It’s really helps to get a reality check sometimes xx

  333. Jon this is you? Oh my word, who would ever know!! Wow!! A million times over – GO YOU!! Huge respect.
    Just launched a blog a few weeks ago and as you do, have been reading round what you do/where to post/the whole world that is blogs etc etc. Had not read anybody’s blog, ever, until November 2012 then came up with Our Style of LOVE and found you as Guru extraodinaire! Have been getting your regular dally posts to my inbox and they have so helped me understand the art of blogging etc etc. I then came upon this tonight and realised was you and thought wow – how amazing, I have to write Jon.

    So, THANKYOU, thanks to Momma Morrow and keep up the amazing work!!

    Go Strong!

    Olivia

  334. Omg that is one of the most inspiring stories I have read in a long time. I am nearly in tears as I have a 3 month old daughter and she means the world for me. Stories like this and that mother need to be on the news and not the other garbage I see. She deserves a medal. Thank You!

  335. Thank you. You’re what I needed at this time: inspiration. As the old saying goes, “If you think you can, then you can.” The other saying that helps me through a rough day is, “If you’re handed it, you can handle it.” Again, thank you.

  336. Jon, no words.

    Tenacity and courage are tough lessons to teach and to learn. You’ve obviously learned both from your mom. And now you’ve taught it with heroic passion to thousands of people.

    Humbled.

    Melissa

  337. I wrote a new post recently about how my experience as a runner helped me with the challenges of consistent blogging. It wasn’t until I was out running later that same day that I realized that reading your post had inspired me! So today I wrote about acknowledging other bloggers! Thank you, Jon!

  338. I don’t have anymore excuses left , you are my hero Jon!

  339. Wow, what an amazing story. Simply beautiful. Tears still wet my cheeks. I’m a mother of a 4 year old boy and I am deeply touched by the courage and determination of both you and your mother. You are heroes. Thank you for sharing your story with such authenticity and vulnerability. I am inspired! Glad to have found you.

  340. Wow. That is so inspiring. Definitely made my day.

  341. Jon, you are an inspiration. And perhaps even more so you are truly THE BEST at what you do. I get more value out of your seminars and writings than any other. Even though I don’t know you personally you feel like a friend. Carry on my friend, carry on!

  342. Jon,

    Thank you for your beautiful words, your courage and the love you give and receive from your parents. Your words reminded me of a boy I went to school with who had no arms or legs. I often used to think how tough life was for him in comparison to me…. But somewhere along the way, I forgot his inspiration, gentleness and courage. I allowed self doubt and excuses to snatch my dreams. You have rekindled the flame that is within us all, but sometimes get extinguished. Thank you and take care my friend. Sara

  343. Jon,
    Thank you for touching our hearts, you are a truly blessed by God In what you are doing, you are a living example what the human spirit can do once we put our mind to it and determination we can all succeed in what we do.
    Your body may be ill, but the spirit is not and your energy is flowing to every soul you touch spiritually, you ignited the spark in us that was dying slowing. Thank you and God bless you.

  344. Thanks for sharing this. So moving.

  345. Wow, this made me cry and it inspired me, big time. THANK YOU. Here is the blog I wrote, because I was so moved: http://deescribbler.typepad.com/my_weblog/2013/09/fighting-for-yourself-and-those-you-love.html

  346. I might have come in late for the party, but who cares? This is such a timeless reminder, and thank you, Jon, for the inspiration. Such beautiful words. You’re a gift, not just to bloggers and writers, but to humanity.

  347. What an inspirational story you have wrote. You inspired me a lot from all these valuable words.

    I’m also reading your remaining posts and finding all those very helpful.

  348. Jon, as a mother of two little children, I can feel a mother’s instinct to fight for her child. This drive is so strong and can make a seemingly fragile woman stronger than any man.

    Then when you move the subject to your writing, I start to think that I need to fight for my paintings, too. They’re also my children, my creation, and they are defenseless. If I let them sit in the studio and do nothing for them, they’ll just gather dust and no one will see and experience their beauty. And they cannot do the jobs they are born to do on this planet.

    Thank you, Jon. I look forward to getting to know you more.

    Lucy

  349. As beautifully and effectively as you’ve written this post, I’m sure it doesn’t reflect even an iota of the pain, pressures and challenges that you’ve gone through and have been able to overcome over the last 27 years.

    It certainly is one of the most inspiring pieces of content I’ve come across in a along time.

    Congratulations to you and your brave mother on not only overcoming such difficulties over the last 27 years, but also for being such a huge inspiration for so many people across the world.

    This, in my opinion, is an achievement that you can truly be proud of.

  350. An amazing journey and written ever so beautifully. Thank you for your ideas and wonderful thought.

  351. Our limitations are only present in our minds. We are indeed powerful beyond measure.

  352. Wow, this is such an inspiring, heartfelt post Jon! You made me get all teary eyed! You have overcome so many obstacles to get where you are now. This is such a great reminder that no matter what anyone else says, if you set your mind and your heart to do something, you will.

    Both you and your mother are very courageous people to keep on going in the face of so much adversity when others would have just given up. It makes my problems seem so small in comparison.

    I know what you mean when you mentioned that you’d feel shame if you ever gave up. I would feel so ashamed of myself if I ever just gave up on something that I believed in. I’d feel like I was disappointing everyone who gave me the encouragement to even try in the first place.

    Thank you, Jon, for giving me a much needed kick when I needed it! Best wishes to you and have a Merry Christmas!

  353. Thanks for sharing your profound life story. Your mother is a remarkable woman. Because of this, you are a remarkable man, Jon.
    May God continue to bless you in all areas of your life.