Home>Service> Awardees of Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> 14th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award 2011> No-legged hero─Spencer West, America
From nothing to everything
      The spokesperson of Free The Children, Spencer West, congenitally suffered from “Sacral Agenesis”, which was very uncommon. When being born, his legs were deformed, and to save Spencer's life, the doctor amputated his calved when he was two, and again amputated his limbs when he was five. Spencer was laughed at, suppressed and crowed out by classmates since very young. Later, because of the care and love given by Spencer's family, he climbed up from the bottom of the valley of his life. He learned to live independently, friendly faced the unfriendly attitude, and he got confidence and friendships. Spencer not only independently washed and dressed up, went to the toilet, played the computer, swam and made a speech, but also came forward to being the spokesperson of “Me to We” of Free The Children. He continually made thousands of speeches, inspired more than 32 ,000 young people from Kenya , Congo , Mozambique , Swaziland , Ethiopia , Uganda , America , Canada , and Mexico to be volunteers. Among those inspiring speeches, the one of the charity series activity “We day” attracted 5 million and 800,000 audience to watch through TV or the Internet. It with no doubt touched tens of millions of hearts.
Why me/unexpected hero
      Spencer West was born in Salt Lake City Utah , America in 1981. He congenitally suffered from an uncommon disease “Sacral Agenesis”. When he was five, his legs were deformed and necrotic which led his limbs to be amputated. After the surgery, the doctor told Spencer that neither might he sit or walk by himself nor became a complete person. Spencer and his family refused to believe what they heard. They started to prove to themselves and the world that Spencer was just like others. During the growth period, Spencer had undergone people's prejudice and bullies, but he found happiness and meaningfulness in his life and learned not to give up hope and courage. Spencer successfully crossed heaps of physical and mental hinders. He used a humorous and humble tone to pass on inspiring messages. He motivated people to find out opportunities from difficulties. Each speech made the audience deeply impressive. He passed on hope and strong leading spirit through his speeches which encouraged people to make a positive change.
      Spencer had studied a communication degree in University of Westminster of Salt Lake City . During this period, Spencer took part in many encouraging speeches and became the spokesperson of understanding disability. He used a humorous, candid and sympathetic tone to talk about his story---how he lost his legs and how he overcame difficulties. Rock Spring High School where Spence had studied before called him Most Outstanding Student. University of Westminster awarded him Student Ambassador of the Year Award as well as Neisen R. Bank Memorial Award. He was also awarded by The Spirit of Courage by Safari Club International through General H. Norman Schwarzkopf.
Things happen for a reason/be happy every day
      Since Spencer became the spokesperson of Free The Children, he has been in touch with millions of people, including students, educational scholars, businesses, universities, and those groups and families which were in favor of his inspiring speeches. When Spencer was in an important activity “We Day” of Free The Children, he caught tens of millions audience's hearts through a topic speech. One of the speeches broadcasted by CTV, Canadian Biggest TV station caused a significant stir all over the world.
      Spencer also shared his stage with other influential people, for example, Mia Farrow, Dr. Jane Goodall, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and his music idol, Jason Mraz. Spencer's speeches inspired millions of young people and made them join community activities and international social activities.
      Spencer takes Wesley Cowan's words as his lifelong faith, “Be happy every day!” He also believes what the singer Jason Mraz sings “hold your own, know your name, go your own way” in his song Detail in the Fabric.
      Free The Children continually promote the charity activity “Me to We” in 45 disadvantaged countries all over the world. Spencer used his “strange” body to make a speech around the world. He used his life story to motivate audience and wish himself to be an international-class-level master of speech. Spencer believes that things happen for a reason and the bottom line is to be happy every day.
Break through justice/everyone can change the world
      We are so proud to meet so many outstanding people, but no one is like Spencer. Spencer used his own attraction and humor to spread the passion of wanting to change the world. After realizing how Spencer faced what he had suffered, we knew that we could always make it on our own because compared to his, our problems were nothing. We believe that nothing will beat us down. Whatever your abilities, backgrounds, races, gender are, if you work hard and cooperate with others, never give up and always bring a smile on your face, you will always make it.
      Spencer often talks about his volunteers, his Africa trips and the stories of founding schools there as well as all of his aid plans overseas, so don't miss Spencer's speech. He used his brave spirit to tell people how to have an unyielding and tenacious spirit and taught everyone how to look on the bright side of life. To his audience or everyone, the messages passed by Spencer could change the world. Whoever you are, whatever you underwent, only did you learn to give, you could always make it.
      21 st century is a global century. We are all members of the global village. We cannot endure any discrimination and we will overcome it. As Dan Wilkins said, the society rejecting anyone of its members is not a society. Everyone is unique and we are all unique. If we don't fear and follow our steps, all uniqueness will be combined. The great achievement will thus be made. As one of Spencer's favorite singers, Jason Mraz sings, “hold your own, know your name, go your own way. “ This is what Spencer wants to pass on to everyone. Just follow Spencer's faith, hold your own, know your name, go your own way. You will find it fantastic!