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Ron Mizutani

The ‘Life Without Limbs’ Anti-bullying Campaign

Nicholas James “Nick” Vujicic had every reason to ask why.

“I never wanted to be a burden on my parents because they loved me so much, but when things happen you can’t help but to ask why,” he tells MidWeek. “Why did it happen? Why was there no warning?”

And perhaps the most obvious question, “Why was I born with no arms and no legs?”

Vujicic was born without limbs 30 years ago in Melbourne, Australia. It was something for which his parents were not prepared, nor was there ever a medical explanation as to why it happened.

Life was a challenge for the young Vujicic. There was adversity and bullying, heavy depression and eventually, two attempts to end his life. And he was only 10.

“I tried to commit suicide at the age of 10; I know what it’s like to be bullied,” he says emphatically. “And now I know why it’s important for me to be an inspiration to others, and to share my message of love and hope.”

Life changed when Vujicic turned 15. The day he turned to God was the day he found hope. He says his faith has been the biggest part of his life ever since, but is quick to remind people that true faith is something you don’t always see.

“When I couldn’t do something, I reminded myself what I could do – simple things like brushing my teeth,” he says. “When I couldn’t do what my peers did, I reminded myself that I could still do math. We are all unique, and there will never be another person like you. That’s self-belief; that’s faith.”

Through the love and guidance of his family and his faith, Vujicic thrived. He graduated from Griffith University, where he double majored in accounting and financial planning. He now travels the world sharing his life story.

“Happiness can be derived; we’ve got to understand that love has no bounds,” he says. “It doesn’t mean I don’t cry and I’m not scared. Every day is a gift. Every moment is a gift and an opportunity. He can make miracles out of broken pieces.”

One of those miracles came in 2010, when Vujicic married Kanae Miyahara. The couple welcomed their first child, Kiyoshi James Vujicic, the day after their first anniversary.

Vujicic recently shared his story at Kamehameha Schools. He says whenever he speaks, captive audiences often sit quietly and listen to every word spoken. Some stare in disbelief while others cry softly.

“When I see people crying in the audience, you don’t know how humbled I feel that someone got the message,” says Vujicic. “Being from a broken home can be as painful as living with no arms and legs. For me, bullying is the biggest worldwide epidemic we have. We need to have points of action!”

It was the first stop of a three-island, two-week, anti-bullying message tour. In all, Vujicic will speak at 18 Hawaii schools. His message at all of them will be one of hope, something he never lost even during his darkest moments.

“Deep down, humanly speaking, we all want to be loved and we want to have trust,” he says. “When we do bad, we expect bad. I always say, ‘as long as you’re doing your best, God will do the rest.’”

On Sunday, March 30, Vujicic is scheduled to speak to thousands of people at Aloha Stadium from 5 to 8 p.m. His “Life Without Limbs” Anti-Bullying campaign message is open to the public. Admission is free.

“When you can’t get a miracle, be a miracle,” he says with excitement. “There are many people who have a hunger for hope. We all make mistakes, but none of us are mistakes. This is not about Nick, it’s about people receiving a message.”

Vujicic also will share his message in his newest book, Staying Strong, to be released April 15. You can order it on cbd.com or amazon.com.

“I still have my ups and downs and bouts with depression,” he admits. “I’m just thankful it started with

God and it will end with God. Yes, I have no arms and no legs, but who cares? I believe everyone should have the chance to live life to their full potential – a life without bullying. Everyone should be all they can be and find the truth of their value.”

For more information on Nick Vujicic, visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/NickVujicic, or go to lifewithoutlimbs.org.

rkmizutani@gmail.com

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