The Spark – October 30

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Spark, where we’re eagerly looking forward to trick or treating and Halloween fun on Thursday. Have you seen any stories worth highlighting? Drop us a line!

  • Hats off to Andrew Brettner of Florida, who is determined to one day walk his girlfriend down the aisle when they marry. Andrew has been in a wheelchair since age 3 due to cerebral palsy, but he undergoes grueling physical therapy twice a week to build his strength in hopes of one day accomplishing his goal. Platinum recording artist Andy Grammer is a fan – he follows Brettner on Instagram and took a photo with him recently in Orlando after hearing about Brettner from the non-profit Help Us Gather (HUG). Way to go Andrew and Andy!
  • As values-based investing has become all the rage over the last decade, an investment advisor has created a vehicle for people to support companies that commit to hiring employees with disabilities. You can read more about OpenInvest’s Invest in Disability Inclusion opportunities here.
  • Scientists in Utah may have discovered a link between certain types of brain cells and obsessive compulsive disorder. The breakthrough has the scientific community encouraged that there can be better cures for conditions like anxiety and OCD.
  • This story is both inspiring and infuriating. British member of parliament Peter Kyle is dyslexic, and experienced shame and taunts since childhood. Yet he’s persevered, obtaining a doctorate and rising to the highest levels in his professional field, while being a role model to those facing similar challenges all around the world. And yet despite his success, he still hears scorn and derision on Twitter whenever he misspells a word.

Words of Encouragement

“I realized that this is who I am, and I have to learn how to deal with it in the most positive way possible… I realized that it is a part of me, but it doesn’t define me.

“I still have my struggles, but I’ve come so far, so why would I stop now?”

— Penn State student Sydney Rhead, who has worked through a cognitive memory disorder to attend her dream college.

That’s it for today. If you think there’s something we should highlight in The Spark or on Glimmer, we’d love to hear about it.

Also, head over to Glimmer to discuss this and anything else with fellow Glimmer members.

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— Geoff Anderson
Co-founder of Glimmer