As we pen our New Year’s resolutions for 2018, let’s aim for something “impossible.” For motivation, we need look no further than one 12-year-old who did just that: From surviving the threat of abortion to climbing Mount Everest.
To ring in the New Year, ABC10 anchor Frances Wang reported the story of Tommy Ludlow of Sacramento, California, who beat the odds to hike the mountain.
When sister Ashlyn first suggested the Mount Everest journey to her family, little brother Tommy enthusiastically agreed.
“I’m like ‘I really want to do this!’” he remembers. There was just one problem: Tommy suffers from bladder exstrophy, a rare birth defect that affects only 1 out of every 50,000 live births. But he didn’t let that stop him.
In order to make the 18,400-foot climb to the base camp, Tommy used catheters, or “tubes,” every three hours during his family’s 12-day journey. The catheters came from CompactCath, a company that offered to sponsor Tommy after learning his story. According to his mother, Heather, CompactCath didn’t know of anyone like Tommy who had accomplished the hike.
“They offered to provide some of the lightweight supplies for him to be able to take up there,” she told ABC10.
That didn’t mean the hike was perfect. Tommy still caught hypothermia and couldn’t take the medication that the others did for oxygen. But he made the trip anyway, with his parents and two of his three sisters – and came away with a new kind of confidence.
“I learned that I should not put limits on myself,” he said. “Now I know I can do anything because I’ve done that.”
This isn’t the first obstacle Tommy has had to overcome. Before his birth, his father, Tom, revealed that he and Heather refused to abort Tommy.
“A lot of children that are born with this condition, their lives are terminated,” the dad said. “So we were presented with that option and we didn’t really want to do that.”
That meant that, when he was just a day old, Tommy endured a “10-hour re-constructive surgery” and, later, multiple further surgeries.
“We try to do everything we can to encourage him to not to let it affect him day to day,” the father concluded.
It’s working. Not only is Tommy living a life that some (including the abortion industry) see as disposable, he’s using his condition to push himself to further heights. To become a trailblazer.
And if he can do it, so can we.
According to some Christian writers, the Bible instructs Christians and Catholics to “fear not” 365 times – once for each day of the year. But regardless of the exact number, God’s trying to tell us something: be not afraid. Aim high. And let’s live our lives like we only have one life to live. Because we do.