:Bart Gee was born with a rare physical disability called Arthrogryposis which means that he has weak muscles and stiff joints. After Bart was born, doctors said he would never walk and may not ever have the strength to be...
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:Bart Gee was born with a rare physical disability called Arthrogryposis which means that he has weak muscles and stiff joints. After Bart was born, doctors said he would never walk and may not ever have the strength to be able to sit up independently, and he would have a bleak outlook to life.
Bart was brought up in a Christian family and he made the decision to become a Christian himself when he was 5 years old. At a very young age, the pastor of his church prophesied to his parents saying, "Little by little he will be able to do more and more new things that will amaze people." The pastor prayed for two things specifically: firstly, that Bart would one day be able to physically walk down the aisle of the church, and secondly, that Bart would be able to play the organ like his father. This is Bart's story of how those prayers would be answered.
Bart Gee is a worship leader at Hope Church, Malmesbury, England. He studied at the Nexus Academy of Music Ministry in Coventry, England and is an inspirational speaker in schools and church groups in the UK and internationally.
I was born with arthrogryposis, a rare disability which left me with very restricted mobility. My limbs are severely affected so I have limited movement in both knees with only a 30 degree bend in my left knee, and I am unable to lift my arms much higher than my waist. This has presented a fair amount of challenges as I’ve grown up. For example, I am not able to use my hand to lift a drink to my mouth like most other people; can you imagine not being able to do something that simple? Instead I’ll often leave my drink on the table and bend down to use a straw, or if it’s a cup of tea I can bring my head low to the table and tilt it to my mouth. Not only this, but there are many other things that I have had to develop my own way of doing. This book is about how God can do anything. The road ahead of me seemed impossible, but with God it was possible. When I was seventeen years old I went to sixth form at Brimsham Green School in Yate, near Bristol. Brimsham Green was a normal secondary school, but they also had a number of disabled children who attended. There were extra staff dedicated to helping these children, and one of them told me that they had received something through the post which I might be interested in about regional trials for disabled athletics, and would I like to have a go? I had never raced against disabled people before and decided it might be quite good fun. The event was down in Yeovil (approximately 1.5 hours from home) and it took place in three weeks so she said I would need to get my entry form in pretty quickly. I wasn’t very fast but I could keep going. So I entered for the 1,500m. I then figured that if I was going all the way to Yeovil, I might as well enter a second race otherwise it will be over too quickly. So I entered the 400m too. You have to bear in mind I had never run 1,500m before. I had walked the distance but never run it, but I was optimistic about it all and thought it would be fine – oh, how naïve I was! I trained for the event over those three weeks and gradually built up to running 1,500m, which I did twice in practice. On the day of the event, having arrived in Yeovil, my name was called for the starting line-up of the 1,500m and I had assumed we were going to be put into categories according to our disability. Oh no! There were just three of us. There was me, a guy with cerebral palsy and another who was partially sighted. He could run just like an able-bodied person, he just couldn’t see so well where he was going. The phrase This is going to go horribly wrong! ran through my mind. The race got under way and I was soon way behind the other two. It then occurred to me that the partially sighted man was about to lap me. What if he couldn’t see me? Fortunately he ran around me, then the man with cerebral palsy lapped me, then the partially sighted man lapped me again, so I ended up having to run the last lap all on my own. Coming into the final bend with 200m to go, I hear an announcement over the sound system, ‘Could Bart Gee please come to the starting line for the 400m!’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m on my way!’ Almost as soon as I had finished the 1,500m I had to start the 400m. Do you know what was wrong with the winner of the 400m? He was deaf! My only chance was that he couldn’t hear the gun! Not only that, this was his first race and I had already run the best part of a mile. This didn’t seem fair. Something else which struck me as rather odd about this event was regarding those competing in wheelchairs. Or rather the fact that they didn’t compete in their wheelchairs; there were people who simply got up, ran the 400m – beat me – then sat back down! As you can imagine, that was the only time I took part in that event.