I would like to share with you something which will bring you motivation and inspiration by the bucket-load – the Nick Vujicic life story. Nicholas James Vujicic was born 4th December 1982, suffering from the rare condition of phocomelia which is characterised by the absence of arms and legs. He is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker who, understandably, has not had an easy life, but he certainly has had a remarkable one.
Nick was born in Melbourne, Victoria to Dusanka and Borislav Vujicic, who were devout Serbian Orthodox emigrants, originally from Yugoslavia. Dusanka and Borislav quickly became active in a local Melbourne church and the community and Dusanka went to nursing school in Melbourne, at the Royal Children’s Hospital, while Borislav was employed in business management.
Born suffering from phocomelia meant that Nick was born without proper limbs and according to his autobiography, he tells us that his mother initially refused to see him or even hold him. The nurse held her new-born son in front of her, to be met with turned-away heads and Borislav actually left the room to be sick. Dusanka and her husband did eventually accept their son’s condition, feeling that it was God’s plan for their new child.
Nick still manages to find humor in his situation by describing one of his two deformed feet as a ‘chicken drumstick’ due to its unusual shape. When he was born, the toes of that foot were fused together and an operation had to be performed in order to separate the toes – this meant that he would be able to use them as cursory ‘fingers’ which would enable him to grab and hold things, turn the pages of a book, and to perform other necessary functions. He is now able to use this foot to help operate his electric wheelchair, as well as using his computer and mobile phone. And as a testament to his upbringing and invincible spirit, he states that he had an ‘amazingly normal childhood’.
Although he was bullied for many years, Nick managed to thrive into his teenage years and beyond into adulthood. When he was seventeen he gained great inspiration from a newspaper article his mother showed to him – it told the story of a man who also had a severe disability, and how he managed to survive on a daily basis. This gave Nick the ‘push’ he needed to start giving talks at his local prayer group.
Vujicic graduated from Griffith University aged 21 holding a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and gaining a double major in accountancy and financial planning.
Nick began speaking engagements at the age of 19 and then in 2005, he founded an international non-profit organisation and ministry, ‘Life Without Limbs’. In 2007 he founded ‘Attitude is Altitude’, which is a motivational speaking company.
In 2009, Vujicic starred in the short film The Butterfly Circus and was awarded ‘Best Actor in a Short Film’ for his starring performance as Will at the 2010 Method Fest Independent Film Festival. The butterfly Circus tells the story of a circus troupe who manage to brighten the spirit of audiences during the Depression-era in America and who inspires hope in a limbless man from a sideshow.
Attitude is Altitude
Attitude Is Altitude was founded in 2007 by Nick in order to spark a great passion for life in people, as well as to kindle hope and try to ignite change in the way disabilities are viewed all over the world.
Nick surmounted his own extraordinary odds of being born without limbs and in doing so, he learned how to face all challenges in a head-on manner, pushing forward constantly, despite his physical constraints. Fast forward to the present day, Nick and his team of AIA motivational speakers manage to inspire positive change throughout millions of people world-wide.
AIA believes that every single one of us have the ability to overcome any challenges that life throws at us, and that every person out there holds value, and that we are all deserving of being treated well in life. We all are worthy of receiving respect, dignity and love. AIA believes that, despite whatever may be holding you back, you can conquer your fears, pushing past your problems to achieve all your life goals.
Their very existence is to spread those truths through keynote speeches, motivational products and resources. They aim to show you how it’s possible to draw on your inner strength and have the power to instigate positive changes, both in yourself and in the world around you. They are also dedicated to empowering the individual to transform their own lives in a long-lasting way. Their motto is ‘you can overcome adversity’.
Truly, a ‘Life Without Limits’
Nick continues to display extreme courage in the face of adversity, managing to play football and golf, he goes swimming and surfing, and all this, despite having no limbs.
The small foot which is placed on his left hip helps him to balance and gives him enough power to kick a ball or wade through the water. He also uses this one foot to type, write manually with a pen and he can also pick things up using his toes.
Although Nick states that it was ‘hard’ for his parents, they did try their utmost to give him support and motivation. He says that his father placed him in water at the age of 18 months which gave him the courage to learn how to swim.
Nick meets his future wife
In 2008, Nick met the woman he calls ‘his own princess’ Kanae Miyahara and it was literally a case of ‘love at first sight’.
She says: “I fell in love with him the way he is now“. Previous to meeting Nick, she says that she had dated other guys, looking for a physical goal, but quickly became tired of that kind of life. “The moment I met Nick, I was looking for other things, and all those other things, I found in him, – (he is) the perfect match,” Kanae said.
They are now married with 2 children, Dejan Levi Vujicic, Kiyoshi James Vujicic.