I just placed this letter in the mail and I really hope that Dr. Benjamin Carson reads it. I’m forever grateful for how he’s influenced my everyday life.
Dear Dr. Benjamin Carson,
This is Becky Curran, an achondroplastic dwarf who you performed laminectomy surgery on in October of 1999. In August, before I met you, I started to experience the loss of feeling from the waist down. I almost couldn’t walk and you saved my life the day you called to say that I had an appointment for surgery. I knew that I was with “Gifted Hands” in the operating room when I asked you if I was going to be okay right before I began to fall asleep from the anesthesia. Your response was “Do you believe in God”? My response to that was “Yes” and you said “Then you’re going to be okay.” Everything went as planned and it was a miracle.
I wanted to write in order to catch you up on all of the amazing things that I’ve been able to do post-surgery. I’m so proud of all of your amazing accomplishments as well.
I haven’t had a day of back pain since my recovery period and I’m forever grateful. I continue to take long walks and stay active on the elliptical machine at the gym. I watch so many other little people around me go through so much pain with the fear of planning any surgical procedures due to the possible consequences. I know that you’re only one person but I wish that everyone had the opportunity to have the very best care from you.
After missing 29 days of high school for the laminectomy surgery, I was still able to graduate in time, within the top 10 percentile of my class. I continued to play soccer and sail. I went on to pursue an education at Providence College in Rhode Island. I participated on the sailing team, along with becoming a founding member of Toastmaster’s International at Providence College.
After completing my first year of college, I became more involved with Little People of America, which I know you’re familiar with. I attended my first annual convention in 2003 when it took place close to where I grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. I was overwhelmed at first because growing up I was used to being the only little person in the group of people who I grew up with. The novelty wore off when I had nobody to relate to. I’ve met my fair share of little people who remain acquaintances but I keep those who have a positive energy, despite every day obstacles they have to overcome, around more often. I have an amazing boyfriend, roommate who is my best friend, and I’m the maid of honor in another one of my closest friend’s weddings next month. I met them all through Little People of America. Everyday we’re forced to adapt to the “average” height world that we live in. We have each other as positive companions in order to overcome the adversity of this world together. I continue to attend conventions and will be headed to Dallas this summer.
In 2006, following the summer after college, I decided that I wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry and then I moved to Los Angeles, California. My father said that he always wanted me to have my independence and moving 3,000 miles from home was just that. I’m so thankful for everyone’s support. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I thought I had a job but it ended up falling through. This didn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. Since the day I met you your story and inspiration has always motivated me to keep chasing my dreams. I ended up going on 100 interviews and a few temporary job assignments over the span of six months. In January 2007, I started as a temporary employee and then as an assistant at the largest talent agency in Los Angeles. After five years of moving around the agency and growing thick skin, I decided that I wanted to work in casting. Like other marginalized diversity groups, people with disabilities want to see people representative of them on television, film and in all forms of media that has the power to shatter myths. The entertainment industry creates and exports media images on large, small and personal screens, and those images impact attitudes around the world. I’m on a mission to help create a more accurate perception of and create more opportunities for people with physical differences on television. I will continue to help change the overall perception in entertainment, eliminate degrading roles and introduce the idea of opening the minds of casting directors and writers as well as all employers. If anyone, no matter what their physical differences may be, is a talented or skill contributor, they shouldn’t have to settle for being made fun of and should be considered for any kind of role or position, regardless.
In the long run, I plan to write a book and I want to become a touring motivational speaker in order to teach people around the world that people with physical differences are really no different than anyone else. Everyone should take the opportunity to get to know someone no matter what they look like. I wish that everyone went by the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. Every person, once they enter this earth deserves a chance to succeed and not be bullied.
Through my experience in the entertainment industry and motivational speaking, I plan to facilitate a way to change the way people with physical differences are perceived in the media, society, and the world. I truly believe that we were all brought to this earth for a reason. No matter what resources one may have, they’re fully capable of anything they put their minds to and work hard towards. I plan to change the perceptions of what physically challenged people are capable of, while motivating everyone to set exceptional goals & to continually work towards them. It would be nice to eliminate the word disability completely.
Over a year ago, I started the Becky Motivates Blog (www.beckymotivates.tumblr.com along with www.facebook.com/beckycurranspeaker and www.twitter.com/beckymotivates). The Becky Motivates Blog, Facebook, and Twitter Pages are meant to educate the general public about physical differences, motivating people to reach for their dreams (regularly posting quotes), promoting participation in the community, and advocating acceptance and equality for all. In addition, I want to teach both adults and kids that they’re capable of a lot more than they think they are. No matter what resources one may have, they’re capable of anything they put their minds to and work towards. Anything is possible for anyone!
You’re a true role model to me. I just wanted to catch you up on my life and let you know that I’m so thankful to have amazing parents who brought me to the late Dr. Steven Kopits every year while growing up, which then allowed us to meet you. I really hope to cross paths with you again soon. Thank you for being you and an amazing human being. You’re a true miracle worker and I’m truly blessed to have you in my life.
All the best,