What do Nathaniel, a child with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome and Sylvester Stallone’s famous boxing hero have in common? Keep reading below, or follow the original story to find out!
Braille reading and riding a tandem bike are just two of the many skills Nathaniel Ogden has learned. It has never been easy for Nathaniel to develop these skills, but he believes in always pushing forward.
Nathaniel believes it is always possible to achieve your goals. He wants people to know that they should never give up on the things they hope for, or the things they dream about.
Nathaniel was diagnosed with Bardet-Biedl Syndome before he was born. He’s now 11 years old. It hasn’t been easy to get there. Bardet-Biedl Syndrome affects many aspects of Nathaniel’s life. It has detrimental affects on how his muscle develops. It impairs his ability to control hunger. Nathaniel has even lost most of his vision due to how Bardet-Biedl Syndrome causes his retinas to deteriorate. But none of this has stopped Nathaniel from pursuing his passions. To learn more about this rare disease, click here.
Nathaniel isn’t just about saying what he believes though. He’s a brave kid that puts his beliefs to action.
In effort to inspire awareness and raise funds for research, Nathaniel and his dad planned a 30 mile bike ride. They would pedal form their home near Malvern to the steps Rocky climbed in Philadelphia. The father son duo trained form March to September to make this possible. They slowly built up the number of miles they rode together while listening to Nathaniel’s favorite podcast on history. Just like Rocky, Nathaniel and his dad had a long way to go. It took a lot of hard work, self motivation and belief to get there.
That’s why they chose the Rocky steps for their destination. Rocky inspired Nathaniel and his dad not because of his capacity for victory – remember, Rocky loses his big fight in the first film – but because of his incredible determination and endurance.
Rocky never gives up. Neither does Nathaniel. Even though Rocky loses, he keeps training hard and he always keeps fighting. Punch after punch, even in the face of certain defeat, Rocky keeps going after what he believes in and dreams of achieving. Nathaniel says this has been an amazing positive influence on him.
It is often easy to look at life and see only the difficulty. The literal rocky moments. But Nathaniel sees them as Rocky (with a capital “R”) moments. Every struggle is chance to train harder, do better, and inspire others. Nathaniel may never have an easy ride through life, but he doesn’t plan to stop pedaling.
“You can do anything,” Nathaniel says.
Whether you are winning or losing right now, that’s what Nathaniel wants people to know. That’s why he went the distance like his film hero Rocky. To prove anything is possible.