Adam Settle on His Book and How to Live Life to Its Fullest With A Rare Disease

Adam Settle, is an artist, football lover, and the youngest of eight. He’s also the subject of the new book, No Day Wasted: The Adam Settle Story, by Susan F. Stallings. The author interviews anyone Adam impacted in his community- which Stallings proves, is just about everyone he encounters.
The book tells many stories of a young man who comes like a breath of fresh air. Adam’s brother, Richard Settle, explained, “As I’ve gotten older, I think Adam brings about a refreshing sense of joy and laughter. Just this persona that a lot of people and myself admire, breaking down the mundane of everyday life.”
The book starts with a diagnosis. Within a week of birth,  Adam was diagnosed with  Cobalamin-C Deficiency, a rare metabolic disorder that causes blindness, seizures, issues with blood, learning difficulties, tiredness, and more.
Still, Adam’s barriers are far from what this story is about.
The book tells the story of a person full of spirit- undeterred by social barriers or fears. His mother, Annette said,
“Adam’s all about let’s do this thing- don’t let people intimidate you, embrace them. He always goes to the top. There’s no barrier- ‘Oh I can’t ask him, he’s the president of this or that.’ He’ll go up to anyone, anywhere, and if he has a question, he’ll just ask them. It doesn’t matter.”

The Diagnosis

At first Annette thought that he was a very well-behaved baby, as he rarely cried and had little trouble sleeping. A few days after birth though, when Adam’s father took him to the pediatrician- alarm bells rang. The doctor told them that the blood test came back with abnormal results, and that it was probably a false positive. Still, he told them they had to show up the next day at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
With seven other children, the eldest age 13, it wasn’t an easy ask to drop everything and get across the state, stat. Annette asked if they could wait until the weekend had passed. The doctor responded, “He might not be here after the weekend.’”
By 3:00 the next day, Adam was in the most intensive care unit. There, the family was in luck. They came upon three doctor who thought they recognized the disease and needed to run tests to confirm it. At just a few months old, he was one of the first children in Pennsylvania to be diagnosed through the Newborn Screenings Act.
Adam had Cobalamin-C deficiency.

 Cobalamin-C Deficiency

 Cobalamin-C deficiency is a rare, genetic, metabolic disorder which causes defects in the protein that breaks down vitamin B12. This causes symptoms including vision problems or blindness, seizures, tiredness, lack of appetite, low muscle tone, raises, learning difficulties, and blood issues. People experience the disease in varied ways depending on the age of onset, and the intensity of the symptoms. While there is no cure, people may help symptomatically with a low protein diet and supplements, as well as other medications. Without treatment, the disease can potentially be life-threatening.

Adam’s Upbringing

Despite the diagnosis, Annette was determined to give Adam the same life and opportunities as his seven older siblings. Her experience with multiple miscarriages and seven kids had taught her important lessons about expectations put on children. She said, “Adam was exactly who he needed to be, just like the rest of my children.”

“No Day Wasted: The Adam Settle Story”

Of course, not everyone just gets a book written about them at age 19. Adam is an incredibly vivacious and exuberant character, and the book captures how that impacts the entire community around him.  The book tells the stories of football coaches, bus drivers, and coffeeshop baristas. Describing their hometown, Adam’s brother Richard said, that it had a “small town vibe,” which played a big role in so many people throughout the community knowing Adam.
This isn’t the first time Adam has caught the attention of the press. Adam’s artwork, book, and his guest appearance in a basketball game has been the subject of articles published in the local paper “The Banner” and other podcasts.
When it came to writing the book, the author Susan Stallings had only written one book before- but dove right in. Adam said that their joint effort led to a better product than either of them ever expected. Susan wrote the book while Adam had the idea of collecting stories from people he had impacted.

Adam’s Unique Vision

Adam is an easy person to find stories about. He’s the kind of person that goes straight to what peaks his interests, and he has no fear of being told no. Annette spoke of her appreciation for his ability to say yes, even if he is not best equipped or missing some of the answers. He has taught her: just ask. Everyone is human just like you, so if you have a question, just ask!
That quality of unfiltered care and attention to those around him has also made his a community builder- something he hopes to pursue as an inspirational speaker. The family told a story from the book about an opportunity Adam got to play in a basketball game at the school, usually made impossible by his lack of vision. Then, the whole school showed up. Annette explained how all different kinds of kids came together to support him, making t-shirts and posters. She spoke of the impact they had on both her and Adam.
Adam’s unique vision show’s readers maybe they should see things a bit more like him. Annette attests: the book is uplifting, funny, and encouraging. Despite the bumpy start while they learned what life with a chronic illness would mean, Adam teaches you how to not let yourself be intimidated or let your limitations hold you back. Annette said,
“Everyone wants to be remembered and known. There’s something about people saying your name- your heart almost even flutters. It’s just being known and acknowledged, and Adam acknowledges other people. I love how there will be people that he barely knows and yet he’ll reach out. There’s no strangers anywhere and there’s no barriers.”

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