Law was one of the over 13,000 thalidomide births in Canada in the
early ’60s. Born without arms, he is hard to miss — especially when
he takes off his shoes and uses his feet to eat lunch, drive his
car, scratch his head, and play musical instruments, including the
piano, drums, even the slide trombone. He shakes your hand with his
right foot when you meet him [he explains with a grin that he is
right footed] then autographs a copy of his inspiring book.
Alvin does any one of a thousand things we take for granted. His
attitude towards not having arms is simply "no arms…so what?”
Born and raised in Yorkton, Sask., his parents gave him up at birth.
He was placed in a foster home with a couple who raised him and
taught him the values he has today. They taught him "there is no
such word as can't" and encouraged him to be as good as or better
than anyone else at everything he undertook.
When you meet him and read his book you soon realize he is an
incredible achiever who undertook and overcame everything.
Alvin is now one of North America's most in-demand public speakers.
I saw him speak at a Rotary conference and could not wait to meet
him to tell him how much I admire and respect his straight-ahead
approach to life. Oh how I wish that every young person could see
and hear his presentation or at the very least, read his inspiring
book, Alvin's Laws of Life.
He is very matter of fact about his condition, telling me, "I feel
that I am an achiever. I'm living proof that anyone can achieve
anything as long as you put out a lot of hard work and dedication.
Then at the end of the day appreciate what you have.”
Don't misunderstand me. Alvin's life has not been without a great
deal of pain that accompanies such a handicap. Alvin has earned the
respect of everyone and the title "Canadian Achiever."