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An Inspiration to Everyone

"David Young"

In doing research for the series, I'm always being charged up by the enthusiasm and positive attitude of the people I meet. But nothing moves me more than so called handicapped people who have overcome so very much. People like Karl Hilzinger, the legless skier in the silver suit. And this amazing man, David Young. A quadriplegic, felled by polio at 19. Confined to a chair for 36 years. Unable to breathe properly because his diaphragm is paralysed. Yet he's become a well known artist. He paints by holding the brush in his mouth. His seascapes are among the most beautiful you will ever see.

After he was stricken, he studied painting for 20 years. He'd never painted before. He had been a fisherman and logger living in Sointula, a fishing village off the northern coast of Vancouver Island. Later he taught painting for 18 years.

He's done over 4,000 paintings. As he says, with a smile, "that includes the good, the bad, and the ugly."

His paintings have been sold worldwide. Limited edition prints sell for up to 800 dollars. He does a very brisk business in cards as well. No sir, there is no holding him back. In fact, just recently he's developed a keen interest in doing etchings.

David credits his success to having a positive attitude and to being married for the past 20 years to Patricia, a charming lady from Edmunston, New Brunswick.

David may be stuck in a wheelchair but you'll never catch him sitting still. He's busy remodelling their Ladner, B.C. home to accommodate an art

gallery to exhibit his and other artists works. As David says, "I think anybody can sit back, feel sorry, and ask 'what have I got left. What can I do?'" "With the advent of computers a quad can do a lot if given the chance."

That's so very true. Handicapped people can do so very much. They're proving it every day. The biggest problem they must overcome is not their physical handicap, it's our mental handicap when it comes to working with and understanding them. .. Canada is a better country because of the achievements of the so-called handicapped.

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