Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Middlesboro, KY - Not many people at the age of 28 are living their lives quite like David Chedester. Less than 1 year ago, David received the devasting news that he had been diagnosed with an illness that most people don't develop until they are in their 60's. Parkinson's Disease, a neurological disorder that progressively takes over control of the brain and body, is now something that David is living with, but also raising money to help find a cure. The disease more commonly associated with Micahel J. Fox and Muhammed Ali, has now been affected two of Middlesboro's very own, David and his father Robert.
Instead of allowing the Disease to take over control of his life, David has set out a mission to fight back. On Friday, David spoke to over 100 Middlesboro High School English students, and delivered a strong message of "rising up in life, most importantly when things seem over".
"I told the kids that I overcame a terrible addiction with alcohol and depression, and used Parkinson's Disease as a 2nd chance at living a more positive life."
David's ability to deliver the strong message had every kid on the edge of their seat, something not easily done, especially with kids of 16 and 17 years old.
"You know I wasn't sure on how my story was going to keep those kids' attention, but I was very impressed with how attentative they were. I made sure they realized that just because the expectation for most kids in Middlesboro isn't the same as students in New York City or Los Angeles, that it wasn't an excuse for failure."
David delivered a very emotional, tear driven speech, that one teacher described as, "for those 40 minutes that David was speaking, you could've heard a pin drop."
After several radio station and TV stops, David held a book signing later on that evening, in which he was able to raise over $2,000. All the proceeds from David's speaking event and book signing will be donated to TEAM FOX (The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research).
"For this being my first event, it was very important to me that it be held in the same town I was born and raised in. Middlesboro will always be in my heart and I owe everything I have to that town. The support I received while I was home was bottomlessly generous. To raise that amount of money for my first event, the sky is the ceiling for the future."
David has done interviews with the local ABC and Fox News TV stations in Lynchburg and Roanoke, Virginia. He has several future book signings set up for the next few months, and has set a goal of raising $20,000 this year for TEAM FOX. He has also started his own non-profit called "Shakin' Not Stirred Foundation", which people can "Like" and follow on Facebook.
"Sometimes in life, the finish line needs to be moved." - David Chedester