"I want to be independent"
In May, 1983 at Beaufort, SC, Richie Parker was born with bilateral amelia, a defect where his limbs don't properly form. Originally, his doctors didn't believe that he would be able to live long. But he proved them wrong. First, he started adapting. Then, slowly but surely, Richie Parker began to get smarter and bigger. He learned to walk, talk, cry and more. In the end, he was close to being a normal toddler!
Even at a young age, Richie knows that it is important to smile.
Richie relaxes and smiles a a wide grin at the camera. At a young age, he is extremely photogenic.
Curiosity and the Dog
As Richie sits atop a play truck, he stares curiously at his dog.
As Richie grew and grew, several tasks proved to be harder for young Richie and he started having trouble. But he persevered, first learning to ride a bike, then learning to eat and do everyday tasks independently. Tasks that were once challenges slowly got easier. He finally seemed to be on his way to a happy life. He won over friends with his positive personality and enjoyed the outdoors. Of course, he encountered problems, here and there, but with perseverance, he solved them with no problem.
Richie and Friends
Richie hangs out with his friends and has fun!
"Look Ma! No Arms!"
Even though he had a unusual method of doing so, Richie successfully rode a bike.
Richie starts to feel a need for independence and learns to do harder challenges by himself.
Later Years- 2014
As Richie gets older, he struggles to find his independence. At the age of 15, Richie loved cars. He strongly wanted to drive one, but people dashed his hopes, saying that there was always a taxi or bus. But Richie wanted to feel independent. He found his dream car, fixed it up and drove it. If riding a bike was a big milestone for him, then driving a car was a bigger one. Finding a job was another obstacle. But after attempt after attempt, he finds a job at NASCAR, pursuing his love of cars. After all this adversity, Richie Parker succeeds! He is a icon on staying strong, and he lives a happy life.
Finding A Job
Richie Parker happily heads to his job.
No Arms, no limits!
Richie works with his feet.
Even driving is no match for Richie as he cruises down the street.