Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do you believe in miracles? I do!

There are certain words in today's world that apply to many different things. One of those, in my opinion, is "miracle." How many of us have really seen, or been, part of a miracle? Well, it depends on who you ask. A die-hard sports fan would tell you a miracle might be what the U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team did in Lake Placid, N.Y. A family struggling with a terminal illness might have witnessed a miracle if their child or member suddenly recovers and leads a productive life. Or sometimes, a miracle can just be what it is...a miracle. Today I was watching "A Walk To Remember" on DVD, which happens to be one of the many movies that I count as my favorite. If you want to laugh at me because it's a so-called "chick flick," go right ahead. But it's not. The movie is based on the best-seller by Nicholas Sparks, about a young man facing a brush with the law after a dangerous stunt backfires. He eventually crosses paths with a minister's daughter, and the two are polar opposites, yet they somehow form a good friendship, and that develops into love...which is severely tested when he finds out she has leukemia. Unfortunately, she loses her battle at the end of the movie, but not before Landon marries Jaime. A few years later, Landon meets up with her father, and he is now headed for medical school. Landon though apologizes for not being able to show Jaime a miracle. Her father replies, "She did see a miracle. It was you."

If you had to ask me what a miracle was, I can give you proof of one: The National Stuttering Association. Before I found the NSA, I was so alone and feeling like a prisoner in my own private hell. I know now that getting on that Jetblue flight to Long Beach was the best decision I ever made. Three years have passed since that day. Am I the same person? Absolutely not. Sure, I wish some things in my life were different....we all do. I'd like to be working full-time. But I know miracles exist. I have teammates who encourage me, as I encourage them. I found my voice. I found my passion. I found that there is no limit to how far I can go. And most importantly, I found some of the most compassionate, amazing people on this earth.

The tag line for the movie says "It all comes down to who's by your side." I know who's by my side...and it's the NSA. If you stutter, please let the NSA stand by your side as well. Check them out at, and call 1-800-WE-STUTTER. I know there is a person out there who can be part of their own miracle, and with the NSA's help, we'll make it happen.

My name is Steven Kaufman, and I am a person who stutters. Until next time, stand up and be counted. Make your voice heard.

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