FILIPINO TEEN-AGER DELIVERS MESSAGE OF RESPECT FOR PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL NEEDS

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

February 8, 2013

Orange, Calif.–Nineteen year-old Christian Lopez uses his wheelchair as a vehicle to deliver his messages of respect and change.

Born in the Philippines with muscular dystrophy, the Garden Grove high school student joined Orange County Human Relations Commission’s Bridges Program, a program which fosters respect and equality through community building and workshops

“Throughout my high school career, I was able to open up more in bridges and like deal with projects in my school that deal with anti-bullying campaigns and we would collaborate with other clubs in our school for bigger projects,” said Lopez.

Lopez moved to the U.S. at age 10 to seek medical attention. Though his condition bounds him to his wheelchair, he said his mind and spirit run free.

“The only thing I can’t do now is walking, but pretty much everything else, I’ll find a way like dancing. I like dancing ever since junior high at my first school dance, I got down on the dance floor,” added Lopez.

Having lost his father to cancer six years ago, his mother, a caregiver, and younger brother help him get by with his day to day routines. His family’s hardships inspired him to become a writer.

As Lopez prepares for his first year in college he said he is now living out one of his dreams as a motivational speaker.

Last year he was a keynote speaker for the OC Human Relations annual gala, and was recently invited to host a workshop for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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