For Sheila Radziewicz life has been full of challenges, but even when life was meant to give up on her, she never gave up on life. Today she is one of the best most inspiring martial arts expert, but do you know why that was such a challenge? Well Sheila is the first armless black belt artist and she is fabulous. Keep reading to know more about this amazing woman, plus check out Sheila Radziewicz’s photo and videos below.
Life can bring challenges to many people, sometimes it is one after another every time they get harder and you feel that you can’t take it anymore, you even ask God why so many test you, pick someone else you might have even said. I have seen that happen, I have seen people giving up and drowned in depression, but I have also seen people who fight and become role models for others, perhaps others that maybe don’t have such bigger problems, but just don’t seem to find a way out and find these role models and think, Wow! I am complaining and she or he was so much worse and look at them now, how happy they are, how much joy they bring to others, how much hope when nobody had any hope for them. Hope was not an option given to Sheila Radziewicz 32 years ago when she was born in Salem, Massachusetts with TAR syndrome, or Thrombocytopenia with absent radius (no bone in the forearm). People born with TAR also can have kidney and heart problems. Sheila was born with all this plus no kneecaps. Which is why doctors said that she would have died a few days after her birth, but she didn’t.
Then she was told that she would never be able to talk, but she did and she was also told that she will never be able to walk, but you know what she did, it took longer for her to take her first steps but once she started walking there was no way to stop her and look at where Sheila Radziewicz is now she is perhaps the first armless black belt taekwondo artist in the world.
For Sheila, her parents were an important factor to her recovery, John a computer technician and mother Mary who stayed home to take care of their three daughters but especially her youngest one Sheila, to whom she always said:
‘Nothing is impossible. Impossible just takes a little longer.”
Sheila will always feel so grateful to have found Dr. Kruger at Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, who besides his knowledge always gave hope to her parents and little Sheila.
Before she was ten years old she already had been ten times in the surgery room to correct her legs and help her walk. Sheila was at elementary school like every other child, she went to high school and played soccer, and did a little horseback riding.
After high school she went to college at Suffolk University in Boston where she got her undergraduate degree in Government in 2000, it was during college that she even got a job, a great job where she was able to help others, she became the counselor at Girls Inc where she taught sign language and developed a disability awareness program.
Sheila then enrolled at the University of Arizona where she graduated in Criminal Justice in 2001. It was in Arizona that one day she found herself face to face with a martial Arts School flyer, she thought it might be interesting so she went.
Her instructor accepted her gladly, but then it was time for Sheila to get back to Boston. Once reinstalled at her natal Boston she got a job at a domestic violence organization where she became an advocate coordinator. In her spare time she continued with her martial arts training at the Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts.
Having Sheila is a blessing for everyone at Bruce McCorry, as Sandra LaRosa and Bruce McCorry commented:
"She called and said she had no arms. I booked an appointment with her and she trotted in, held out her arm, we shook hands and she went right into class. She was looking for a school in the area where she felt comfortable and she knew this was the school for her because no one treated her differently. There she is just like anyone else. She does not let her disability get in the way of anything…. The thing that stands out about Sheila is her personality, her positive attitude. The moment she came through the door, her confidence was obvious. She came in like nothing was wrong” Sandra said.
"She’s a very hard working girl. When she sets her mind to do something she goes and does it. She’s a warrior at life, Bruce said.
Sheila also works with children, not so long ago she earned her black belt along with her friends at Bruce McCorry see some pictures of her in action here. Anyone who meets her leaves with their pockets full, How is that? Sheila fills your heart with happiness and hope with her smile, kindness, strength, courage and so much more. I found that even without knowing her in person, but just to read her story it was an incredible, inspiring and emotional experience, how about you? Is this armless Black Belt artist amazing? Have a look at the video below.
Sheila Radziewicz Video