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Living With Unlimited Purpose

2011 October 14

By Tai of Allsup

Invisible Disabilities Association

Invisible Disabilities Association

Luis Carlos Montalván is a former captain in the U.S. Army. During his 17 years of military service, Montalván earned the Combat Action Badge, two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. He lives with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

I recently met him at a banquet held by the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA), which recognizes organizations and individuals who are raising awareness and advocating for compassion, greater understanding and civic involvement for and by people with disabilities.

October is Disability Awareness month, and it’s a fitting time for the annual IDA Honors Banquet in Lone Tree, Colo., which Allsup sponsors. This organization’s activities are important to Allsup because so many people who qualify for Social Security disability benefits have invisible disabilities. This was my third year attending, and again I came away inspired by the honorees and guests.

Capt. Montalván shared his story of the “war after the war,” dealing with the often debilitating conditions of his invisible disabilities. Like a true warrior, he was determined to overcome his personal battles.

With the help of his “best friend”— a golden retriever service dog named Tuesday—Montalván found hope and healing, and now advocates for his fellow veterans and the disability community.

During the same event, the first thing I noticed about Margaret Ferrante, MD, was her beaming smile and effervescence. I never would have guessed that she lives each day with multiple chronic illnesses and injuries, including TBI, resulting from an automobile crash.

She was honored with the IDA Perseverance Award for using her experiences as both patient and physician to encourage others. Her enthusiasm for living a purposeful life and for encouraging others was summed up when she shared one of her favorite bible verses, Romans 8:28,“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Disability Awareness Month is a good time to remember and remind others that disabilities never, ever limit people’s purpose.

Read more personal stories from those with a variety of disabilities in Allsup’s online real stories section.

One Response leave one →
  1. December 1, 2011

    Loved loved meeting and listening to Luis and Tuesday!!! What charm and charisma! And what a positive positive message for us all!,

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