Motivational speaker shares story at Abbotsford schools
A man who lost both legs and one hand due to a bacterial infection at four months of age brought his motivational message to Abbotsford this week.
On Monday morning, Shayne Smith, 24, told students at Abbotsford Traditional Middle School – the first stop on his speaking tour of the city – that everyone has hardships in life; it's your attitude that impacts how you deal with them.
"If there's one thing I want you to take away from this presentation, it's that you are the masters of your destiny. You can go as far in this world as you want," he said.
Smith, a motivational speaker through the Why Factor program, has teamed up with the Tutor Doctor – a worldwide tutoring franchise – to speak at four Abbotsford schools.
Smith visits two local schools on Tuesday, March 12 – Rick Hansen Secondary at 10:30 a.m. and Chief Dan George Middle School at 1 p.m.
The following day, he speaks at Blue Jay Elementary at 8:30 a.m.
Smith was four months old when he contracted meningococcal septicemia and was given a two per cent chance of surviving.
He was in a coma for 10 days and spent four months in hospital. In addition to the amputation of his legs and left hand, he also lost half of each finger on his right hand.
Smith told the students at Abbotsford Traditional Middle School that he lets nothing stop him.
He started playing basketball at eight years old, and it took him four years to score his first basket, he said.
In 2005, at the age of 15, he was chosen for the Canadian Junior National Wheelchair Basketball Team, which played in the world championships in England. He was the youngest player on the team.
Smith was also a member of his high school honor band, using a specially designed prosthesis to play the drums.
He is now touring with The Why Factor to encourage people to strive to be their best.
"There's nothing in this world more important than achieving your goals," he said during his presentation.