Riding for Children's Mercy
Early on in Brett McMullin's life, doctors recommended he have his severe club foot amputated. His father said no and that surgery never took place.
On Monday, April 8, Brett, 27, finished a nine-day, across-the-state-of-Kansas bicycle ride, pulling into the circle drive in front of Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. Dedicating his ride to cancer research at Children's Mercy, Brett labeled his journey "Destination: Inspire" in hopes of inspiring others to also overcome the difficulties in their lives.
"One thing my father always told me was, "It's not what the circumstance is, it's what you do with the circumstance,'" says Brett. "That's my key to get through any of these trials or anything else that's tried to hold me back."
Although this bike ride to raise support for Children's Mercy started at the Colorado-Kansas border on Sunday, March 31, Brett's journey actually started at birth when he was born with a club foot, no fibula in his right leg, scoliosis and a heart murmur. He was told he may never walk.
"The doctors said that I would never be able to be a real active kid and play sports with the other kids," adds Brett. However, his father - one of the biggest influences in Brett's life - decided to take a different approach with Brett and his medical disabilities, encouraging him to overcome the odds and telling him, "It's not what you have. It's what you do with what you have."
The encouraging words sparked a fire in Brett. Although he underwent multiple surgeries and pushed through a lot of pain, he continued to find himself on the basketball courts, football fields and wrestling mats. He also found himself on a bicycle, a surprising passion and hobby for a guy who has two different shoe sizes - an 11 and a 5 - and an inch difference in his legs.
"I was free on my bike," says Brett, who now has a rod in the femur of his left leg with screws in his knee and hip. "On my bike, I wanted to push past the pain and ride faster and farther."
RIDING FOR CHILDREN'S MERCY
A resident of Oak Grove, Mo., Brett's decision to support cancer research at Children's Mercy stemmed from a casual conversation outside of work with Cindy Glass, a member of the Hematology/Oncology team.
Not knowing that Cindy worked at Children's Mercy, Brett mentioned his 2012 bike ride across the state of Missouri in support of Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis. He also mentioned a desire to do a similar ride across Kansas, but that he hadn't decided on whom he should support.
"Since I love my job and this hospital, of course I mentioned Children's Mercy and started telling him about our cancer program," adds Cindy.
And, that's really all it took for Brett as well as for some of his supporters.
A week before the ride, Karsyn's Krusaders, a non-profit in Waterloo, Iowa, that raises funds to support pediatric cancer and has a family connection with Brett, announced a $12,000 donation to Children's Mercy in honor of Brett's ride.
The inspiring gift and additional support for the ride fits right in line with Brett's mission of inspiring others to overcome barriers, discover freedom and develop an innovative purpose to achieve extraordinary accomplishments.
To learn more about Brett's bike ride across the state of Kansas or see pictures from his trip on his "Destination: Inspire" Facebook page.
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Brett McMullin, who overcame a severe club foot, hopes that his ride across Kansas to benefit Children's Mercy will help inspire others to conquer difficulties in their lives.
Karsyn's Krusaders, a non-profit group in Waterloo, Iowa, that raises funds to support pediatric cancer and has a family connection with Brett, made a $12,000 donation to Children's Mercy in honor of Brett's ride.