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Overcoming Obstacles: Double amputee shares message of kindness

SOUTH POINT — Ron Bachman has traveled many miles without any legs. All with one destination in mind. To make the way easier for others with disabilities.

That was the message the double amputee gave to the teens of the South Point High School Friday afternoon. Bachman was born with deformed legs that were amputated when he was only 4.

Fitted with prosthetic legs, Bachman wore them while in school, but later decided to move through his world on what he describes as his own terms, walking on his hands.

“For 52 years I have never stood up one time,” he told the assembly.

His disability created in him a desire to end the prejudice those who are different experience daily. Plus he has expanded his message to stop teen bullying and end “bigotry, meanness and unkindness.”

“I’m on a mission. We are seeing things in school, we’ve never seen in school,” Bachman said referring to current rash of school violence. “You don’t walk into a school with an automatic weapon.

“Don’t strike out so much on purpose. Don’t plot and plan the demise of one of your own.”

Going up and down the high school’s gym floor on a specially designed motorized scooter, Bachman combined humor and candor as he encouraged the teens to develop self-esteem and be more understanding toward diversity.

Taking questions from the audience, Bachman joked about one of the favorite questions he gets from the elementary age children he talks to.

“If they ask me if I sleep in a really, little bed one more time,” he laughed.

Bachman’s week-long Tri-State visit to schools was sponsored by Superior Chrysler Dodge.

“You have got to love yourself. The sooner you do that, you will honor yourself with respect and love,” he said. “You have a great responsibility. You are all teachers. You are teaching life and life experiences.”