Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Too Big to Fail- Jordan Levin- Inspirational Story!

By Jimmy Risk: (look for Jordan's video, posted below)

For the past six months I have heard the phrase, "Too Big to Fail" ad nauseum. I cannot really comprehend being too big to fail because everything I learned in my life told me that there is no safety net for failure. You walk out on life's high wire, breathe easy, and some how find the other end.

MICHIGAN (YN)- The phrase TBTF seems to infer that brainless institutions made irresponsible decisions are afraid of the other side. Jordan Levin never feared the flip side of winning because his parents Marty and Mollene decided after a devastating diagnosis that life itself, was too big to fail for Jordan.

He came into this world prematurely on his parents bed at 31 oz and rushed to a hospital where he'd stay for the next 4 months on a respirator in between multiple surgeries. With hands the size of a fingernail and a 10% chance to live at birth meant coming home to a crib was the first of many successful walks across that high wire. He had been born four months earlier, but we were told developmentally it was as if he were just born" said Mollene Levin as they brought him home.

Life moved at a slower pace for Jordan until he was 2½ years old. That is when he was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf caused by his premature birth. His parents were told he would never speak and sign language would be a logical recourse for communicating with people who could do so. Anyone meeting Mollene Levin for more than 10 minutes can surmise that such a diagnosis would carry no water.

A trip to a Toronto conference where deaf children guru Dr. Ciwa Griffiths proclaimed, "Don't let anyone tell you your profoundly deaf child can't do something! That was all the Levins needed to hear. Years of auditory training and Jordans natural ability to read lips allowed him to go to traditional schools and lead a normal life. As Jordan said, "My parents never gave an inch. The bar was set high and I had to clear it". Clear it he did. Jordan played most sports in grade and high school but excelled in hockey which (at age 32) he plays and still, tucks his shirt in like Wayne Gretzky did". It is all chronicled in a tell all book by Marty Levin called, "We Were Relentless". A family's journey to overcome disability.

And here I was on the first day of Spring, watching Jordan Levin giving a motivational speech to a group of 12 year old boys who had volunteered to take care of special needs children on a regular basis. I was looking at a guy who from birth navigated life through the eye of a needle. Here he was passionately fighting for a group of children that these 12 year olds would one day steward. Jordan Levin made it perfectly clear that there was a bar to be set and met.

Life is still too big to fail for Jordan Levin. Today he is a physical trainer by trade and a budding motivational speaker. He has dedicated his life to making sure that deaf and special needs children and their overseers understand that life is a high wire to be walked on with equal footing, if only they'll try.

Jordan's Video