“I didn’t want to be here anymore and I was moments away from ending my life,” Those were the words of 19-year-old Brandon Farbstein.
At the age of two, Brandon was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism called metatropic dysplasia , resulting in his current height of three-foot-nine, which made him a target for bullying in school.
“It really started with cyber bulling my freshman year of high school,” he revealed, “I used this mobility device that was this really cool bright yellow Segway. As cool as it was, it wasn’t cool at all to my fellow peers.”
The Segway was Brandon’s idea of making a mobility device trendy instead of using a wheelchair. But instead of making him cool, he received the kind of attention he could have never imaged.
He shared, “It got to the point where I started getting a new death threat it seemed like almost every week. I came home from school one day and I didn’t want to be here anymore and I was moments away from ending my life. ”
But thankfully He didn’t. He got help. And because he gave himself a chance to live, his life is now completely different.
Soon after that moment, a woman approached Brandon after being intrigued by his Segway mobility device, and began making small talk. This small talk turned into a discussion on his journey thus far & what he wanted to do.
It turned out this woman was one of the driving forces behind the TEDx movement, and recommended that Brandon give a talk at a TEDx event that would be coming up a few months later.
The Segway that had made him a target to his peers had became the very thing that changed his life forever.
View this post on Instagram
April 10, 2015- the day my life began. • for the first 15 years of my life, i left isolated, empty, and invisible. though i was always, voluntarily or not, the center of attention, it’s like i didn’t fit in this world- and this world didn’t fit me. • but, one moment changed that view of the world, and my life, forever. i stood on stage with nearly 2,000 sets of eyes looking up at me, which was an uncommon occurrence 😜, waiting for me to be vulnerable and be me for the very first time. it was then i found my life’s mission, my purpose and passion. • after a chance encounter with a stranger in the airport who ended up being one of the initiators of the @ted conferences, i was given an incredible opportunity to inspire the world. • and you are, too. see – inspiration doesn’t come from words, it comes from actions. if we truly want to live in a world that is full of greatness, we must create greatness out of our world. if we commit to taking the initiative – being in the drivers seat, making the first move…imagine how much change we can create. • my life transformed in a moment…and yours can too. ❤️ to view my TED talk, click the link in my bio 😊
Today, Brandon is an internationally renowned motivational speaker, GenZ Activist & author of the book Ten Feet Tall. His message reaches millions of people around the world and in just two years he’s spoke at the the Vice Presidential Debate (October 2016) and TEDx Talks!
So what did Brandon learn from his experience?
“The amount of pain that I have to deal with every single day sometimes can feel really overwhelming [but] What I’ve realized is that I have two choices: I can either use what I’ve been given and say, you know what yes, this sucks, it’s painful and it’s gonna be hard. But what can I do with this? How can I help somebody else with it?Or, I can wake up every single day and look at all the things that I don’t have and that are lacking and whatever that is but I choose not to because that doesn’t serve me and that doesn’t serve anybody else. ”
And Brandon couldn’t be more right. In life we have struggles. People can be bullies and we will want to give up. But Brandon is proof that if we keep moving forward, there is so much good around the corner.
He leaves us with this message:
“We all need to realize that we have an incredible gift with what we’ve been given, and you have the choice, it’s either you use that to become the greatest version of you or you just sit there and let your life tick away.”
Follow me @LindsayBhoffman