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Friend Enriches Quadriplegic's Life

My uncle Greg had cerebral palsy, and he was a quadriplegic. He was an incredible inspiration to me. He was one of those guys who had a golden attitude, and he accepted his lot in life and ministered to a whole lot of people in his own way. He was able to get around quite well with an electric wheelchair, but his speech was difficult to understand.

A few years ago he attended a handi-camp week at Country Lake Christian retreat. One of our church members, John, served as a volunteer that week, and he was assigned to my uncle Greg. That meant that for four solid days, 24 hours a day, he did everything for my uncle Greg. John fed him every bite. He gave him every drink. He slept on a concrete floor on an air mattress beside Uncle Greg's bed. He took him to the bathroom, cleaned him up. He did everything for four days for Greg. John even got some of his friends together and took my uncle Greg out on the lake in a floatation device. He swam for the very first time in his life.

They have this tradition at camp that, on the very last day of camp, they get the servant volunteer up there next to the camper. They talk all about the camper, and they recap all the different things that they've done. Then they ask the campers one question: "What was your favorite thing of the week?" The campers always say the same thing—swimming. The staff was a little concerned for Uncle Greg that they wouldn't be able to understand what he had to say because of his speech.

So John got up there, with Uncle Greg in his wheelchair, and he talked all about the different things that Greg had done that week. He said, "We've nicknamed him 'The Fish' because he loves to swim so much." He said, "Okay, Greg. It's your turn now." Then he turned to Greg and asked, "What was your favorite part of the entire week?" Everybody could understand my Uncle Greg, when he raised his hand, pointed back at John, and said, "You." John said, "Oh, there had to be something else. Was it the swimming? Was it the snack time?" Greg raised his hand up again and simply said, "You."

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