Posted By: JCGS Volunteer
Date: 1/12/2021 at 13:26:13
Woodyard Maintains Positive Outlook On Life
When Jeffrey Woodyard was born, the doctor told his mother not to get attached to him and that he wasn’t going to live more than six months. At 72 years old, he still gets a kick out of showing that doctor up and serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever met him.
“I beat death,” Woodyard said of what has motivated him to overcome so many obstacles.
Woodyard suffers from cerebral palsy and a number of other medical issues. Despite this, he is a very positive person and even authored his own un-published auto-biography, “The Life and Trials of Jeff.”
“Celebrating every day of life,” said Woodyard when asked what inspired him to write a book. “I have lived with cerebral palsy my entire life, but it has never stopped me from living my life to the fullest. I am still strong and constantly looking for my next adventure.”
And indeed he has lived a very full life. In his book he boasts of romantic escapades, traveling, his affection for automobiles, his plans if he ever won the lottery, and singing karaoke at the Scoreboard in downtown Newton. He also reveals his only feat: not finishing his autobiography.
“I just have the itch to travel more, see the world, and experience everything,” he wrote in the current events chapter of his book. “I would love to adventure in the great outdoors. I love everything about Mother Nature – except for the weeds and the bugs. At the end of my travels, I would move to Colorado and buy a ranch that had everything I could dream of – especially women!”
Woodyard has never been able to fully walk on his own. His family couldn’t afford a wheelchair when he was growing up, so he was carried everywhere. His family was always his biggest support system. He couldn’t go to school because of his condition, so his mother homeschooled him and taught him everything he knows. And both his parents took care of him until their deaths.
“My dad walked the floor with me every day for the first six years of my life,” reads a passage from Woodyard’s book. “He always sang, ‘The Old Rugged Cross.’ I was spoiled rotten from day one throughout my entire life by everyone.”
Usually when a person says they are spoiled rotten by everyone, it tends to be an exaggeration. However, when you mention Woodyard’s name in the halls of Heritage Manor, everyone’s faces seems to light up. Nothing but good things are said about him.
“I like just about everyone I meet,” read another passage of Woodyard’s book. “I have hundreds of friends.”
When you make friends everywhere you go like Woodyard has, sometimes tragedy follows. But the loss of many friends and family members hasn’t dampened his spirits in the slightest bit.
“If you are born to die, you have to live your life to the fullest. I do not let anything get me down.” -
Source: Newton (IA) Daily News; Senior Lifestyles supplement; Friday, January 25, 2013, page 10
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