I’ve seen the name, Quentin Martin, like everywhere on the CMTA social media pages lately. And coincidentally, just last week, he reached out to me about promoting igive.com for the CMTA. But, before getting into all that, let me tell you a bit about our friend, Quentin.
A Little Background
As a youngster, he was very active. He loved sports, the great outdoors and climbing trees. He also idolized Superman and wanted to be just like him – a man of steel, flying through the air, catching criminals and saving humanity.
That dream faded as he approached his preteen years when he started to trip and fall – a lot. At 11 years-old, he was diagnosed with CMT – a progressive nerve disease for which there is no treatment or cure. He was fitted with plastic leg braces to correct foot drop. He hated those white, clunky plastic braces, which screamed, “Hey, you! Yeah, you! Look at me! Something is up with my lower legs. But you won’t find me…I’m hiding under these pant legs and I’m not coming out.” Big mouth braces! Mean kids pick up on that sort of thing pretty quickly.
The Worst Is Yet To Come
If you think that is bad, there is more.
At age 12, Quentin suddenly lost his sight to another progressive condition: Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. When I heard that, I was in a state of disbelief.
Seriously, can you even imagine?
Thankfully, throughout these difficult times, his mom provided unconditional support and love, infusing him with strength and willpower. Pity never crossed her mind. Her son would be okay. She knew it and she made sure he knew it. There would be no self-pity in her house. Instead, her main message was one of acceptance, determination, and encouragement. She also emphasized the importance of extending a hand to others in need – always.
Georgia Academy for the Blind
Depressed and withdrawn, 12-year old Quentin was enrolled in a school for the blind in Macon, Georgia, joining other vision- impaired youth learning to be in a world without the sense humans rely upon the most – sight.
The first couple of years were hard. Quentin was homesick, scared and sad. It wasn’t going well until the swim coach asked him to consider the swim team, and would not take no for an answer. This was a major turning point in his life.
It’s beautiful to know that neither Quentin’s mom nor his coach ever gave up on him, and little by little, Quentin accepted the idea that he could live with CMT and blindness AND could do anything he set his mind to.
During his last year of high school, Quentin miraculously regained most of his sight after a prayer vigil in his name. The medical community couldn’t explain the improvement in vision, but who cares? Quentin went on to get his license, attend photography school, travel, work different jobs and travel.
Quentin in 2018
Today, Quentin is giving back through his work at the local Hand of Hope, Inc in Cordele, GA during the day, and the CMTA at night. He spreads awareness of CMT, pushing initiatives to help the CMTA and sharing news to help others live well with this progressive disease. He’s even set up his own Facebook page – Quentinscauseforcmt: https://www.facebook.com/Quentinscause2015/
Right now, Quentin’s new passion is promoting IGIVE.com. Check it out: ( https://www.facebook.com/Quentinscause2015/posts/1186531014813559)
To date, Igive has brought in right around $9,000 for CMTA. With a little more support, I bet we could raise that much this year alone. It’s so easy – Go to igive.com. Select the CMTA. Install the teensy tiny igive.com button and you are on your way to raising money to support CMT, AT NO COST TO YOU!
Unfortunately, Quentin’s vision declined over the years and CMT does not get better, but he won’t let these conditions stop him from living the best life possible while ALWAYS helping his fellow man. His favorite quote goes something like this, “It’s not what life throws at you that makes the man, but what you decide to do with what life throws at you that really matters.”
Quentin might not realize it, but he has achieved his childhood dream. With his willpower, kindness, and benevolent actions, he has actually taken over the identity of his longtime superhero-CMT Superman!
Thank you Elizabeth my friend for your blog. I really don’t consider myself a “Superman”, I just try to do the best I can for others, as so many, throughout my life were so good to me. Thank you to my mother for putting in my heart the things that are most important, reaching out to others whatever their needs might be. Again thank you Elizabeth, I am proud to call you my friend.
Love it. Since I met Quentin back in 1995 he’s always been kind hearted. I am proud of who he has become by helping others and representing a great community of people. This is a great article. Thanks for recognizing him, he deserves it.
I just want to say that Marilyn has been the greatest friend that I could ever ask for. We live on opposite sides of the United States but we came together in 1995 as 2 people trying to find their way. Thank you Marilyn for how you inspired me and kept me going every day. Love you lots
Thanks Quentin. I think the world of you. Thanks for your unwavering dedication to the entire CMT community and all the others you help every single day.