A disability shouldn’t define you as a person. It shouldn’t prevent you from partaking in sports. It most certainly should never justify a person looking down on you. For education major Luke Campbell (’20), his disability has not only influenced him to do better but has influenced him to make a difference in the world around him.
Campbell, for his first two years at Wittenberg, played on the baseball team. This may not seem like a big accomplishment to many, but to Campbell, it meant so much. Campbell was born with one arm and it never fazed him throughout his athletic career. He excelled through elementary school travel ball, middle school baseball and even broke his high school’s record for most strikeouts in a season.
Campbell never felt sorry for himself. He has never blamed the world for giving him one arm. All he has done in his life is persevere through the tough times and succeed no matter what has been thrown his way. To constantly remind himself everyday of overcoming obstacles thrown at him, Campbell decided to get a tattoo on his arm that reads, “Overcome.” He spent a good amount of time on this design, and others started to notice and began to ask him questions about it.
Suddenly, Campbell had an epiphany: if a kid like me can live out his dream playing baseball in college, why can’t others? Campbell has recently put his “Overcome” design on bracelets. A thin, gray bracelet can seem small, but means so much.
Campbell has been selling these bracelets for $2 and decided to donate the money to an organization called, “Miracle League Baseball,” a charity that helps children with disabilities make their dreams come true, just like his did.
“I have sold over 600 bracelets and received hundreds of dollars in donations,” Campbell said. “The Bracelet design is supposed to convey that anyone can ‘overcome disability.’ I want to encourage others that their disability doesn’t define them. I want others to be encouraged to make the most of their situation and accept the beauty in their imperfections.”
If one strolls across campus, you will more than likely see a thin, gray wristband on the wrists of many students. Much of the student body has supported Campbell through this journey, that only started a couple weeks ago.
“I have put a lot of time in to this, as every bracelet has either been hand delivered to supporters or mailed to them,” Campbell said. “This process includes writing every name, address, and sealing every envelope. For a guy with one hand, this proves to be more than a handful.”
Campbell plans on continuing his “Overcome” movement and wants to spread the word to not only different universities, but all across the country. A lot can be learned from Campbell and his willingness and ability to help others that are in the same situation as he is in. “Everyone deserves a chance to feel welcomed and included, and I am trying to ensure everyone gets that chance,” Campbell said.