HOISINGTON — Many imagine doing good for others, but much of the time, those thoughts never reach fulfillment. However, one young man Brett McMullin, who was born with a club foot, no fibula in his right leg, a heart murmur and a sixth vertebra in his spine, and has had a rod inserted in the femur of his left leg with screws in his knee and hip. His feet are two different sizes, an 11 and a 5 with legs of different lengths.
As a child, the doctors told his parents that his club foot was so severe it needed to be removed. His parents did not agree at the time and sought out other options. Doctor’s said he would never walk.
Yet Brett is imagining and dreaming and fulfilling and doing for others despite his health problems.
He is riding his bike across the state of Kansas as part of his personal “Destination: Inspire” campaign to raise money for Hematology/Oncology research at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Last year, Brett did a similar ride across the state of Missouri.
Brett’s goal with this bike ride is to promote positive energy and confidence, to overcome barriers, to discover freedom and to develop an innovative purpose to achieve extraordinary accomplishments.
He is doing it all in seven days, planning on riding 50-70 miles per day. On Monday evening, about 175 miles into his trip, he stopped in Hoisington and spent the evening and Tuesday.
“In Hoisington, those people are amazing,” said McMullin. “The Dairy Queen bought us dinner. We got a police escort.”
McMullin gets his strength of character from his dad never let him give in to the pain, and Brett doesn’t, even while riding his bike several hundred miles across Kansas.
“Don’t take pain medicine,” Brett’s dad told him. “If you can get immune to the pain you would never need a pain killer.” So Brett doesn’t use pain killers, despite being in constant pain.
“Everything hurts,” he said on Wednesday before he headed out.
During his childhood, his father, encouraged Brett to overcome the odds, telling him, “It’s not what you have. It’s what you do with what you have.”
Thus, Brett challenged himself to overcome his condition, doing basketball, football, track, wrestling and – his favorite hobby – cycling. He had additional surgeries and additional challenges, but continued to press forward, pushing himself to ride faster and farther than anyone. For Brett, riding his bike across the state of Kansas is a testament that “we all can do whatever it is we put our mind to do.
“Bad things are the best things,” as far as learning goes, said Brett. “We are here for one reason-to give to others. I thank God every day for giving me what I have.
He is also grateful for today and his bike ride. “These are the greatest times of our lives,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
In his full-time life, Brett lives in Missouri with his wife and two step-children. They have another child on the way. Originally from Ottawa, Brett works as a general manager for a duct cleaning business and delivers pizzas part-time.