Rather Than Accept the Inevitable, Ryan Gebauer Chooses to Try and Change the World around Him

Ryan has to deal with a lot of red tape while in college, but managed to graduate and get a Master’s Degree too!

Editor’s Note: Ryan Gebauer had finished high school after breaking his neck in a fall. He decided he wanted to continue learning, but ran into some hurdles along the way. Part 4 of a 5 part series. 

While working as a mentor at Pinecrest Rehabilitation in Delray Beach, FL, Ryan began to consider the possibility of majoring in psychology to try to help other people. He enrolled at a local community college, and when he was finished, he had the opportunity to finish a 4-year degree on a scholarship, and the State of Florida, through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, helped him with technology to ensure that he could get an education and job training. Because, he was under the age of 21, his medical needs were to be met by the Florida Children’s Medical Services, basically a Medicaid program for children under the age of 21, where the state provided health and nursing care, equipment, and supplies. “Once you turn 21 in Florida, you no longer are under the umbrella of Children’s Medical Services,” Ryan explains. ”Your needs are to be met strictly by Medicaid. I learned that when I turned 21, I would lose the 16 hours of nursing care that I was getting each week. So, I had a real problem. I needed to figure out a way to stay in school, still take the same number of hours I’d been taking and not lose any of my nursing care.

“I realized that to solve this problem of possibly not being able to finish college, not having the nursing care I needed and not having my medical expenses taken care of, I had to become an advocate for myself. Because of the technology that I’d been given in high school, I was able to use the Internet and voice recognition to get in touch with politicians and the media. I started a letter writing campaign to politicians all over the nation, particularly the politicians in Florida. Finally, my local senator and representative got together and made sure that I didn’t lose any of my nursing care hours once I turned 21. When I realized the power of politics and learned how I could not only change my situation but help solve problems for other people, I changed my focus from psychology to political science. I started learning about politics and liking politics, when I discovered what politicians could do to help meet the needs of disabled people. I wanted to pursue politics.”

Ryan chose Political Science as his major because he wanted to be able use politics to help others in need.

Ryan also learned several other important lessons through the disaster he was facing, including the power of one could change the status quo. He realized he could make politicians aware of his problems and the problems of others to help implement change that would benefit many, and his words could reach the doors of Congress, could enter the halls of the Senate and could bring an awareness of his situation and others to people who could make the changes to better his life.

Instead of sitting back and waiting on the inevitable, he attacked the problem, changed his world, his future and the future of other young people with spinal cord and brain injuries who would fall between the cracks after they turned 21.  This one man – Ryan Gebauer – dedicated himself to a mission with nothing but words to attack the bureaucracy and conquered it.

To learn more about  Ryan Gebauer and ways he’s working for the community, go to www.rollingryan.com.

Next: Ryan Gebauer Paves the Way for Others in Need

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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