Ridge Park Elementary alumnus returns to share inspirational story
Jimmy Curran (Plymouth Whitemarsh HS, class of 2007) returned to his elementary alma mater, Ridge Park Elementary School, to share with third-graders his inspirational book, “Will the One-Winged Eagle.” Born with just one wing and unable to fly, the main character Will shows tremendous courage and learns to overcome his limitations and thrive. Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy when he was a few months old, Curran has used a wheelchair since age two. Like the book’s Will, Curran has not let his condition define him. After graduating high school, he attended Temple University and earned a degree from the Fox School of Business in 2011. For the past six years, he has worked as a market research analyst for Independence Blue Cross.
Writing the book was a way to share his inspirational message with students. “It was a good story because everybody is different,” said a third-grader named Charlie. “So even though the author was in a wheelchair, he can still do the same things everyone else can.” After reading the book to the students, Curran talked about his positive outlook and answered questions about his life. “The term disable alone breeds the negative misconception that those with disabilities ‘cannot’,” Curran says. “My dad taught me ‘can’t’ means ‘won’t,’ so I do. Everyone has limitations, and everyone has the ability to use their strengths and resources to circumvent those limitations. Life is too short to make excuses. Disable your limits.” In addition to the book, Curran also created a brand and clothing line, [dis]ABLE.