“It was never an accident,” stated Chad Hymas to the students at Landmark High School in Spanish Fork, on Wednesday, March 3. “I made a bad choice and now I am living with the choice that I made,” Chad continued. Chad Hymas made a poor decision nine years ago that left him paralyzed from the breast bone down. Now Chad is traveling the world and sharing his experiences with students and encouraging them to make the right choices in life.
Chad invited two students to demonstrate what he goes through every day. Senior Jennifer Barrera and junior Jared Christensen were invited to demonstrate, in front of the student body, how to open a bottle of water and take a drink, without using their hands. Little did Chad know that Jared is a very flexible student, who sat down on the floor, putting his feet together and opened the bottle of water with his mouth, then took a long drink. Meanwhile, Jennifer looked like a fish out of water trying to get her bottle of water open. At one point in time Jennifer said, “I can’t do this, it is way too hard.” After about three minutes of struggling and with the continued encouragement of Chad Hymas and her peers, another student came out of the audience, helped Jennifer get the bottle open and take a drink. Chad’s message in this exercise was that we must all practice this type of behavior with each other every day. We must look outside ourselves to those who need our help and extend a hand.
Chad congratulated the students for their efforts and gave each student an autographed DVD. Chad told the students about some of the decisions that he made that put him where he is today. Chad compared his decision to push a tractor’s hydraulic lever one too many times, causing a one ton bail of hay to land on him, leaving him paralyzed, to “taking drugs, alcohol, unsafe internet usage, premarital sex and many other unsafe practices in which teenagers participate,” stated Hymas.
Chad related a story of an experience he had in high school with a disabled fellow student. She was in a wheel chair from birth and had several disabilities. He spoke of how she made a big impact on the school because of the smile she wore each day. She was made the head cheerleader at her school. When asked about the experience she said it was because of her friends. Chad learned from her that no matter what happens in life you just need to smile, continue on, and do your best. We all have challenges in our lives, but we need to look at the good that will come from them.
At the conclusion of his speech, Chad challenged the students “to leave this school today and give more than you take, takers are a dime a dozen. Givers are harder to find. Do you have the ability to give more than you take?"