Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 ---7:07 a.m.
A local man is making it his mission to inspire and educate. Despite his disability, Lee Rozinski goes to work with a smile on his face and excitement in his voice. This is a story of tenacity and perseverance in the face of adversity.
“He is always bubbly and has a big smile on his face,”
Lee Rozinski loves his job. He works at Bethesda Lutheran Thrift Shop in Baraboo.
“I am a greeter and I also price the media section,” said Lee.
And the 22-year-old won't let his disability stand in his way.
“He always says to me, I don't quit,”
Lee was born with Cerebral Palsy, also known as CP.
“To me it's not a disease, to me it's brain injury,” said Lee.
It's a condition that affects the motor function portion of the brain and limits physical movement. After working as a volunteer for years, the decision was made recently to bring him on as a paid member of the Bethesda team. It's a decision that changed his life.
“He was so happy and he started to cry he was very emotional!”
Tracie Lange is Lee's co-worker and boss.
“The highlight of my career I think was to be able to bring Lee on board,”
She says he's an invaluable member of the team.
“He has stamina like I've never met in a person,” she said. “He has a positive attitude, I always see other team members look up to Lee,”
But Bethesda is only the beginning
“My next goal is I want to be a motivational speaker,” said Lee.
And to do that, he wants to go to college
“He's got his whole life ahead of him and he's got a lot of potential,”
Lee's job coach Peter Mordini says getting Lee around town is tough.
“He's limited to where he can go,” explained Mordini. “He hasn't been to a mall in five years,”
That's why he's trying to raise money to get a handicapped accessible van. It will allow Lee to follow his dreams.
“He needs to grow too and I think he has the ability to do that but he just needs a chance,” said Mordini.
It's not easy living with CP, but Lee won't give up.
“But you gotta want it,” said Lee. “Because there is some painful stuff involved,”
He wants to remind people that despite his advisability he can do the job and do it well.
“I'm not quitting,” said Lee. “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and give it 110 percent!”
Mordini says a handicapped accessible van can cost more than $40,000. Call his job coach Peter or Shelly at 608-963-2821 to find out how you can donate to help Lee get that van.
Lee's employment is through the “Ability to Hire” program at Bethesda. The initiative hires people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
To find out more visit www.bethesdalutherancommunities.org.