Sometimes this world is not fair. It will beat you down into a puddle with an unrelenting force and make you question all the answers that you thought you had. When this happens in your life you have but two choices. You can either stay where you are, or let the hardships of life consume you or you can fight back with every fiber of your being, striving desperately to make the best out of a bad situation. Austin Noles chose the latter.
This past Friday night, May 27, Austin walked across the stage at Troup High School and received his diploma. The one thing that separates Austin from the rest of his class is that he only has half a brain. When Austin was born it was discovered shortly after that he was missing the left half of his brain. The left side of the brain is of course the side that deals with things such as language development and problem solving skills. Austin’s battle would be long, but one that he would eventually triumph over.
Shortly after Austin’s birth, it was found that he could not suck a bottle. After working with his grandmother, the woman that would adopt him, he was able to overcome this. Later on in kindergarten, Austin had difficulty learning to count. He was obsessed with racing so his grandmother went out and bought race car number cards that eventually helped him overcome this plight as well.
Later on still, Austin was diagnosed with Perthes disease, a condition where the head of the femur becomes inadequate, causing Austin to have to wear a brace. He also overcame this obstacle in his life as well. The left brain also controls the pain center so no matter what kind of physical pain comes Austin’s way, he feels nothing. He will also have to combat seizures for the rest of his life but he is overcoming that as well. The amount of things this young man has been able to overcome in this life is astounding.
Needless to say, his Grandmother and his entire family are exceptionally proud of Austin. They want people to know that he does not quit, that he accomplishes all the goals he sets his mind to. After so many years of struggles and triumphs, his family was able to enroll Austin in the Troup County School System. A system that awarded him his high school diploma this past Friday night, May 27.
On the night of his graduation, Austin was certainly emotional and overwhelmed at all of the amazing accomplishments that he worked so hard to achieve.
“This means a whole lot to me. I worked my tail off with her [his adoptive grandmother] and God by my side. It helps a lot. Everybody, even the Doctors, motivated me to where I am today. It’s hard for me to say because I’m emotional, but victory is in my blood. I’m glad to be out there getting that diploma and making everything all right by God and by her. She deserves it, I deserve it, and He deserves it. Always finish strong.”
This Fall Austin will attend West Georgia Technical College to study Automotive and Marketing.
Austin’s struggle is real and is a true testament to the human condition. So many times in this life we struggle and pull against the grain with our problems and issues that are so truly insignificant. There are so many others who are less fortunate than we are and it is stories like this young man’s that are the harbingers of the fighting spirit we possess as humanity. Austin Noles did not let his plot in life weigh him down or tell him that he could not do something he dreamt about doing.
The Austin Noles’story is one that you will not soon forget. This young man has the courage that many of us lack in our lives. His story of jumping hurdle after hurdle with his condition is one that is impactful at a deeper level. A true awakening of what we as human being can accomplish with God on our side, our minds focused, and our hearts full and beating. Austin Noles may only have one half of his brain, but he makes up for it with his champion’s heart.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer