He re-learned to dance after 17 years, but his daughter learned the real lesson.
If you have a chance to do what you love ... do it. No matter what it looks like to others.
He had always loved dancing.
After he broke his neck in a car wreck, Paul Martin lived his life fully with those he loved ... except for doing one thing he loved: He no longer danced.
He knew he could dance again, but he didn't want others to see him. He thought he'd look silly.
As his daughter, Brittany Déjean, said, "Dancing was one of the first things on his mind after his injury — he loved it, but it was too painful to think of doing it in a wheelchair. Unfortunately for me, that meant dancing with my dad became nothing but a memory."
But Brittany was getting married, and she wanted her dad to do the father-daughter dance like she always imagined.
So she set out to find info, resources, and help. She rallied a proverbial village around her dad. She found a dance instructor for them, and her dad agreed to try. With the resources and help ... guess what?
After almost 17 years, Paul finally danced again.
And he didn't stop there.
After completing the first choreographed dance with his daughter, he got back on the floor when he heard his favorite song.
"That one dance broke through all the walls he had built up," Brittany said. "He was transformed — he danced all night, he danced at another wedding two weeks later, and he has even taken dance lessons with my stepmom since."
Paul found the strength to fight for his passion. But his daughter, Brittany, may have learned an even bigger lesson.
It's hard for everyone to ask for help, or to even know where to look for it. But it's especially hard for folks living with disabilities. The kind of help that these folks need is just a little different, whether they're trying to learn a new skill, get a new job, nurture a relationship, or start dancing again.
In helping her father get ready for her wedding, Brittany saw firsthand just how challenging this could be.
So, inspired by her father's journey, she started AbleThrive, an online community that helps folks with disabilities get the help they need to reach their goals.
Though her own wedding day has come and gone, Brittany now dedicates her to life to giving people like her father one more place to turn for help.
Because no one can do it all alone.
Kudos to Brittany for empowering more folks to live fully.
Now watch Paul and Brittany's amazing father-daughter dance!