Growing up in rural Ohio with cerebral palsy would not be easy. As a toddler, Cordell’s Mom would drive him three times a week, two hours each way, for five hours of physical therapy to teach Cordell the basic life skills. He spent a year away from home at the age of five attending an experimental program of intense physical and speech therapy. It was here that Cordell first came face to face with cruelty and loneliness.
By 5th grade Cordell convinced his parents and teacher to allow him to be mainstreamed. He was promoted to 6th grade and a classroom of 35. He would endure years of bullying and disappointment before an empathetic high school football coach found a way to include him, while teaching a valuable life lessons to his entire team. Upon graduating Cordell plans of becoming a minister were short lived. After being discouraged from attending Bible College he returned to his job at a garage, more uncertain then ever as to what his next step should be. Were it not for the guidance of a camp director and the support of his family, Cordell’s life may have gone in a completely different direction.