CLEARWATER, Fla. — Paige Snedeker’s breathing machine could be heard from the back of the room. The Ruth Eckerd Hall crowd of about 100 people were hanging on every word she mouthed.
“Growth doesn’t happen when we stay in our comfort zone,” Summer Lowe said, relaying the words Snedeker mouthed with her lips. “Trust in God, rely on Him and remember His promises to you.”
25-year-old Snedeker was born with a rare degenerative disease. Her website calls her a “survivor of a very rare disease, Riboflavin Transporter Deficiency Type 2. In result of the disease, she is deaf, legally blind, has lost the majority of her mobility which leaves her dependent on a wheelchair and a breathing ventilator”.
It’s a genetic condition that impacted her two older twin brothers, David and Tyson, as well. David died when he was 15.
“For nearly half my life I have asked myself, ‘Can anybody ever believe in me?’,” she said during a monthly meeting of the Christian Chamber of Commerce in Tampa Bay. “When I was 13 years old, I lost the tools that I knew so well.”
Paige has been forced to a wheelchair after losing 95 percent of her mobility when she was a teenager.
“I had to use the strongest ability I had left,” she explained. “My mind.”
She gravitated to writing and painting. She learned to communicate story ideas through friends and painted on canvas by holding paint brushes with her teeth. It was her childhood dream to create children's books.
“I knew God had called me to do something great,” she said through Lowe to the crowd.
In the back of the room, Paige’s three children’s books sat on a table. She illustrated them all and signs them with a pen the same way she paints the incredible pictures.
One book, Sofia and Her Morningstar, features a flower who is stuck in the ground and relies on a mobile butterfly to tell her about the world.
The opportunity to give speeches through the voice of Lowe and others is something that brings Paige joy. She speaks multiple times per year and various functions and always touts her strong faith in doing so.
“Despite my lack of confidence and all of the trials that I faced, this is how I chase my dream,” she mouthed. “Every day I count my accomplishments and I’m humbled before the Lord for giving me those opportunities.”
You can learn more about Paige at The Paige Project website.
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