Born on Christmas Day, Luis Cruz has been called a living miracle.
Luis was diagnosed with Arthrogryposis in utero, a congenital condition causing curvature of the joints. Despite a fateful prognosis, Luis continues to thrive as a successful adult living in the Bronx, New York.
“When I was born, the doctors told my mother that I wouldn’t amount to anything,” said Luis. “They said I would die by three years old, but here I am at 47.”
While severe cases of Arthrogryposis affect fine motor skills, Luis defied his doctors’ expectations and is able to write, sketch and even walk on a limited basis.
“When I was in high school, I requested to be moved out of the special education class,” said Luis. “After moving into the new class, I parked my chair, got out my notebook and got ready to write. The teacher thought I shouldn’t be in that class, so he wrote quickly, covering all three chalkboards. My friend said he had never done that before. It was at that moment that I put my pen in my mouth and started to write.”
Luis has been writing that way ever since. He has authored multiple comic books, available on Amazon, and has two novels currently in process.
“I’ve worked with two or three artists, but have narrowed it down. I write more in a script form with dialogue and a description of what I’m seeing in my mind,” he said. “I sketch it and send it to the artist.”
Not only creatively inclined, Luis is an entertainer at heart, performing his comedy show – Stand-Up Comedy from a Sitting Down P.O.V. – at famed comedy clubs including Broadway Comedy Club and Dangerfield’s in New York City. He’s even started being recognized at local events!
“Last year I went to New York Comicon as a spectator,” said Luis. “I’m standing in the lobby when this guy passed by and said, ‘I’ve seen you before.’ I asked if it was because of my comic books and he said ‘no it’s because I know your comedy and you’re very funny.’ He asked if he could take a picture with me.”
In addition to his artistic endeavors, Luis has worked with young children as a group leader for an after-school program for more than 25 years.
“Now I write lesson plans,” said Luis. “I have the little ones, ages seven and eight. I try to mix it up.”
With a busy schedule to maintain, mobility is imperative. National Seating & Mobility’s the Bronx branch helps him stay on the go.
“Mobility means freedom,” said Luis. “It means the liberty to not be in one place. I can go anywhere I’d like, anytime.”
Determination, perseverance and what he sees as a handful of miracles have shaped Luis into the successful creator he is today.
“I wish I could see those doctors now,” Luis said.