Smiling through Adversity

If you’ve ever stepped foot into Wilson Gray YMCA, you would probably notice Chris Nunez. He greets anyone who walks through the door with a welcoming smile and friendly conversation. He is apart of the membership staff. He has no problem informing you on upcoming events, giving you a tour of the facility or having a conversation about his beloved Dallas Cowboys.  The only problem he may have is using the stairs.

Chris was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which bones of the spine do not form properly around part of the spinal cord.  Some would say that Chris has had a disadvantage since his youth. But he has never let that slow him down. He admits that the disease wore on him mentally and physically as a youth, but he learned to embrace his differences. Adapting to everyday society was anything but easy. He remembered his first years in school having to learn how to endure the haunting stares and endless teasing from his peers.

Physical challenges weren’t any easier for Chris. As a youth he was able to walk with crutches and leg braces, but was wheelchair bound after 12 surgical procedures limited the use of his legs. Chris constantly found himself having to work harder to attain goals that came so easily to his classmates. But with hard work and a great attitude, Chris pushed through all the adversity he faced.

Finding reassurance through numerous sports and activities, Chris excelled in sports. This gave him an avenue to express himself and find comfort in others with disabilities. To this day he still enjoys working out and participating in basketball leagues.

While working at Y, Chris has found that he enjoys numerous components of his job. Being in an active environment has inspired him to stay in shape and encourages him to help people transition into healthier lifestyles. He also enjoys the opportunity to constantly meet different people on a day to day basis and create friendships with positive members and co-workers. He is an inspiring voice within the Y family and continues to make in impact on a day to day basis.

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