Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Success and Cerebral Palsy

Kevin and I are trying to do some motivational talks with churches, companies and schools. Our computer business is what pays our bills but motivational speaking is where our passion lies. We love to speak to people and encourage them to go beyond their limits. We all tend to get too complacent in our own lives and forget that there is so much more in the world to be accomplished. I have seen my husband struggle through many things and he never gives up. We can all take a lesson from that, I am amazed with his accomplishments every day of my life.

We know so many disabled people that collect from the state or federal government and because they don't see a need to work they don't work. It frustrates me because my husband works very hard to support his family of four. I remember when he was trying to get a job and we just had our daughter. It was very difficult for Kevin to get a job or to do something that would bring in an income.

We started doing some motivational speaking, we had some talks but it really wasn't enough to pay the bills. Kevin was extremely frustrated because he felt like he was letting his family down with not being able to support us. He wanted so much to support all of us.

Kevin has always been very intelligent when it comes to computers. He has been fixing computers since he was in high school. One day he overheard a lady complaining about how her computer was broken and she didn't know where to take it. So Kevin talked with her and offered to fix her computer. At the time he was thinking he'd just fix it for free like he does to his family and friends. When he finished fixing the computer they lady insisted on paying him to fix the computer. Of course we were not going to turn money down. Then we started thinking that if people are willing to pay to get their computers fixed why not start a business. So we started CompuPane and it has been up and running now for three years. All of Kevin's clients absolutely love Kevin and his abilities, they appreciate that he does not over charge people like the rest of his field but that he is fair.

I am more thankful today for Kevin and his life. This morning we got an email from a disability group that we were involved in a few years ago. When we opened up the email we found some distrubing news, one of our friends who happened to have Cerebral Palsy died, she was only around 24. This friend of our died during complications from surgery. After hearing people with CP dying I am more thankful for every day I have with my husband.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kevin's Poetry

When Kevin and I first started dating he wrote me this poem.  After we got engaged we had a friend turn it into a song and he performed it at our wedding.  Kevin loves to write poetry and there have been many times when it's a special occasion like my birthday and we couldn't afford a gift he would write me poetry which I thought was better than any gift anyway.

 

Angel on Earth

by Kevin Berg

 

God sent an angel from above

In the form of the one I love

That precious heavenly being is you

The one who makes me feel brand new

 

It seems that whenever you are near

My problems all just disappear

Worries vanish and leave no trace

A demonstration of our God's grace

 

On the day your face I first saw

God's masterpiece left me in awe

The sparkle in your eyes of blue

Shows me that this love is true

 

There is nothing in this world that can show

How my love for you daily grows

No words can express, no actions describe

The joy I feel deep down inside

 

You have brought a glimpse of Heaven to me

And the rest I can not wait to see

Until that time, at least I know

My angel will always love me so

 

 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Differently-abled parenthood

Did you adopt your children? Is Gabbie your biological child? These are questions that we get asked time and time again. Why, you ask, do people assume that someone with a disability can’t be a mother or a father? Society has a certain perception of what type of person is a parent. When society thinks of a parent they think able bodied, smart, intelligent and someone who has good judgment. However, there are people that are wonderful parents that may be blind, deaf, and have mobility impairment, or have speech impairment or any combination of the above. These people are wonderful parents but because they are different than what society expects they are treated as less of a parent.

My husband, Kevin is a wonderful father. However, he happens to have Cerebral Palsy; he’s in a wheelchair and has a speech impairment. One day we all went to a water park and while I was taking my son on one last ride before we left for the day someone tried to take my daughter from my husband. Kevin was watching our daughter Gabbie, she was crying because she was tired. Gabbie was about 3 years old at the time and this lady picked her up and tried taking her from my Kevin. He yelled “I’m her father” but the lady would not listen and when I got there Gabbie was in this lady's hands. This lady had a certain perception of what a father was and decided that my husband could not have been Gabbie's father.


Since then we have had to teach Gabbie how to point at daddy and say “that’s my daddy”. It’s very hard that we have to teach a two year old to tell people that is her daddy but we had to put some safety measures in place so that daddy could take Gabbie out and not worry about people trying to take her away from him. People in general have good intentions but they don’t understand that people with disabilities are capable of being parents and they are wonderful parents. The lady that tried to take our Gabbie away from Kevin just didn’t understand that my husband was a father.


It is now the job of people with different abilities to educate people in our community and around the world that people with disabilities can have children of their own and they are more than capable of taking care of a child. It is not the fault of the person who has never been educated; it is the fault of our society thinking that someone in a wheelchair is broken. We all have different abilities, able bodied people happen to have the ability to walk. People who don’t have the ability to walk have different abilities, we are all unique and we all have different strengths. As a society we need to change the perception that a person with a disability can’t be a parent.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We're still here

Some people might be wondering why we started a blog only to leave it without fresh posts for a few days.  What can I say?  Life happens.  You’ll find that we have to go with the flow of church activities, kids’ activities (gymnastics for Gabbie & horseback riding for Zach), appointments, shopping, business (which tends to trump some other activities because we have to take work when we get it), and, oh yeah, quality time for Melinda & me.

 

Thursday nights are usually our date night because the kids are with grandparents that night.  We’ve been staying home more for our dates to save money.  Streaming Netflix becomes our movie theater, often accompanied by grilled cheese sandwich for dinner; I’m a simple guy to cook for.  This week, though, we ended up falling asleep before dinner; I woke up after midnight to Melinda turning the lights out to go to bed.  I mentioned I was hungry, and that reminded her that we hadn’t eaten dinner.  So, we got up, threw around the idea of going to Denny’s or IHOP but ultimately decided on sandwiches.  When did we get so dull? J

 

Yesterday and today were full of work for me and errands for Melinda.  Zach returned home from a week at church camp today.  As he we getting his bags out of our pastor’s vehicle, a table fell and crushed his foot.  Poor guy…not a very good story after a week at camp!

 

Not a very exciting post, I know, but that just shows you that we are successfully raising a well-rounded average family.  There are plenty of times that we are anything but average, but for now, this weekend, we’re pretty average.  Rather fitting that we, the least likely family, are living the “American Dream” on the weekend we celebrate such fought-after freedom.

 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Abilities in Love: What am I sitting on?

Abilities in Love: What am I sitting on?: "The past couple weeks, I have been working very hard to support my family. It isn't easy sometimes getting very little sleep, but you gott..."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What am I sitting on?

The past couple weeks, I have been working very hard to support my family. It isn't easy sometimes getting very little sleep, but you gotta do what you gotta do! I work so hard at times that Melinda tells me I have worked my rearend off and won't have one pretty soon. That leads me to ask: "What am I sitting on then?" J

Man with severe Cerebral Palsy succeeds in business

Kevin has always been very good at fixing computers. Since high school he has fixed computers for friends and family as a hobby. One time he overheard a conversation at a rotary club and offered to fix this lady's computer. When he was done with it she insisted on paying him so Kevin and I decided to start a computer business.
For the last three years Kevin has fixed computers for residential, home offices and small businesses. 90% of the time he does this without leaving his own computer, he logs into other computers across the world using a remote program. Our clients love that they can email or call us and let us know what the problem is and usually by the next morning the computer is fixed. We absolutely love working with clients and educating them about what is wrong with their computer or what they need to do to protect themselves from loosing valuable data.

Kevin and I repair hardware problems, these problems can't be done remotely, we usually have to pick up these computer and take it back to the office. Kevin has the knowledge of how to fix the hardware but he doesn't have the hand capability so Melinda does this work for him. We fix all kinds of virus' or software problems as long as you can still get online it can be done remotely. If you can't get online many times we can talk you through how to get online over the phone.

The last part of our business that people like is education. Many times people will get a new program or put the new version of windows on their computer and they have no idea how to use it, we will sit down with them and educate them in the best way to use the program. Kevin and I are always using new versions of word and windows so we know what problems people are going to have with the program before the program even comes out.

Kevin loves what he does and it shows with the dedication of his work. He uses his life motto "Good enough is never good enough" in his business. Kevin does not release a computer back to the client without making sure it is up to his high standards. For instance, he does tune ups on computers which speed up the computer, these tune ups take around 12 hours. Sometimes the tune ups take longer if Kevin isn't happy with how long a certain program is taking to open. He'll work on it until he finds the solution. Kevin never gives up until he finds the answer to the problem that is one of the reasons clients keep coming back to him, he is dedicated to his work.


Man with severe Cerebral Palsy has defeated barriers

Welcome to our blog. This is Kevin and Melinda Berg, we have been married for 7 years and we have two kids ages 6 and 13. Kevin has severe cerebral palsy, he uses an electric wheelchair, he also has a speech impairment which makes it difficult for people to understand him. I am his wife, his caregiver and his business partner.
Kevin owns his own business as a computer consultant. He fixes computers all over the world via remote. He has worked on computers for many years and thoroughly enjoys his work. His clients rave about Kevin and the work that he does.
We love to speak to groups and inspire and encourage them in accomplishing their goals. We have spoken to schools, non profit organizations, companies and churches. Kevin speaks and I interpret his unclear speech, many times people will try and understand Kevin before I'm able to interpret the speech.