Alister Ong

No Mountain You Cannot Overcome - For 27 year old Alister, nothing is impossible, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Not only does he believe in living life to the fullest, he wants to encourage others to do the same as well.

When he was born, there were actions he couldn’t do. He couldn’t lift up his head, and his fingers couldn’t open. His parents brought him to see the doctor, and he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. As the first-born child, his parents were new to the parenthood journey, and didn’t have experience caring for a child with a disability. Despite the circumstances, they did their utmost best to show Alister love and care. The journey was not always smooth sailing, he recounts. There were many barriers he had to go through when he was growing up.

The first was the physical barrier of having to move around in a wheelchair. Buses and trains back then were not as accessible as now, and his mother had to carry him across the gantry as they didn’t have wide enough fare gates. The next was the social barrier, especially evident during his school years. How can he be included in a community when he couldn’t participate during recess time games? Finally was the final barrier, and one that Alister has since triumphantly  risen above – the mental barrier. He used to believe he couldn’t do many things, and so he didn’t try at all. This limitation was self-imposed, and it was only recently that he crossed that hurdle. The once shy and quiet boy found his confidence in his abilities, and decided to share that with the world.

One of his greatest memories was addressing a crowd of a whopping 7,000 people in Indonesia. The crowds filled an open field and he shared his life story with everyone. Speaking in front of large crowds would be an unnerving feat for most people. For Alister, all nerves melt away when he sees how responsive people are to his story - they sit up a little straighter, take out their phones to record his speech, and start to form smiles on their faces. This is exactly what keeps him going. He says that if he can reach out to at least one person to make that human connection – it would have all been worthwhile.

Despite life being a series of uphill climbs, Alister faces it head on, with a gusto reserved only for the empowered, and those who live to empower others.

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