Search This Blog

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pedal with Pete - August 15, 2009

The 2009 Pedal-with-Pete Columbus Bike Ride
Ride, for Pete's Sake!

is coming...

On August 15, 2009

Location: Hilliard Heritage Middle School,

5670 Scioto Darby Road, in Hilliard Ohio

Join us for good fun, well marked scenic routes, great food, door prizes...
and help support Cerebral Palsy research!

Stay tuned for more details...

Meet Pete

Pete's got Cerebral Palsy. Like the hundreds of thousands of people suffering with cerebral palsy, or CP, Pete is trapped in a body that is twisted, a body that fights his every movement. It is a body that will not easily let him verbalize the intelligence and quick wit that is the essence of Pete Zeidner. What Pete likes to do, more than just about anything, is bicycling. For him, it is freedom.



Pete Zeidner was born to an immigrant family in 1958, in Cleveland, Ohio, and was not expected to live, because he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Pete's parents, Otmar and Ilse, were both born in Transylvania, which is now part of Hungary. Otmar studied medicine at the University of Vienna while holding down two jobs in order to support his wife and two children, Christian and Cornelia. After medical school, in May 1952, his family came to America. They learned the English language from a pastor and the Salvation Army and Otmar became fluent enough to take the State Medical Boards. Otmar attained his medical license and soon after, he attained a job at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Later, Otmar began his own practice, and was often expected to speak up to four languages in a day, because of Cleveland's strong ethnic communities.

Pete, having CP, was not developing as a normal healthy baby . Sadly, when Pete was four-years-old, his mother died in a car accident. Otmar remarried and Pete gained a new mother who believed in tough love, and she became the most influential person in Pete's life. When Pete was five-years-old, she weaned him off the baby bottle, potty-trained him, and helped him learn to eat by himself. In the first and second grade, Pete learned to type using the eraser-end of a pencil, an ability he still utilizes today.

At the age of eight, Pete's parents took him out of second grade and started him on the Doman-Delacato Method, based on the philosophy that a child needs to be able to creep/crawl before he/she can walk. This is a very rigorous program and for the first three years, Pete was not allowed on his feet. By the end of the sixth grade, Pete was able to walk and function well enough to be integrated into St. Mark Lutheran School in Cleveland.

Pete was the only student with a disability and fortunately, only a few adjustments needed to be made to accommodate him. This was the first time Pete was able to be independent of his parents and to make friends.

Pete began high school in 1974, at Lutheran High School West. At 16, he felt cheated by his disability as he watched his friends receive their drivers licenses.

After graduating from high school, Pete enrolled at a community college and took classes over the television. The following spring semester, he began taking regular classes at the college, after convincing the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Services to pay for a Bachelors degree at a state school. Pete soon transferred to Kent State University, graduating in 1986, with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, with a major in Marketing. At KSU he was involved with the Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity and with Lutheran Campus Ministries.

After graduation, Pete realized that he had reached another critical point in his life, because he had to learn to accept some limitations attributed to CP. He also had to deal with the ignorance of people who equated his physical disability with mental retardation and talk to him as if he's a toddler. Pete considers himself very fortunate, because he lives on his own in an apartment with occasional assistance from an attendant that preps his meals, does laundry, cleans, and takes him shopping. While Pete appreciates the assistance, he shares the wish of many others with disabilities to be completely independent.


Post a Comment