Burn victim to share his story at McCook program

Tickets available at Imperial MPCC campus; bus going

    When John O’Leary was nine, a fire exploded and burned 100 percent of his body. He was given a 1 percent chance to live.
    He spent five months in the hospital, underwent dozens of surgeries, lost all his fingers to amputation and had to relearn to walk, write and feed himself.
    He endured, persevered and survived. And Mid-Plains Community College’s (MPCC) Business and Community Education is bringing him and his inspirational message to the Fox Theater in McCook Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m. CT
    More than 400 tickets have already been sold and there are a limited number of seats available. Tickets are $40 each and available at the Imperial MPCC campus.
    “I endured, persevered, and survived—largely because others emerged, served and inspired,” O’Leary said.
    “I now live to share the life-giving lessons from my story,” he said.  
    Expected to die, O’Leary now teaches others how to live.
    His journey overcoming his injuries had mostly been kept private. Then, in 2007, his parents’ showcased his story in their book, “Overwhelming Odds,” which they wrote as a thank-you to the family and friends who supported them.
    The book resulted in requests from around the world to hear first-hand how O’Leary defied the odds. They originally had 200 copies printed; subsequently 70,000 copies have sold.
    O’Leary began professionally speaking in 2008. Since then, he has shared his message with more than 500,000 people in 48 states, 11 countries and at 1,300 events for clients including LEGO, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, Pepsi, the St. Louis Cardinals and more.
    Last year, his No. 1 bestselling book “On Fire” was published and he launched his (#18 on iTunes) “Live Inspired” Podcast.
    His hope is that as he can share the life lessons he has learned.
    “What I know for certain is this: You can’t always choose the path you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk,” O’Leary said.
Bus going from Imperial
    For Imperial residents, there is an opportunity to attend O’Leary’s program next month without having to drive. There is a bus from Imperial going to the program.
    Brenda Ledall, coordinator for the MPCC’s Imperial campus, said there are still seats available. The bus will leave Imperial at 7 a.m. on Oct. 6 from the MPCC campus, and will return immediately after the program concludes. People should be back in Imperial before noon, she said.
    Contact her at 308-882-5972 with questions.

The Imperial Republican

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Imperial, NE 69033