Testimony by George Malak
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
I was born in Alexandria, Egypt, a few blocks from the Mediterranean Sea. I was raised there for the first 5 years of my life. I lived at an apartment with my mom and older brother. My dad used to work so early before I wake up and he would come real late after I have already gone to bed. He was a workaholic working in 3 different jobs.
COMING TO AMERICA
In 1980, my mom, my older brother and I came to Rosemead, California. My uncle (mom's brother) insisted that we come to America because it would be a better life. My brother was having difficulty with his walking but it was unknown why. My dad was working in Kuwait during that time and didn't come till a year later in 1981. At Rancho Los Amigos Hospital we found out that my brother had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This is a genetic disease that affects the muscles. The person is born looking normal, then by age 7 or 8, the person starts to fall because the muscles are getting weaker. By early teens the person is too weak to walk and has to depend on a wheelchair for mobility.
In 1984, we moved to Torrance, California, near my dad's job so he wouldn't have to drive for an hour on the freeway. By that time, my brother was using an electric wheelchair. I was 10 years old but didn't know that I also had this disease. I was still walking almost normally. I just couldn't run as fast as other kids my age. It wasn't till I was 11 years old that I found out.
I had all kinds of emotions from anger to sadness. I asked God why me? I cried so much wishing I was dead. I didn't want to be confined to a wheelchair. I was always an active person. I loved to do jump rope. I even used to walk all the way to school during 6th and 7th grade which was a mile away. I loved walking the most. I didn't want to lose it.
By the grace of God Almighty, my ability to walk didn't slow down as fast as most people with MD. I was always small and skinny which didn't need much muscle to move. I was always active, helping my brother with whatever he wanted like a glass of water or giving him a book to study. He lost his walking when he was 12 years old. He was lazy depending on me and also he was taller than me. That caused him to lose his walking when he could have extended it a few more years.
During my Sophomore year is when I began to use an electric wheelchair. I was 16 years old and still able to walk. But it was becoming dangerous because my arms were too weak to hold the fall. It was like falling with your hands tied behind your back.
I was determined to fight back. Since I didn't walk at school I started to do some walking around the house. I measured the area where I walk and counted how many laps for each day. Guess what? I still haven't lost my ability to walk! I'm 22 and still walking. Praise be to GOD!! I don't walk very well. It take me 5 minutes to walk from my bed to the bathroom but I'm not complaining. As long as God is with me I will not complain. So far I've walked over 800 miles in my house!
A NEW BEGINNING
I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was 17 years old. It was the best thing I ever did. He has helped me accept what I have and make the most out of it. It is through my physical weakness that I'm strengthened spiritually. I know that this life of suffering is short compared to the eternal life of bliss. In heaven, there's no suffering, crying or disabilities. We will all (those in Christ) be able to walk through walls the way Jesus did when he was resurrected.
Favourite verse: Psalms 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
My love for thee will last and last,
Never will it be a thing of the past,
Never will I forsake thy love,
For it is as pure as a pure white dove.
I love learning foreign languages. I already speak Arabic, English, Spanish and French. I hope to learn even more. I'd like to be a Spanish Translator part time and a full time Travel Agent. But that's after I get my B.A. in Spanish.
THAT'S ALL IN A NUTSHELL
If you have any comments regarding what you have read, feel free to e-mail me. Just click on the link on my name at the bottom of this page. Be sure to tell me where you found me. Thank you.