When Josch Toch was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it was so extreme that doctors predicted he would never walk unaided. Today, at 16-years-old, not only is he a straight A student, but he also runs in his school cross-country team. He also tutors younger kids and he has been class treasurer.
Rather than viewing his cerebral palsy as a disability, he sees it as a chance to illustrate that anyone can overcome their limitations. This shouldn’t be too surprising given that his life’s motto is: “the more normal you are, the more boring you are.”
He believes that having cerebral palsy has given him “a unique take on life – one that he has been sharing with others over the past three years by publicly telling his story.” He recently won a prize at the local Rotary Club when he spoke in front of 120 adults. This led to his participation in an anti-bullying program headed by District Superintendent Wesley Smith, who described him as a “very courageous, mature young man.” When telling his story, he inspired the adults, spoke openly about his challenges and, at the same time, educated everyone around him, in an effort to become a “voice against bullying.”
Toch’s next achievement came about with the I Speak Israel program – a joint venture between the David Project and Young Judea. Zeev Ben-Shachar of the David Project said, “we got an impression very early on that Josh had an amazing story, and at the end of his talk there was no dry eye.” So Toch is now working on anti-bullying, through the re-telling of his own bullying experiences.