On September 11, 1983, at the age of 19 and in the prime of his burgeoning college baseball career, James became a quadriplegic, dislocating three vertebrae in his neck, from playing a football game. The doctor said, “James, I’m sorry. You’ll never walk again, and you might be paralyzed from your neck down.” Later, the doctor advised his family to place him in a nursing home; he would be too much of a burden for them to care for.
Despite the obstacles in his path, Dr. Perdue worked hard to achieve success as a teacher and coach. He has been awarded Fox 17 Top Teacher of the Week 2005, Teacher of the Year 2002, and Coach of the Year 2000 and 2006. He received the Jo Andrews Award 1995 and the Hal Ramer Award 1991 both for overcoming adversity. Recently, he received his doctorate degree, in May 2011, from Tennessee State University. His devotion to never giving up and instead striving through major challenges is apparent. Dr. Perdue knows he can help others pass through to the other side of tragedies to become triumphant survivors of difficulties.
“It is our responsibility to help each other before tragedy hits. When unexpected suffering happens, we should encourage, motivate, inspire, and help the hurting continue their lives. We start with baby steps. First, let’s get past the first hour with help from our families and friends. Second, we need to find the strength in ourselves to get through the next day. Finally, we strive to live our lives to the fullest through determination and perseverance, because we deserve it. I haven’t quit, even though sometimes it would have been easier, Instead, I found a way to beat the odds. I know you can beat the odds as well.”
What would you do if tragedy came knocking at your door? You can run, but you can’t hide. Do you have what it take to overcome adversity? Dr. James Perdue will give you the five P’s that will encourage you to confront your troubles and learn how to succeed in life as well as in business.
James’s life-changing injury didn’t turn him into a quitter. It made him more determined to persevere and to inspire the world to accept and conquer challenges in life. Whether for associations, organizations, churches, or schools, James delivers with humility, humor, and gratitude. His wit engages audiences as they hear his inspirational story and strips away excuses for anyone not achieving their goals.
“Thank you for your presentation “Persevere Past your Paralysis” to the Special Education Consortium. It was a great motivation for our faculty who work with special need students. To hear your personal journey and see how you have persevered and accomplished so much with such limitations is inspiring. Bringing Ricardo your service canine was an added bonus for the students. I would highly recommend Dr. Perdue and Ricardo as a speaker.”
“Dr. Perdue delivers with humility, humor, and gratitude. Awe-struck people want to hear more from the man. James’ wit engages audiences as they hear his inspiratory story. He strips away excuses for anyone not achieving goals. He is truly an advocate for “wheelchair people” whose legs are handicapped not their brains!”
“Dr. James Perdue is other-centered, optimistic, and persevering. On several occasions, I have invited James to share his inspiring story of overcoming obstacles to reach his goals, and I heartily recommend him as a speaker. He definitely holds the audience’s attention and tells his story with openness and humor. He is a motivational speaker who will not disappoint.”
“James Perdue is one of the most genuine and authentic speakers that I have met in my 25 year speaking career. His story of perseverance through overwhelming adversity will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. If you’re looking for a REAL speaker who will touch your heart and challenge you to count your blessings, I highly recommend my friend
“Dr. Perdue’s message, his wisdom, and his gut honesty about life has helped future teacher be more aware of the needs of the populations that they will be serving. His approach to a very sensitive subject puts his audience at ease while at the same time opening up the communication between the audience and himself. The best part of his story is it is still unfolding. I can’t wait to look back in ten years to see where he is then.”