Dean is very passionate about motivating others using his successful struggle for life to empower audiences. He challenges them to dare to dream and believe in themselves with his own life experience as the motivational tool. Dean created his company DMC Motivational over 10 years ago; Since then he has travelled the world speaking with groups and organisations as diverse as Primary School Children to Prime Ministers.
What is so amazing about Dean Clifford you may say?
Simple he is a survivor! Dean was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa which is commonly referred to by the media as Cotton Wool Kid, he was not expected to live past early childhood (5 years) let alone survive and contribute so immensely in the world to date by sharing his story and encouraging as many people as possible to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams.
Dean’s life is one of extreme pain and hardship, yet he has never wavered from his own dreams to be a productive member of the community working and contributing.
Dean’s story is powerful, moving and empowering, an audience is taken on the emotional roller coaster –that is Dean’s life! Dean sharing his story- is life changing and makes one look seriously at life and what we all take for granted. Dean has something unique and special to offer to everyone, from all walks of life and every age group, corporation, or business simply by sharing his story!
Dean motivates, encourages and empowers all who come in contact with him, His Motivational presentations inspire everyone to follow their dreams and believe in themselves the way Dean has throughout his life. You most definitely come away inspired, realising what the power of One can actually achieve.
In 2004 Dean became the first National Ambassador of ACE (Australia’s Disability Employment Services Peak Body). This is a voluntary role helping promote employment awareness to businesses and communities throughout Australia for people with disabilities.
Dean is also the only official Ambassador of the Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Football Club.
Dean is an advocate for DEBRA as mentioned in the opening. This is a voluntary organization to raise awareness for those and their families afflicted with Epidermolysis Bullosa (Cotton Wool Kids). This is a tragic and debilitation disease with no cure, usually containing an early death sentence. Dean has baffled medical science with his sheer will and determination to survive and fight for life. It has been said that few would be able to deal with the intense level of pain that those with Epidermolysis Bullosa have to deal with every single day of their life.
On top of all that Dean is an integral team member for Ken Mills Toyota – Kingaroy and Nambour Dealerships.
And that is just the start of Dean’s incredible life story.
To hope is to dream…for a better tomorrow with Dean Clifford #isharehope Episode 103
Summary: Dean’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
If it’s into the dreams category, how important it is to dream big and to dream small and dream about all the things that you want to achieve today and tomorrow – hope embodies that dream. The most important thing in life is to have that hope that tomorrow is going to be a better day and tomorrow is going to bring about bigger challenges and bigger obstacles that you can conquer.
Hope is just about that endless possibility and just achieving more than you ever thought was possible.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
My family. When I was born my skin literally started to break down after the first six hours of being alive. There was basically no chance of surviving. There was a lot of experimental processes that were tried but it was still just hope for the best. It was my parents that instilled that I would not sit back and cry about poor me. It was about the next challenge. We’re going to get on and face life, we we’re going to live life to its fullest and make sure every day counted.
Also, the people that I’ve come in contact with over the years that I’ve been sharing my story and meeting people that are just trying to live their life and being the best version of themselves that they can be.
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
I was born with a very rare genetic skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa – it’s more commonly known as cotton wool babies. My skin has the strength and consistency of a wet tissue. Everything from being alive to talking is supposed to be too traumatic for my skin. You can break it down into the massive situation of being in a hospital and literally struggling to find a way to take another breath. When I was a little kid, I’d be in a hospital and I’d look out the sky and try to find the stars and just hope that I was going to survive to the next morning and then take on the next challenge of going through the next procedure because at that time it was all completely experimental and the medical world was desperate to learn because I was continually able to survive.
No one expected me to survive to next month or let alone next year but I found myself at age 10 and still alive and still continuing to fight. There was a lot of times when I had to rely on that hope and that belief that tomorrow was going to be a little bit easier than the day before and that I could continue to overcome the next obstacle, but then you can take it down to a smaller level and just be able to go to school. I remember as a child, I had absolutely no skin on my face so to go out in the community and had people my age completely terrified of the way I looked or how I was or even adults being scared or being nervous around me because of the way I looked. Having to have that family support and that structure in place to be able to overcome the negativity that was around and the sort of constant question marks of whether I was severely burned or if it was contagious that people should avoid. People were scared to shake my hand because they weren’t sure if they would damage my skin or they weren’t sure if it was something that they were going to catch off me. There’s been a lot of times just in the general day to day life that you’d have to rely on that belief that you could break down the barriers and you could get people to understand that I’m not something to be feared – that I was somebody who loved sports, who loved socializing with family and friends the same as everybody else and loved just living life and wanting to be a part of the world.
I’m 36 years old and in the last couple of years I’ve never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be sharing my story on this scale with you today, let alone traveling around as a speaker and having to still break down the barriers and the misconceptions and uncertainties. I have found that I needed to just go back to just focusing on that belief of tomorrow being better than today.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
I think it’s just that not holding myself back. I’m more than happy to talk to somebody that just walks up and says hi. I just talk to people. It’s just being open to listening to people. Sharing hope to me is as simple as me just doing my gym work. My role is to talk one on one with players and different people when they’ve got issues, but I just go down to the gym and just train with them and make sure they see by example what I’m doing – that I’m no different to them and that there’s somebody that’s lifting 20 or 30 or 50 kilos more than me and yet he is physically so disabled and so limited.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) Don’t be afraid to reach out to people.
(2) Find your passion that would get you to be the best version of yourself.
(3) Have dreams, have belief in yourself, have zero negativity, have the attitude to go out and achieve.
(4) Don’t let circumstances around you limit what you can do.