Cape Breton University student with cerebral palsy defies all odds
A Cape Breton man who was once told he wouldn’t live past the age of 10 will soon become a university graduate.
Frankie MacQueen has cerebral palsy and only uses one finger to type. But that hasn’t stopped the 39-year-old from accomplishing his goals.
It has taken him eight years, but on Saturday, MacQueen will graduate from Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts and Community Studies degree.
“I never thought I would see this day,” says his mother, Neila MacQueen. “I didn’t even think Frankie would go to school or be in a regular class, and university was totally out of the question.”
Shirley Gardiner has spent the last two years tutoring MacQueen at CBU. She says his biggest asset is his ability to remember things.
“That’s probably one of the reasons why Frankie has been able to succeed as well, and of course, the technology that’s available today, to be able to use a laptop and computer on his own,” says Gardiner.
MacQueen says he received a standing ovation when he graduated from high school but he doesn’t want any kind of special treatment when he receives his degree on Saturday.
“I don’t like being the centre of attention because I get nervous,” he says.
MacQueen says he is already looking past this weekend and is working on his next goal – receiving a diploma in Information Technology from the neighbouring NSCC Marconi Campus.
He hopes to open his own business so he can help people with disabilities.
“He’s never ceased to amaze me,” says his mother. “I’m really the follower. He goes ahead and I just follow him.”
“It’s a big part of my life to graduate,” says MacQueen. “I accomplished my goal.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore