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One Teen is Defying the Odds

You're about to meet a southwest Florida teen who is defying the odds.
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Matt Milligan hasn't let anything stand in his way.

For him a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

15-year-old Matt Milligan enjoys riding his bike with his brothers.
A miracle when you consider....

"I was born blue, not breathing and I was in I-C-U for five days and later diagnosed with ataxic cerebral palsy."

His speech and fine motor skills affected... But not limiting.
When he was nine --- his parents gave him an old 35 millimeter film camera---

"And that really inspired me and I just fell in love with the whole thing."

And his passion for photography was born.

"This is what they call HDR photography. It's where you take three pictures of the same subject and blend them together. This photo, I named it fixerupper. This is the boardwalk going onto Barefoot Beach. It's my national award winner."

He finds inspiration in things others overlook.

"These trees here, people might pass that up, those are just dead trees, I look at that as a potential black and white photo."

His disability does create hurdles--- causing his hands and arms to tremble.

He utilizes lenses with image stabilization and uses his creativity to enhance his abilities.

"If I'm shaking quite a bit I'll have my parents just put their hands below my elbows. It's like a tripod."

In April, Matt fulfilled a lifelong dream..... The make-a-wish organization sent him to National Geographic's headquarters in D-C.

"Having the senior editor look at my photos personally, it's pretty blood pumping."

A thrill that has now inspired his next challenge.

"There's a National Geographic photographer Matitias Klum. He is the youngest photographer ever published in the magazine. My goal is to beat him!"

Matt is also a published author and photographer.

He's written for Parent and Child Magazine and has his pictures published weekly in the Bonita Banner.


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