Determination is a mind set not a factor of ability as we have been taught by 17-year-old Darrius Simmons shows us that. He was born in Warren, Ohio with just four fingers, three fingers on his right hand, and one on his left due to a genetic birth defect, He also had to have both legs amputated when he was a toddler, so he uses two prosthetics to walk and work the piano’s pedals.
In spite of these, Darius believed in himself. At the age of 10, he taught himself how to play the piano. As a child, according to Darrius’ mother, Tamara, he never met a challenge he didn’t want to conquer.
“He’d say, ‘I can do it myself. I can do it myself,’ and so I just let him go,” Tamara stated.When Darrius was just ten years old, he sat down at the piano in his elementary school and taught himself how to play. Watching other people play the piano, Darrius was determined that he could do it too. “They got ten fingers, but I felt like, I could make four fingers work,” he said.
According to Darrius “I like to show people that I can do things that you think that I might not be able to do, and I think that piano was a good way to show that”.
In spite of these hardships, Darrius is making headlines around the globe with his unique musical talents, not to mention his indefatigable spirit. He plays both the piano and the trombone in his high school jazz band and at local events. Perhaps most impressively, he even played with South Korean pianist Yiruma(A renowned pianist) at Carnegie Hall.
He wants to pursue a career in music after high school, and hopes his music will inspire people. “I’m just glad I inspired people and made somebody’s day. That’s all I ever really wanted to do, just share my great music with everybody, and just put a smile on their faces,” he said with a grin.
Darrius doesn’t just play instruments he also composes, “Still got some work to do but I thought it was time for me to share this piece that I made myself,It took a lot of hard work but I feel like it paid off by making these song. I hope [you] enjoy watching and listening.” Darrius wrote when he posted a video on Facebook.
Darrius reminds us that determination pays. Reminds us that those with disabilities are just as good as those without.