The story of Ron Brooks would make for a good book or movie.  Here are some of the story lines:

  • Born three months premature, weighed just one pound with deformed legs that did not have tibia or femur bones.
  • Given up for adoption and raised in an orphanage in Philadelphia that took care of physically and developmentally disabled children.
  • At the age of 10 had both his legs amputated.
  • While on a summer retreat in Brick met a family who would eventually adopt him. Attended Brick Township High School where he was a member of the wrestling team, chorus and radio station.  Went on to earn the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout…the first double amputee in the history of the Boy Scouts to do so.
  • Graduated from Brick in 1985 and then went on to Villanova University where he majored in communications and later graduated.
  • Invited to the White House where he met President George H.W. Bush.
  • Always had a love for music and has sung with many local artists and bands including his childhood idol Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen. His powerful rendition of the National Anthem is a staple at sporting events throughout the state and brings many to tears.
  • Has fought his share of health problems along the way which have taken away his once very developed upper body and now confine him to a wheelchair.
  • Works in customer care and communications at Wal-Mart in Brick and also appears as a motivational speaker.

I mentioned earlier that Brooks wrestled for the Green Dragons when he was more mobile and wrestling is a sport that not only he loves but loves him back.  That will be on display Sunday when the 51-year old is honored by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame at their honors banquet in Princeton.

Brooks will receive the Medal of Courage which will earn him permanent recognition at the Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  It’s an honor well deserved and the latest chapter in a truly amazing story.