Nick Vujicic (pronounced “Vooycheech”) is an international Christian Evangelist, motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author. Without any medical explanation or warning, Nick came into the world with neither arms nor legs.
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Born Nicholas James Vujicic, on December 4, 1982, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to Dušanka and Borislav Vujičić, devout Serbian Orthodox emigrants from Yugoslavia, his mother attended nursing school at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne while his father worked in business management. He was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder (called phocomelia) characterized by the absence of arms and legs.
According to his autobiography, his mother refused to see him or hold him while the nurse held him in front of her, but she and her husband eventually accepted their son’s condition and understood it as God’s plan for their son.
Vujicic has two small and deformed feet, one of which he calls his “chicken drumstick” because of its shape. Originally, he was born with the toes of that foot fused. An operation was performed to separate the toes so that he could use them as fingers to grab, turn a page, or perform other functions. He has been able to use his foot to operate an electric wheelchair, a computer and a mobile phone.
Vujicic notes that he had an “amazingly normal childhood”.
Throughout his childhood, Nick dealt not only with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, such as bullying and self-esteem issues, he also struggled with depression and loneliness as he questioned why he was different from all the other kids. He couldn’t get the haunting question of “Why was I the one born without arms and legs?” out of his head.
Nick prayed very hard that God would give him arms and legs, and initially told God that, if his prayer remained unanswered, Nick would not praise him indefinitely. However, a key turning point in his faith came when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability. Vujicic realized he wasn’t unique in his struggles and began to embrace his lack of limbs. After this, Nick realized his accomplishments could inspire others and became grateful for his life.
As Nick grew up, he learned to deal with his disability and gradually accomplished more on his own. A janitor at his high school inspired him to start speaking publicly about overcoming adversity, so Nick starting speaking to small groups of students when he was 17. During secondary school, he was elected captain of MacGregor State in Queensland and worked with the student council on fundraising events for local charities and disability campaigns.
After high school, Nick went onto tertiary education and obtained a double Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Accounting and Financial Planning, from Griffith University in Logan, Australia. By the age of 19, Nick started to fulfill his dream of encouraging other people by giving speeches revolving around his life story. He found the purpose to his existence, and also the purpose in his circumstance.
He graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a double major in accountancy and financial planning.
Vujicic started his speaking engagements at 19. In 2005, he founded an international non-profit organisation and ministry, Life Without Limbs.
Since his first motivational speaking engagement back when he was a teenager, Nick has traveled to over 57 countries, sharing his story with over 400 million of people.
In 2007, Vujicic founded Attitude is Altitude, a secular motivational speaking company. He starred in the short film The Butterfly Circus. At the 2010 Method Fest Independent Film Festival, he was awarded Best Actor in a Short Film for his starring performance as Will.
In a self-formulated “Statement of Faith” on his webpages, Vujicic states his adherence to born-again Christianity, to classically Calvinist notions on sin and redemption and to Biblical inerrancy without specifying what particular understanding of Biblical inerrancy he intends to mean. His tenets of faith also include the imminent Second Coming of Christ. He does not publicly identify with or adhere to any denomination or congregation.
Nick is a New York Times best-selling author. His first book, Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, was published by Random House in 2010 and has been translated into more than 30 languages. His books have sold more than a million copies internationally.
On 12 February 2012, Vujicic married Kanae Miyahara. The couple have four children (Dejan Levi Vujicic, Kiyoshi James Vujicic, Ellie Laurel Vujicic, Olivia Mei Vujicic), and live in Southern California.