Brian’s Story

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11Brian Refuses to let his disability dictate his life

I refuse to allow my disability to dictate the way I live my life.

Brian Hillebert
age 47

In October of 1977, Brian Hillebert was diagnosed as a child with cerebral palsy. While riding his bike one morning, Brian was hit by a car and launched 90 feet into a ditch. Brian’s awakening from an almost two month coma was considered a miracle; however, the accident left young Brian with a traumatic brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy.

At the age of 7 years old, the doctors did not ever expect Brian to walk again.

Brian not only learned how to walk after this life-crippling injury, but graduated high school, went to college, started doing stand-up comedy and has furthered starred in major play productions in Sacramento. “I got started in stand-up comedy, but I got tired of the rotten tomatoes, so I started acting” says the dedicated actor.

Upon becoming a beloved client of UCP, Brian found their Community Living and Support Program that supports him to navigate budgeting, along with managing daily health and safety issues. UCP’s Independent Living program helped Brian to reduce his dependence on others while educating him of the importance of proper nutrition.

Recently, Dr. Paul Fogle, Ph.D., an expert in Speech-Language Pathology, contacted UCP in hopes to set up an interview with one of our clients in writing his latest textbook on speech-language pathology, Essentials of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Brain willingly accepted the challenge and openly spoke about his accident as a child. Concluding the interview, Dr. Fogle says, “Brian’s love of life and commitment to living it the best way he can will be an inspiration to thousands of students in the U.S. and other countries.”

Brian’s vivacious and unbridled love to live life fully is an inspiration to all of us. He continues to surpass the barriers cerebral palsy has placed upon him to live life without limits. In facing the hardships life has dealt since he was a child, Brian persistently plays the cards with a smile.