Young Man with Disability Mentors and Helps Others
Orlando, FL – A smile and positive attitude aren’t just something Darwin Brascomb puts on for the job. It’s how he chooses to live each and every day. “I love to speak and encourage people,” he says. Diagnosed with cancer, geogenic sarcoma in the knee bone marrow, Darwin had his left leg amputated when he was 10 years old.
Refusing to use it as an excuse to slow down, Darwin continued to have a cheerful outlook on life. “Your life can be an inspiration to others. That goes a long way,” he says. It was that attitude that inspired A New Step Prosthetics partner William “Bill” Allen to hire Darwin when he came to them as a customer in 2010.
When he started having difficulty using his prosthetic leg, Darwin came to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to get an adjustment. VR referred him to A New Step Prosthetics, where he met Bill. While working on his prosthesis, Bill and Darwin got to know each other over several conversations about business, customers, and patients. “By the time we were done with the fitting process, I decided that it would be a good thing to offer him a position,” said Bill. Although the company didn’t have a job opening, Bill created a marketing representative position just for Darwin.
As the marketing representative, Darwin built partnerships for the company by visiting physicians, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. He also consulted with patients and prospective patients. Because of his experience, Darwin can speak from a personal perspective and hopes his story motivates those who are going through his same situation.
During the two years that Darwin worked at A New Step Prosthetics, he went from the marketing representative to marketing coordinator and was promoted to marketing director. Unfortunately, with all the standing that he had to do in his job, Darwin couldn’t continue in that position and had to leave the company. He now works in a job that doesn’t require him to be on his feet as much.
Outside of work, Darwin serves on the Board of Directors for the Kids with Cancer organization, and spends his time mentoring and encouraging kids with cancer who have or will have, an amputation. For Darwin, it’s important to be able to explain what life is going to be like living with an amputation, because it’s something he didn’t know when he went through his experience. “There’s always the fear of the unknown, or what’s going to happen next,” he says. Darwin answers any questions they have and collaborates with the doctors to figure out what is best for the patient.
Darwin is thankful that VR not only helped him walk with ease again, but also enabled him to be successful and advance in his job. “I’m very grateful,” says Darwin. “I wouldn’t be in the place I am today if it wasn’t for VR.”
Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation program is committed to helping people with disabilities become part of America’s workforce. Our employer-focused website, FLJobConnections.com, allows businesses to search at no charge for employees who are ready to go to work, as well as to post available jobs. VR has 80 offices across Florida, and last year helped 6,071 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more information about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org.