Inspirational Dean lifting life's challenges
DEAN Clifford, 39 has endured more life challenges than most people could only ever imagine.
But growing up in Kingaroy made his tough childhood all the more bearable.
"The local community was amazing for me,” Dean said.
"Everyone looked after me and my family.”
The in-demand motivational speaker started weight lifting over ten years ago, after a random evening with his mates.
"We were just mucking around with some weights,” he said.
"A couple of days later a friend said if you're really interested we can go into the gym and play around with a few things and see what my body was capable of.
"That first day I was able to lift my own body weight. These days I'm lifting 150kg.”
"I've always had a lot of upper body strength because the skin on my feet and legs is so fragile that I would naturally get myself up out of the chair using my arms to support myself.
From birth, Dean has had a severe version of the rare skin condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
"My skin started to break down and blister after a few hours of being born.”
"If I develop a new wound from falling over, for an average person it might take a day or two for those wounds to heal.
"For me, it could take a couple of years to repair and regenerate.”
"I remember kids were afraid to come near me.
"That was always difficult to understand because I never saw my self as any different.”
Initially Dean's life expectancy was 2 to 4 years.
Dean turns the big 40 in December this year and is looking forward to celebrating in style.
"A heap of relatives and I are heading to Vegas for the week,” he said.
"I'll be celebrating ten times the life expectancy.
"It'll be ten times the party and we are going to win ten times as much as any one else.”