Challenge Accepted: Documentary shares inspiring stories

Challenge Accepted is a documentary sharing stories of people who don't look at physical set backs as a way to keep from enjoying and living life to the fullest.September 5, 2017, 4pm

A documentary shares stories of people who many would consider disabled, but that's not how they describe themselves.

The name of the project is Challenge Accepted.

"I feel like Challenge Accepted is an opportunity to explain to people that we may look a little different but we're just people and they don't need to be worried," Gary Harmon said.

He is a father and a husband and a teacher and an author.

Gary Harmon was born with just two fingers on his left hand, no right hand, and no feet.

"I don't have all my facial muscles that you do. I can't completely shut my eyes. My eyebrows don't rise. I don't wrinkle my forehead so I will always look young and gorgeous. Just kidding! But I don't have the wrinkles," he said.

What he does have is a passion for advocacy. He's collaborating with Tom Baker, who brings 30 years of television experience to the project.

"This is one of the most powerful stories I've ever seen. And it's untold," Tom Baker said.

Gary said, "We both admit that we think this is God's plan that we would meet and do this together. I am very proud to be working with him."

Gary and Tom have interviewed people in the Knoxville area. People who are blind or in wheel chairs or facing some other struggle.

"We didn't go out looking for people who had faith they just did. And it completes the story that through faith anything is possible," Tom said.

They want to be true to the stories.

"The challenge of this is to not to make it a pity party because it is not," Tom said.

Gary said, "That's what I want people to get from this show. I want them to think when it first comes on: oh there's a guy with no hands that's pitiful. And by the end of it I want them to say I didn't really notice the hands. The hands aren't that important. So I hope we get there with that show."

They are trying to sell the show as either a documentary or a series on a cable network and they would like to extend the stories beyond East Tennessee. They set up a GoFundMe page and said they talk about the project to anyone who will listen.

"I want somebody to sit on their couch and watch this and say maybe we should get out more. Maybe the world is ready for somebody like me. Because I know people who are afraid to get out because they don't want people looking at them or asking them a lot of questions and I don't mind that," Gary said.

Tom explained, "I want to help him tell the story. I want to put it in a package to where people learn something and they also gain hope. That's powerful to me. And I am so glad to be a part of it."

Gary said, "We are all God's children we are all good people and if you can get past the way we look you are going to learn something and maybe enjoy our friendship."

Challenge Accepted.


 

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