Person of the Week
text size

David Maennle

Updated: Friday, December 27 2013, 07:10 PM EST
When others keep telling him he can't, he keeps showing them he can.

Our Person of the Week has a vision for his life. He's facing a lot of challenges, but as News 13's Larry Blunt found out it's how he's reacting to those challenges that is inspiring all who meet him.

At the emergency medical services in graham county.

There's a young man working toward a goal.  Cleaning the station is just a means, a way to make money on the way to his ultimate dream.

"It takes a lot of work."

At 24 years old, David Maennle is used to hearing he "can't", but he's shown time and again, he can.

Mike Edwards, chairman, Graham County Commission, "you can talk to anybody, anybody whose encountered him in Graham County and you're gonna get the same message."

The message is that David has a plan, "ambulance job."

He calls it his vision board.  And despite his intellectual disability from Down's Syndrome, he's never lost sight of it.

"This is Washington and course he's in front of the Capitol there."

In Washington he met with the undersecretary of education to advocate legislation for people with intellectual disabilities.

And the university participant program at Western Carolina University that he graduated from.

Kelly Kelley, assistant professor, Western Carolina University, "to transition from high school to a college setting to get college experience then also transfer back to their community to lead productive lives and meaningful days."

And what's meaningful to David?  "Log cabin, red pickup truck, blue tick hound, good hunt, ambulance job."

He wants to become an EMT Basic, someone who helps the EMT's, "help the guys, trucks, ambulance truck and take care of people."

He may be soft spoken and a man of few words, but he's proven that he understands what he wants and what it takes.

He scored higher than many non-disabled members of his emergency medical class, and when he was certified in First Aid and CPR, he even surprised his mother.

Becky Garland, David's mother, "I was disappointed in myself that I didn't think he could.  And he showed me he didn't need me there and that means the world to a parent of a person with intellectual disabilities, because you worry so much about what will happen after you're gone.  And it proved to me that he'll be okay after I'm gone."

David's Maennle has proved that no one can put limits on his dreams or his abilities except himself.

So for now as he goes through EMT class at Tri-County, an occasional ride along is all he can hope for, "he can help in small ways." 

But he can keep dreaming big, including that log home he wants to live in.

"I look at it every day and pray about it."

And with a little faith, he already has a place picked out to build on the families property.  

David's mother says some building suppliers have already offered discounted materials and there are volunteers ready to build David's log cabin.

She says she will let us know when that happens.David Maennle

Advertise with us!

Related Stories

Nominate A Person of the Week

Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.
Advertise with us!

Washington Times