Nicholas James Vujicic was born December 4, 1982 is a preacher and motivational speaker who was born without arms or legs due to a rare disorder known as Tetra-amelia. He struggled throughout his childhood to come to terms with his disability, and at seventeen started his own non-profit organization “Life Without Limbs”. After graduating from university, Vujicic began his travels as a motivational speaker. At present, he regularly gives speeches on subjects such as disability, hope, and finding meaning in life.
The first-born child of a Serbian family, Nick Vujicic was born in Brisbane, Australia with the rare Tetra-Amelia disorder: limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level and legless but with two small feet, one of which has two toes. Initially, his parents were devastated. Nick was otherwise healthy.
His life was filled with difficulties and hardships. One was being prohibited by Victoria state law from attending a mainstream school because of his physical disability, even though he was not mentally impaired. During his schooling, the laws were changed, and Vujicic was one of the first disabled students to be integrated into a mainstream school. He learned to write using the two toes on his left foot, and a special device that slid onto his big toe which he uses to grip. He also learned to use a computer and type using the “heel and toe” method (as demonstrated in his speeches), throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone, shave and get himself a glass of water (also demonstrated in speeches).
Being bullied at his school, Nick grew extremely depressed, and by the age of eight, started contemplating suicide. At age ten, he tried to drown himself in 4 inches of water, but did not go through with it out of love for his parents. After begging God to grow arms and legs, Nick eventually began to realize that his accomplishments were inspirational to many, and began to thank God for being alive. A key turning point in his life was when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability. This led him to realize he wasn’t the only one with major struggles. As time went by Nick began to embrace his situation and achieve greater things. In grade seven Nick was elected captain of his school and worked with the student council there on various fund-raising events for local charities and disability campaigns. When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group, and eventually started his non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs.
In 2005 Nick was nominated for the “Young Australian of the Year” Award.
Nick graduated from university at the age of 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning. He began his travels as a motivational speaker, focusing on the topics that today’s teenagers face. He also speaks in the corporate sector, although his aim is to become an international inspirational speaker, in both Christian and non-Christian venues. He regularly travels internationally to speak to Christian congregations, schools, and corporate meetings. He has spoken to over three million people so far, in over 24 countries on five continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, and North America).
Vujicic promotes his work through television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as by writing. His first book is titled Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life (Random House, 2010).
His motivational DVD, Life’s Greater Purpose, is available on the Life Without Limbs website. Most of the DVD was filmed in 2005, featuring a brief documentary about his home life, and how he does regular things without limbs. The second part of the DVD was filmed at his local church in Brisbane, and was one of his first professional motivational speeches. A DVD for young people is titled: No Arms, No Legs, No Worries: Youth Version. His motivational speeches can be seen on the Premiere Speakers Bureau Website. Vujicic currently lives in California.
Vujicic’s first worldwide television interview, featured on 20/20 (ABC) with Bob Cummings was aired on 28 March 2008.
He appeared in the short film “The Butterfly Circus” which won the Doorpost Film Project’s top prize of 2009, and the Best Short Film award at the Method Fest Film Festival, where Vujicic was also awarded Best Actor in a short film. Butterfly Circus also just won the Best Short Film at the Feel Good Film Festival in Hollywood in 2010.