Radio personality Doc Lewis of KSFR 90.7 has a voice that reaches far beyond the Central Valley.
That’s mainly because Lewis has a story that resonates with people in any country.
Having faced the challenge of cerebral palsy and polio throughout his life, Lewis travels the world to connect with others who have the same difficulty.
His latest mission is in Austria, where he has been chosen to be a guest of honor at the Special Olympics.
“They have every sports team you can imagine here,” Lewis said. “They have ice hockey, skating. They have athletes from all over the world. I mean from Russia to Team USA is here. We have people from everywhere. To be a part of this event is a dream come true, to see the athletes who are born with disabilities like me.”
Lewis, who has also made his story public in his book “Let Me Tell You My Story,” cherishes any opportunity to make a difference.
“Being the guest of honor drives a lot of attention. Folks can know who you are, how you got there,” Lewis said. “It’s good because I’m here not only representing the United States, but also Fresno and a lot of people that didn’t go from Fresno that have disabilities. I’m motivating them just by being over here.”
As he represents the Valley in Graz, Austria, Lewis and his wife take time to enjoy the beauty of experiencing something new.
“We’re seeing the different dialects and people of color. All nationalities are present here in Graz,” Lewis said. “We’re having such a great time. The food is good and very friendly people.”
When he was born in 1967 in Gonzales, Louisiana, Lewis was born prematurely, weighing eight ounces. Doctors had pronounced him braindead.
“When I see people, it’s an opportunity to tell them my story. Then I find out somebody in their family was born like me,” Lewis said. ”We have that opportunity here at the games. That can change people’s lives. You can see change in them when you talk to them. They are excited to hear your story.”
Lewis credits his faith and family for helping him come far from where he was.
“You can be 10 years old and still have the mentality of a 3-year-old. You can be 14 and have the mind of a 5-year-old,” he said. “I grew up with those challenges of not being able to do what I’m doing now. It took a lot of patience with my family to get me to where I am now. Day-by-day they worked with me.”
As for faith, it was always a big part of Lewis’ life.
“I grew up in church. Faith was always the No. 1 part of our life,” Lewis said. “And after being married to a great woman – we’ve been married 28 years – she added to my faith.”
Moving forward, Lewis said he has another big project coming up, but he’s not allowed to speak about it yet.
What’s clear right now is that Lewis plans to amplify his voice for many more years.
“Being part of radio is special to me because I couldn’t speak,” Lewis said. “Public speaking and writing, I don’t think I will ever stop that.”