09/06/09 — Greeson wins MDA personal achievement award

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Greeson wins MDA personal achievement award

By Laura Collins
Published in News on September 6, 2009 2:00 AM

Jonathan Greeson, of Pikeville, was awarded the state's Muscular Dystrophy Association's 2009 Robert Ross Personal Achievement Award.

According to the MDA, he was chosen for his personal and academic success and for his advocacy for people with disabilities.

"I was glad to receive it," Greeson said. "But I kind of thought there were other people that deserved it other than me. But they seemed to really want to nominate me and I am appreciative."

Greeson, 27, is a graduate of North Carolina State University and currently works for the county's North Carolina Cooperative Extension office as a budget analyst. He also developed a disability inclusion and awareness kit to be used at 4-H meetings, and is the founder and president of the North Carolina Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association.

During the summer, Greeson teaches hockey at the MDA's summer camps.

"It's really important because a lot of these kids that go to camp, that's the only thing they do that one time of the year," he said. "It's the only time they get to participate in athletic experiences. They see their friends do it and they never get to do it."

Greeson has spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that causes weakness in the muscles, and has been using a wheelchair since he was 15 months old. But he doesn't put limits on himself.

"Life in a chair is difficult," he said. "It's not easy, but it's not hard. If you have a good attitude about it you can do anything you want to do. All you can't do is go down stairs."

Greeson's mother, Connie Greeson, described her son as "remarkable."

"I'm extremely proud of him," she said. "I'm extremely proud of him and all of his accomplishments and all he's done with his life. He's an extraordinary young man and he's not let his disability become his handicap."

She went on to say that Greeson is driven and motivated.

"He doesn't take no. Everything is a possibility for him and he just keeps on until he achieves his goal," she said. "He is truly a blessing to our family."