Madison couple begins hosting disability ministry seminars

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MADISON, Ala. – “Adapt and overcome” is the motto of Robert and Cathy Burns as they launch their new disability ministry; Christian seminars meant to help guide and support those with disabilities or their caregivers.

One of the attendees at the first-ever seminar is Lynn Thaler.

“There were a lot of times I needed help that I didn’t get, so when I saw the flyer about these two starting up this program, I thought ‘this is awesome, this is something we need to do more in the church,’ so I signed myself up,” Thaler said.

The seminars come from the couple’s experience of being disabled. Cathy’s disability came after suffering a stroke. Robert has been disabled since the 1970s, falling ill to a rare degenerative disease while he was serving in the army.

“A Colonel at Valley Forge Army Hospital called me into his office, and said ‘Sergeant, you have six months to live. Dismissed.’ I’m still here,” he said.

Despite a grim diagnosis, the army veteran went on to become an engineer, have a family, and start his own software company, K4RHB.

In 2010, he became wheelchair bound, stalling the couple’s favorite hobby, riding motorcycles. Robert adapted again, finding inspiration to start these seminars after inventing a way to make their motorcycle wheelchair-accessible.

“No matter what function or ability has been taken away by disability, something remains. Some function some skill some talent. We hope to help people develop those skills,” he said.

Their goal is to take that motorcycle across the country, attending speaking engagements from their unique perspectives, but first, they want to expand their engagements throughout the Tennessee Valley. To find out more about the seminars, click here.

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