SHAWN HESSEE was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of being born premature to a mother addicted to drugs. Because of his disability, Shawn has been confined to a wheelchair throughout his life. Spending most of his early years in and out of the hospital, Shawn has had numerous operations. Shortly after birth, he was ushered off to foster care and eventually adopted into a loving family.

JMZ MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, LLC Despite these early setbacks, Shawn has been able to accomplish many things and maintains an active lifestyle. He is a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. with a Bachelor Degree in Broadcast Communications/Public Relations. For several years, he was a member of the Carolina Fury wheelchair power hockey team.

Today, Shawn travels the country doing comedy and motivational speaking at clubs, elementary and high schools, colleges and corporate events. He has opened for actor/comedian Michael Winslow (Cadet Larvell Jones from the "Police Academy" movies). He sees comedy as a way to talk about sensitive issues and break down the barriers and stereotypes that often come with having a disability.

But, his first love is motivational speaking. Through his speaking, Shawn gives a powerful message of perseverance and determination to accomplish personal and professional goals. Shawn shares his personal experiences with both humor and brutal honesty of the difficulties he has had to endure. His message will truly inspire his audiences and challenge today’s stereotypes of disabilities, while redefining the meaning of courage.

In Shawn’s speeches, he covers everything from drug abuse to foster care to dealing with having a disability, as well as strategies individuals can use to "embrace their adversity" and overcome it. At the end of his speeches, Shawn is happy to field questions from the audience, and he is more than willing to visit with individual classrooms, med school classes or to speak one-on-one with people who want to share their stories with him.

For more information or to book Shawn for your next event, e-mail shessee@rollingthroughadversity.com or lcrossley@rollingthroughadversity.com, or call 919-961-8966.