By RYLEY WALKER/Montana State News
On any given day of the week, you might see Sam Guy strolling around the Montana State University campus wearing his signature worn plaid, jeans and black and green headphones. You might also see him working late hours at local restaurant Colombo’s Pizza, in good spirits and with a smile on his face.
While not at school or working, Guy likes to be outside. In the summer, he said, “I go for hikes, play Frisbee, take the dogs for a walk.” Finding outdoor activities in the winter is harder, since Guy is “not a big fan of the cold weather.”
When asked if he had ever tried skiing, he replied, “not a big skier, it’s just super hard for me.” He has tried a couple of times, but has to work much harder at staying balanced and upright due to his Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination and body movements. The exact effect on movement cannot be predicted as it can significantly vary from person to person. It usually results from malformations or injuries incurred to the brain during the developmental years in childhood.
Guy was born three months premature, weighed only three pounds one ounce and spent two months in the intensive care unit after birth. He reminisced about being “less than the length from the tip of your fingers to your elbow, all stretched out.”
“I used to walk on my tip toes and wore leg braces to help me get from place to place until I had surgery in second grade, they lengthened my heel chords. After that, I was in knee high casts with a walker for one month. Once I got those off, I literally couldn’t walk, my legs were so weak it was crazy.”
After the surgery, Guy’s dominant left side healed and the heel chords lengthened, to allow him to walk flat-footed, but the right side of his body went back to walking on tip toes. After another surgery in eighth grade, Guy’s right heel chord was lengthened again, permitting flat foot walking and establishing his recognizable stroll.
Not only is Guy a student and a pizza chef, but also talented when it comes to music. Guy goes by the name D.J. Fun Guy, plays sets around Bozeman and has been featured on KGLT a handful of occasions.
Asked about his musical motivation he says: “I don’t really know, I had an interest in EDM [electric dance music] and got curious. Music has always been a big part of my life. I used to play the drums in a band with my brother [The Batteries]. The whole D.J.ing thing kind of just fell into place. I like it because I can find my own style.”
Even though Guy lives with Cerebral Palsy, he possesses a positive and uplifting outlook on the matter, which is profoundly apparent during every interaction with him.
Guy concluded the interview with an insightful point of view “I don’t think normal people ever really know my perspective. I don’t really realize that I’m different. It is my normal. I’ve come to accept that certain things will be difficult but it’s what makes me unique.”
– Edited by Nicole Smith