Anthony LaGorga // 19 Years Old // Pittsburgh, PA // Photographer // Cerebral Palsy (CP) Diagnosed
Anthony contacted us at Defy All Odds inquiring how to be a bigger part of the movement. After hearing his story and especially seeing his work, we were inspired. So, we brought him on board and now we are telling his story to you. Hopefully you feel the same way after reading; Inspired.
DAO: Tell us about yourself and your case of CP
AG: I was born with a cleft lip and cerebral palsy. It effects body movement, muscle coordination and is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the brain. It effects me most in that it's hard for me to be on my feet for more then ten minutes at a time but it's also hard for me to sit down for longer then twenty minutes. Because of that I always have to keeping switching it up. Fortunately, I have a real minor case (of CP) but its still a huge thing in my life.
DAO: How has CP effected you?
AG: It started when I was five years old and I had my back operated on. Basically, they cut my muscles in my back and lengthened them. I pretty much lived at the children's hospital for a while. I used to get Botox shot into my ankles then they would cast both of my legs to help get my ankles straight. I had my Achilles tendons cut and lengthened also. Even though I was in a wheel chair when I had to have my legs cast I was still at the dirt bike races every weekend cheering on my brother and his friends who had a race team.
DAO: What about later on as you grew up?
AG: Fast forward to 7th grade, I started wrestling for my school. I wasn't any good by any means but it kept me active and I loved that i was finally apart of a team sport. Skip to 9th grade, I was friends with everyone in the school, nobody bullied me or anything like it should be. Then I developed really bad anxiety before school. I couldn't even pay attention in class, it go so bad that before I would leave for school I would throw up, once I got there I would sweat really bad and not be able to breath. So, my parents pulled me out of school completely. We tried having the teacher come to my house and I was doing well with that for a little while. Then my parents and the school decided it was time for me to come back regardless that I really wasn't ready. Still, I couldn't handle it and the anxiety was still there so I eventually dropped out with plans of getting my GED.
DAO: How has CP effected your relationships with people?
AG: About a year after dropping out all my friends from high school slowly drifted away from me and I started to find out that people were talking shit, saying I'm not gonna do anything with my life because I dropped out and that I use my disability to try to make people feel bad for me. Blah blah blah. Since then I have found all my friends I have now and I honestly couldn't be happier with them. They have supported me and helped me so much and I truly can't say thank you all enough.
DAO: How did you get into photography?
AG: About 2 years ago I picked up a shitty $90 camera at Kmart just because I was always taking pictures of my buddies cars and just have always loved photography. Last christmas I finally got my first DSLR (team nikon) and that very day I went and shot my buddies Subaru Sti. I've been through a lot of up & downs with my photography thinking I wasn't good enough to go anywhere with it; But, when I would think that I would just think back to all the kids talking shit. I remember them saying I wouldn't do anything with my life. My photos weren't really getting out publicly or posted anywhere so I pretty much was shooting just for me just because of how much i loved it and how much joy I got out of someone telling me they "love my photos and they can't wait to see more". Recently, my stuff has blown up in the last couple of months.
DAO: How did you get into motorsports or car photography specifically?
AG: I grew up around dirt bikes, cars, Harley's, and so on. I've always had a love for it, when i was about 10 years old I wanted to play football but i couldn't so my dad took me and bought me my first bike which was a 70cc pit bike. I rode for about a year before I started racing pit bikes along side my brother and friends. My doctors did not support this at all and told my parents to sell my bike and I nicely told them to "go f**** themselves, this is what i love and I'm not going to stop doing it". I raced for about 4 years, won 2 championships in my class, and then i sold my bike because I was sick of racing pit bikes. I wanted to move up finally but never had the money to get a big bike so I kind of fell out of racing but it is still and always will be a love of mine.
DAO: What does "Defy All Odds" mean to you?
AG: Defy All Odds.. I mean to be honest, thats sums up how I live my everyday. I wake up and get out of bed, I'm defying the odds of what people think disabled people should or shouldn't do so I guess to me it just means don't let anything stop you, do what you love and enjoy.
DAO: Anyone you'd like to thank?
I have to give a big shout out to Royal stance they where the first people to contact me about my car photography and ask me if i wanted to join the Royal Stance family. That's exactly what it is, we have a great group of people in that group; it's a family. Can't forget to mention my other families over at Slammedenuff, StayNmoist, Offensivefitment and of course you guys Defy All Odds. I'm truly honored that all of you guys want me a part of families, it means a lot and I'm just here to prove to people that you can do anything that you set your mind to. I would also like to give a shout out to my friends and family for the support & love they have given me. Big shout out to my dude Dustin Brady, he has helped me out so much with my photography and just my outlook on life in general.
Anything is possible, push your limits and chase your dreams.
Follow Anthony on Instagram to see more - @camburlegz
#DefyAllOdds #DareToDefy #ThereIsNoStoppingUs
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December 08, 2014
I met Anthony this year and we have been getting to know each other a lot as of late. You can see his passion is his drive and I know he can do whatever he puts his mind to. Keep up the good work Anthony. #keepitmoist