Brandon Gruber continues to live his dream
Apostrophe featured Brandon Gruber back in July (read his story here). His dad, Tim Gruber, was kind enough to give an update as to what Brandon has been up to as an exclusive just for Apostrophe subscribers!
by TIM GRUBER
It was a cool October evening in 2014, and we had just finished watching Brandon’s favorite television show Liv and Maddie on the Disney channel.
He was particularly focused and turned to me and said, “My dream is to meet Dove Cameron someday.”
Spoken in the same tone that I would say let’s go get a bite to eat, he was full of confidence and assurance that it would happen.
My wife and I knew this was not impossible but so close you could touch it from where we sat. We tried to transfer that goal to something less lofty without saying this will never happen.
In September of 2015 Brandon was Dove’s guest in the front row of a “Liv and Maddie” taping in Hollywood where he got a private tour backstage and spent some time with Dove.
It was unbelievable for us to witness but not so much for Brandon. He envisioned this day before it ever came to fruition. It was the high expectancy theory at work. Brandon already created the vision of this day, and the moment was never too big. He subconsciously took action by planning what he would wear, say, and it happened.
How do you go from the marginal fringe to center stage?
My wife and I discovered through trial and error that Brandon’s successes and failures were largely the product of those in charge. When there were good strong leaders within the school, athletic team, theater group, he excelled. It all came down to believing in him and maximizing his talents.
The results were amazing: 10 theatrical productions, Honor Roll & Society, Blue and Gold Award, Citywide art show (overall first place 8th grade), ASB leadership, Youth City Council Member and Homecoming King to name a few.
In each situation Brandon was the first with Down syndrome within these groups to be accepted and included. We didn’t have a template on how this could happen, but we did have a plan. Our plan was simply to engage him in the social fabric of our community and allow him to do the rest.
What’s next for Brandon?
Well, if history is any measurement, it will be to meet Ellen and Justin Bieber in person, produce his own music, design, sew, model his own clothing at Fashion week in NYC, Milan or Tokyo, and become the first guy with Down syndrome to do so.
He also wants to live out, attend college, and get married.
All I know for sure is that my wife and I better pack our bags because we are in for a wild ride that will change the futures for others like Brandon.
It is our privilege to help Brandon pave his own road no matter the obstacles he will face because change in any form is never without roadblocks and potholes.
What we have learned so far is Brandon lives his motto “It only takes one to inspire one” every day, and he has embraced his role to be the first so that others don’t have to work as hard.