We’re not sure how big a role her dog Jack plays in helping Tisha out, or, for that matter — given her determination and what she has accomplished – if she even needs any.
On her YouTube channel, “Tisha Unarmed,” the irrepressible 25-year-old demonstrates how she texts, showers, ties her shoes, drives, gets dressed and more — even how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — all without arms.
In some of them, like this compilation, Jack, her black Chihuahua, can be seen standing by — at least until she turns on the vacuum cleaner:
Tisha — born without arms, and with one of her legs eight inches longer than the other — lives alone with Jack, and we don’t know if he inspires her, or she inspires him, or if perhaps a little of both goes on.
She was born in St. Louis, the oldest of five children, and grew up all over. Her father’s family is from Jordan, and she spent a few years in the Middle East before moving back to the United States by herself when she was a teenager, according to a story about her on Yahoo! Shine.
Last year, she graduated from St. Louis Community College with an associates degree in graphic design, the field in which she’s now seeking employment.
She’s also an artist and member of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists. She uses her toes to draw and paint.
She started making YouTube videos — demonstrating everything from how to eat with chopsticks to how to put on make-up — to showcase her graphic design skills, but now sees that she’s serving to educate a lot of people, able and disabled.
“If I can educate more people to be a little bit more open minded about disabilities and conditions, then I’ve done my job,” she says. “Not only am I educating abled people, but I’m also educating handicapped people to be more independent.”
Her her first video was titled “Eating a sandwich with my feet.” Since then, she’s added more videos and attracted more than 300,000 hits. She begins each video with the same introduction: “Hi everyone, this is Tisha Unarmed and I’m here to answer all your questions about not having arms. As you can see, I don’t have any arms.”
“I was just being silly and funny at home,” she said. “I just never expected to have so many views in so little time.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abilities, abled, adaptability, adapting, animals, armless, channel, chihuahua, demonstrations, disabilities, disability, dog, dogs, feats, feet, humans, inspirational, inspiring, jack, no arms, pets, spirit, tisha, tisha unarmed, unarmed, videos, youtube
Normally — being cynical and wary of being manipulated — we carefully scrutinize anything that falls into the category of “inspirational.”
Normally, we sidestep the sappy.
Normally, what inspiration we do draw is from dogs.
But every once in a while, humans come through.
This story is two years old, and I’m surprised it hasn’t become a TV movie yet. It’s about a high school football game between Grapevine Faith Christian School and Gainesville State School, which is located within a prison facility for juvenile offenders.
Gainesville State School hadn’t had a win yet that season, and — security being a concern – has never had a home game. As a result of playing only road games, its team — in addition to having only 14 members, shabby equipment, armed escorts with handcuffs at the ready and little hope of winning, on or off the field – had never had any fans to cheer them on.
In the season of 2009, Grapevine Faith coach Kris Hogan showed some — and in the other team.
He sent out an email asking students, faculty, parents and other supporters of Grapevine to root for the team that returns to a maximum-security prison after their games, the Gainesville Tornadoes.
“Here’s the message I want you to send:” Hogan wrote. “You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth.”
The Tornadoes, being cheered on by the opposing teams fans and cheerleaders, didn’t win (that would have been sappy), but — once they got over being stunned — they played their best game of the season.
Then they celebrated, showering their coach with squirt bottles, even though they lost.
ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote a fine piece about it as well back then, and it recounts how, as the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.
Gainesville coach Mark Williams, before his team departed, told Hogan, “You’ll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You’ll never, ever know.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: cheering, christian school, christianity, coach, faith, football, gainesville state school, gainesville tornadoes, grapevine faith, high school football, home team, hope, humans, inspiration, inspirational, juvenile, kris hogan, losing, offenders, prison, report, texas, tornadoes, video, visiting team, winning