Brock Mealer to speak Sunday in Fayette 01.26.2011

Written by David Green.

brock_mealerBy DAVID GREEN

No matter how great the challenge, Brock Mealer knows there’s a way through.

When he visits Fayette High School at 1 p.m. Sunday, Mealer will talk about the adversity he’s overcoming.

One percent is an important number in Mealer’s life. Following a tragic traffic accident three years ago, the Wauseon native was told his chances of ever walking again were less than one percent.

Within a few weeks of the accident, Mealer was able to move his legs while lying in a hospital bed. He knew then he might have a chance of making the one percent.

A few months later he was walking short distances with the help of a walker and full leg braces. He finally decided to accept an offer of help from the University of Michigan strength coaches who knew about Mealer from his brother, Elliott, who played with the Wolverines as an offensive lineman.

While Mealer worked on his master’s degree in economics at Ohio State, he would drive to Ann Arbor for strengthening work, and he sometimes made the drive five times a week. It was worth the effort.

Eventually he was convinced to remove the leg braces and switch to a small ankle brace and through the weeks his legs and hips strengthened.

He put down his crutches and began using two canes to walk short distances. Lately he’s begun walking with the help of only one cane for continued conditioning, although he often still walks with two.

Fayette visit

Mealer frequently tells his story of perseverance and faith to youth groups, and Fayette is on his schedule for Sunday, thanks to the effort of Nancy Cooley who was one of Mealer’s teachers when he was growing up in Wauseon.

“Nancy called him and he said ‘yes’,” explained Rodney Bingman, who is helping organize the event for the Fayette United Methodist Youth (F.U.M.Y.) group.

Mealer’s visit has particular meaning to Bingman, a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

“I was a state trooper at this crash,” Bingman said. “I’ve followed Brock since then and Elliott at U of M.”

Many people in Northwest Ohio are aware of the Mealers’ tragedy and of Brock’s recovery.

“He’s someone we can relate to since he’s local,” Bingman said. “He’s an inspiration to everyone.”

Sunday’s event begins with a fund-raising potato dinner sponsored by F.U.M.Y from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bingman said the group had been inactive for some time until he and some other parents decided to reorganize the group last October. There were 11 youths at the first meeting and the number has now grown to 28.

Bingman emphasizes that Brock Mealer’s talk is not just a youth group event but is open to the public.

“We want to touch as many lives as possible,” he said.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016