Early this morning, a man with muscular dystrophy was the last of 39,000 participants to cross the finish line at the Chicago Marathon. Determined to make his dream a reality, Maickel Melamed of Venezuela spent nearly 17 hours toughing the 26.2 mile course. At 1:30 a.m. he accomplished the feat, crossing the finish line surrounded by about 100 supporters.
Melamed stated that his motivation comes from his life being a “gift” (emphasis added):
My message is: If you dream it, make it happen. Your life is the most beautiful thing that could happen to you. Make the best with that, and share the best of that. We come here to share. We come here to make a team. We come here to construct the best world that the children — our children — deserve.
Melamed’s comments fly in the face of a culture that frequently bases the right to life and value of human beings on a “quality of life” judgment. At the National Right to Life (NRCL) Convention in Dallas this June, Burk Balch of NRLC addressed issues regarding “quality of life” attitudes, saying:
It is very important for we who are pro-life to realize that we are subject to the atmosphere of the quality of life ethic which has insidiously over the decades worked its way into our medical, our judicial, and our general culture.
Melamed’s belief that ‘life is the most beautiful thing that could happen to you’ affirms the dignity of human life in spite of perceptions about an individual’s abilities affecting his worth.