Tulsa man spe­cial guest on the Ellen Show

La Semana - - REGIONAL -

ENGLISH

Emeka Nnaka lives in Tulsa and last week re­ceived the sur­prise of his life when the NBC no­ti­fied him that Ellen De­generes was go­ing to in­ter­view him on the fa­mous Ellen Show in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia.

Emeka ar­rived in Tulsa in 2011 to study at Oral Roberts Univer­sity. He was born and raised in Ma­con Ge­or­gia where he played pro­fes­sional foot­ball un­til his 21st birth­day, when he suf­fered an ac­ci­dent that changed his life. He was play­ing a game in Arkansas when he broke his ver­te­bra and ended up in a wheel chair for good. He went through nine op­er­a­tions, one even last­ing nine hours, to try to re­cover, but he was still par­a­lyzed. Emeka has had a hard life and ex­pe­ri­enced dif­fi­cult times, but he de­cided to fight for his life and joined a lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion of vol­un­teers that of­fered shel­ter for the un­der­priv­i­leged. Sud­denly he found a pur­pose that brings joy to his heart and calms his mind. One day Emeka was go­ing back home to the apart­ment he shared with his fa­ther, when a fire sparked, leav­ing him and his fam­ily home­less. His fa­ther started to have prob­lems with his an­kle af­ter the ac­ci­dent and also had to use a wheel chair.

Even though life didn’t seem at all promis­ing, Emeka kept on strug­gling and be­liev­ing that the ac­ci­dent and the fire wouldn’t be able to de­feat his will.

His story of re­silience made it to Ellen’s ears and af­ter re­ceiv­ing more than 50 let­ters from friends, fam­ily and other ci­ti­zens Emeka was in­vited to LA.

When he ar­rived at the show Emeka had no idea the sur­prise Ellen had pre­pared for him; ev­ery­thing was nor­mal un­til Ellen started ex­plain­ing what Emeka did at his job. Sud­denly Emeka re­al­ized the story wasn’t about him but about all those kids he had helped at the shel­ter. Min­utes later Ellen told him that he would go back to Tulsa with a spe­cial gift, Chee­rios had do­nated 100,000 dol­lars for his or­ga­ni­za­tion. Emeka couldn’t be­lieve what he heard -- he thanked Ellen and all those who had val­ued his story. Fi­nally Ellen con­cluded the show with the fol­low­ing words: “For all those who wrote the let­ters, I want to tell you. You were right, Emeka is amaz­ing.” (La Se­m­ana)

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