Roll On Ron Heagy

Roll On Ron has been a dear friend of my husbands for many years. 

The first time I heard Ron speak I was deeply moved.  Even though he was in a wheel chair I still saw a tall and handsome man with a true spirit for life.  Ron Heagy was a college bound high school star athlete when he had a surfing accident. 

This happened the day before  his 18th birthday and it left him a quadriplegic for life.

I was proved right about his spirit for life after learning that after this accident he earned a masters degree by typing with a stick in his teeth. 

He is now an inspirational speaker, mouth painter, author, husband, father, and founder of a special needs camp located in Oregon. 

I would like to share an email that I received from him just this week.  I hope you enjoy his message of brotherly love as much as I did.


I needed a permanent caregiver, but the social  services agency had no nurse’s available for live-in assignments.  Then the staff ran an ad in the local newspaper, only one person responded.  The agency gave Daniel Webster Doe my number and suggested he call me.

When my student driver dropped me off at my home on the day of our interview, I found a rough-looking man in his fifties waiting on my front porch.   He was half aging hippie, half Hells Angel; a big, burly  man with long hair and a bushy beard.  A leopard tattoo  peeked out from under the sleeve of his faded t-shirt, and his blue jeans sagged.  An old, beat-up bicycle leaned against the porch steps. 

Great!  I thought, morosely checking our Mr. Doe’s disheveled appearance and shabby clothes.  They must have advertised for a bar bouncer or a companion for a  paralyzed Hell’s Angel.  For a moment I regretted that I  hadn’t locked my front door before leaving that morning.

 He’s probably already been inside and robbed me blind, I decided.  I wondered how quickly I could get rid of him.  It would be impolite just to roll up to the porch and say,  “Hello, nice to meet you.  Please leave.”  But obviously, this guy would never do.

As if to contradict my first impression of him,  the huge man quickly rose and  hopped off the porch when  he saw the van pull in.  Stepping to the side door, he lifted the door handle, reached inside, and deftly lowered  the lift.   “Hello,” he said with a merry twinkle in his eye.  The friendly smile beneath his beard instantly transformed him from an intimidating hulk to Santa Claus.

Starting to reach out for a handshake, he quickly  shoved both hands in his pockets instead. “I’m Daniel,”  he said, eyes still twinkling.  Surprising myself, I liked him instantly.

His background was as mottled as his appearance:   an abused child, teenage runaway, military veteran, and former alcoholic and drug abuser, he had been married and divorced twice and had even served time in jail—the perfect  companion for a completely dependent, single Christian schoolteacher trying to recover from a broken heart.

Ours was an odd-couple arrangement that somehow worked.  Once I finally adjusted to his shortcomings  in cooking and housekeeping, I grew to admire and appreciate  his more important characteristics; staunch loyalty and great dependability.  Daniels’s heart was as big as his body.  He would do anything for me, and never complained, no  matter how many times I called him during the night.

Daniel Webster Doe was more than  my caregiver  for over 17yrs.  During that time he became my brother.  One of his favorite  lines when someone would ask about me was “I was hired from the neck down, I’m the body, he is the brain.

Daniel always had my back.  After Kelli and I were married, Daniel became Papa Doe.  Our girls loved him and he always had a new joke to keep them laughing.  He was part of our family  and he celebrated all holidays and family get togethers with us. 

Daniel Webster Doe left this earth in September of this year.  He now enjoys a better place, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’s been hugging on my mama in  heaven.  He loved Jesus and was not afraid to tell you God  is your only hope.  I will miss him more than I could possibly  express, for nobody in my life can or ever will be able to replace this wonderful man and his amazing friendship. 

It freaks me out to think I could’ve missed out on Daniel’s life based on my preconceived external biases.   I am so glad I got to know him before responding to my initial  evaluation.  I can’t help but wonder how many Daniel Does I  have rolled on by. 

My brother and sister, I encourage you to take a moment and allow yourself the opportunity to prove your preconceived ideas wrong.   Get to know a person from the inside out.  Let’s not make judgment calls before we give  a relationship a chance.  “Everyone is once a stranger.”

Ron Heagy – Never Give Up

To read more about Ron Heagy or to become a financial partner of his “quad squad” you can visit:

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31 Responses to “Roll On Ron Heagy”

  1. Andre van der Colff says:

    What an inspiring story and I am unfortunately in the habit of judging a book on its cover.
    I thank God for you and your inspiring stories.
    Keep on Ron it does mean a lot, at least to me here in South Africa, with my personal judgemental personality.
    I will ask God forgiveness today and will never judge people that way again.

  2. Fay Roberts says:

    life can be so interesting you can’t always judge people at first sight, myself personaly I like to look at a persons eyes, I’m 75 & by following that habit have never been wrong, are we not told the eyes are the windows to our soul????/

  3. Ambreen Agha says:

    It was a really wonderful thought. I think this story should be widely circulated in this present world which is so full of ‘external biases’. Good one. I liked the message and also got to learn something…something that I will always remember before making any judgement.
    Let’s not be judgmental at all!!

  4. Wendy Gordon says:

    Hi, ROn
    You’ve really inspired me by this message.I had tears in my eyes while reading and I feel your pain, although you don’t see or feel pain anymore. To think that I was diagnosed with Epilepsy last year and went through a major patch and all because of my former husband who brought this upon me. (He was an abuser in many ways). Now I have someone who loves me for who I am and we’re married for 10months now. For the past 7 days I had 3 episodes and GOD pulled me through , through prayer. GOD bless and keep you ad I’ll pray for you.
    Friends in CHRIST, Wendy

  5. chona Li says:

    wow..what a nice true to life story. Thank you so much! it’s so inspiring.

  6. hilda meintjes says:

    what a wonderful testimony for us not to judge people, or judge others.
    I would have loved to have known him. God bless you for publishing this so that we also can help others, and most times it does not cost us anything.

  7. shirley says:

    thanks that is what i needed right now i was marry to a man just for a few mths he was good until we get marry and then i started to see his true colors any how you are a true inspired to me thanks again

  8. jonathan says:

    Hello Ron,

    You have really open me up to something new in my life.I have leant a lot from your story as I cannot hold back my joy but to clap my hands as I come to the end of the story. I will try and use this as an example to my listerners when next I am on he pulpit.May God keep blessing you and give you more grace in your undertaking. God bless Daniel in his bossom.

  9. lakshmi says:

    Appearances are often deceptive.we should never be judgemenntal. Every body is entitled to his opinion and way of life. If we can not see from his perspective ,atleast we should stop being judgemental
    we hardly find good relationships. If we get such we should nurture and mever let it go from us.
    thanks for enlightening about the life story of a noble soul.

  10. Gene Pastrick says:

    Hi Ron,
    What a great uplifting story. How often all of us will judge a book by it’s cover. I have done it many times during my 60 years here on earth.My mother would have had some good stories to tell you Ron. She passed away 17 years ago and I miss her more and more everyday. Upon seeing someone not dressed well, or crippled, or someone with worn shoes or a multitude of other descriptions she would always say “there but for the grace of God go I”. Since her passing I cannot tell you how many times I have said that. Ron, by the time I finished reading your story I am not ashamed to tell you I was crying. You are a special messenger sent from God and I hope that God will hold you in the palms of his hands and continues to bless you as you have blessed us today.Your story really opened my eyes to look “open the cover” and look inside. I pray for all the other Papa Doe’s out there.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Ron, thanks for your inspiring story. I, myself, have misjudged people by the way they look.

    God bless you & keep you in his loving hands.

  12. Buddy says:

    Ron, I once heard a Minister say in his message one time, you don;t judge a man by the suit of clothes he is wearing, for a tailor made the suit and God made the man. Thanks so much for reminding us not to judge one by what they look like or wearing for looks are deceiving.

  13. Tom Meleski says:

    Thank you so much for posting this wonderful story. Everyone deserves a chance to show you their real self, if we could only practice this in our daily lives. There is a heart beating in all of us and it just needs love and compassion to continue.

  14. Jean Scoggins says:

    Being a life-long reader, I’ve always advocated the
    “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” philosophy.

    Last April, our family celebrated my “70 years young”
    birthday. I say this to let you know that I’ve been
    around for a while.

    In the past 5 years, due to multiple medical problems,
    my lifestyle has done a “360 degree” turn. Ron’s testimony has lifted my heart “way up”! His love of
    life, in the midst of his own lifestyle change, has
    given me new hope, and a sharper view of Our Lord.
    Instead of making snap judgments by looking at the
    “outward man”, let’s give our fellow man the benefit
    of the doubt. Get to know the “inward man” before
    pronouncing judgment on them.

    May God richly bless you, Ron. Your story has given
    me a new perspective, and, for that, I thank you.

  15. Joseph jacob says:

    Thank you Ron for the encouragement.I read your story
    and truly uplifting. i was reading the Bible today
    and in the book of Romans 2:6-11. GOD BLESS YOU.AMEN

  16. Colleen says:

    Thank you so much for this inspirational story, we can all learn from this. Ron you are an inspiration to me and may God Bless you.

  17. Ron, your story is so inspiring and it put so many of us to shame for complaining when we have all of our limbs. My heart was overwhelmed by the wonderful things that you do. I do Prison Ministry but your life compell me to do more. God bless you as you continue to be a blessings to others. My heart was so over joyed as I watched you speak to so many others on the web. God truly had a plan for you. Keep up the good work of God because you are truly a blessing to me. I would love to order one of your beautiful painting as a reminder of your inspiration, a gift from God.

  18. maha says:

    help me for my spirutual improvement,bez god is very near to me but i am not able to hear his voice

  19. Lolong Simacon says:

    Dearest Ron,
    As I read your story I was so deeply touched and tearing,because judging a book on its cover was so often happened to me. Yes, you are not alone but so many of us are mistaken.Your story give so many of us a lesson & reminder. In my part right now I’ll ask the Lord for forgiveness and guidance in the way of my life that I may not mistaken again to judge others. Thanks so much Ron for your story. You’re truly a Blessings for the blind to see the light,like me. May the Good Lord showers you and your family more and more Blessings. Have a long life to live, Ron. And go on to proclaim the good news of the LORD.


  21. Geok H. Madewell says:

    Thank you Ron for telling your story and showing the world how AWESOME our God is. He can turn something tragic into someone good–you are His walking miracle. Like you, I am a walking miracle because I am an incomplete paraplegic with closed head injury when I was hit by a drunk driver in 1991. God has kept me off a whhelchair for 19 years. Without God providing for my every need, and being my daily comforter, companion, and friend, and giving me strength everyday, I would have chosen the easy way out. Thank God for His mercy and grace. I only have an attitude of gratitude because God is so loving to me and my family. I can only depend on Him because He has never failed me. He may not give me everything I want but He has given me everything I need–I am very content with what I have and I have nothing to fear because God lives in me. I enjoy praising God because I do adore Him and I cannot thank Him enough. So, in return for His love and what He has done for me, I only want to obey His commandment to love God and love others like I love myself. It only takes a spark, to get the fire going. May those who do not know Jesus will someday come to know Jesus and experience His love, like I do–you will experience the love, joy, and peace that transcends all understanding that no human being can give to you.

  22. bola oyekoya says:

    Thank you Roll on Ron Heagy for sharing this mail with us, esp. the Christians. It is human to pre-judge people by their first appearance, and as you said, most people are very wrong in doing this. May God help us to give people the opportunity to prove themselves, before we conclude matters on them.
    I really commend you for giving Mr Doe another chance in life – being an ex-convict.God will reward you and your family for your kindness through all the 17 years Doe lived with you, before God called him home. Having given his life to Christ when he was on this planet, I believe God will accommodate him in one of the many mansions Jesus prepared for us, the believers. God bless you Ron.

  23. Lala Fernandez says:

    Your story is amazing. I must tell you that I have a helper who cannot hear sometimes. She has a concentration problem. But our housework goes so well with her. My children are looked after by her. She has brains too. I got her from the convent. The nuns told me that you will need patience with her. I always prayer for patience. I am so thankful that the Lord has given me this helper who is now 11 years with our family. She is a family member of ours. Praise the Lord.

  24. M. Kennedy says:

    Thanks Ron, for this amazing story. The fact that Daniel Webster Doe came to you as he was has inspired me. He didn’t get all dressed up and pretend to be someone else..he came as he was, offering what he had and his Heart shown through and touched your life. I’m so happy for Daniel that he got the opportunity to share your life…you blessed him just as much as he blessed you. Thanks again for sharing!

  25. Richard S. says:

    Dear brother Ron,I learned this lesson early in life having been so dissapointed by people I thought were friends.I wanted to be friends with the cool or popular people.They didn’t stick around much once the going got tough.Then I started being drawn to the unwanted and the outcasts and made some of the best friends a person could ever have.They know the value of a real friend. I’ve had people put me down because of the “quality ” of my friends. Well, this tells me I made the right choice.Your story confirms what I already knew. Thank you Ron for your loving heart. Your brother in CHRIST:)

  26. DON says:


  27. Joy says:

    It is indeed inspiring, and gives the message that everyone created on earth is a beautiful and precious gift of God. It is the way we perceive the value of this gift matters..somegifts may not apperar smart, but still they could be the precious gift for you and me from God…Let us be the gift of God and see the gift of God in each and every human beings.

  28. Shirley Bukowski says:

    I am so inspired by your story Ron. May God bless you and your family and one day you will meet your friend in heaven.. I pray that I will be so open-eyed that I can see the good first in a person, no matter who. I ask the forgiveness of our almighty God for the times that I have judged wrongly.

  29. Quad. Fred says:

    Life is a precious gift and it is sacred because God the the Creator King put great value on it – His own image and we should all love life and the Giver of life. Thank you for your testimony.

  30. amanda says:

    This is such a touching story. I am guilty of judging a person by appearance. I breaks my heart to know that so many are judged like that. This story really opens my eyes and to change my ways. I love you Ron for sharing this with everyone.

  31. Dave says:

    Ron heagy is one of my best friends and iit touched my heart to read alll of your comments.
    I am on my way out to visit him for his 50th birthday which is on the 18th. If any of you want to bless ron with a bday card his address is at his website..

    It has been a hard year for him with many illnesses but he and kelli rely on their faith to get them through hard times. I was shocked when ron told me he received a letter from the government that said “based on the fact that you can give speeches and paint with your mouth, we feel you are not disabled….they took away his benefits…thats not right…. Please pray for him. Thanks…

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