‘Never give up’: A local man with cerebral palsy inspires others facing adversity

When he was young, Jonathon Mossburg’s parents were told that he may never walk or talk.

But having battled the effects of cerebral palsy since birth, he continues to prove that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

Mossburg has been employed at Parkview Health for nearly six years. Patients and guests might recognize him, as he delivers meal trays at Parkview Regional Medical Center. His reputation for going above and beyond contributes to his popularity among guests and staff.

“Whether delivering a hot meal to a patient, passing a co-worker in the hall, or assisting a family member with wayfinding, Jonathon is always ready to provide excellent service to all of Parkview’s guests with a great attitude and a smile,” says Lydia Miller, Manager of Chaplaincy and Volunteer Services at Parkview Regional Medical Center. “He is polite and kind and shows compassion every day.” Mossburg and his mother celebrate his graduation.

And Mossburg has every reason to smile because he has come a long way.

When he was born, his body was deprived of oxygen, so he spent some time in the hospital. After being diagnosed with cerebral palsy, he suffered from seizures throughout his childhood and was left with a mild learning disability.

While school never came easy for him, support from his parents–and his own hard work–helped him succeed. His mother worked diligently with his teachers and counselors to determine which classes would best fit his abilities, and he was eventually able to attend general education classes alongside special education classes.

After high school, a psychologist and others told Mossburg they didn’t think college was for him. He should pursue jobs that didn’t require a college degree, they said. But that’s not what he wanted to do.

“My motivation was proving to them that I could do it,” he says.

So, through Parkview, Mossburg enrolled in the Ivy Tech Achieve Your Degree program, a partnership between the college and local businesses where the employer covers the employee’s tuition costs as long as they keep their grades at a C or better.

Through his own grit, he eventually became the first graduate of the Achieve Your Degree program. Looking back, he says his greatest supporter will always be his father, who passed away from stage 4 colon cancer in March of 2015.  

“He was one of the few people who saw that I could go to college. That was another motivation to graduate, for my dad and for myself,” Mossburg says. “He was a smart guy. He got his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Ball State University and went on to get his master’s degree in business administration graduate Indiana Wesleyan University. He was my biggest encourager.”

Now, like his father, Mossburg serves as an inspiration to others, too, Miller says.

“Jonathon has had more than his share of difficulties in life, but those obstacles have never stopped him from trying to be all that he was created to be,” she says. “Jonathon has quietly and steadily pursued his dreams and goals while never losing sight of those around him. He inspires me to be kind in all circumstances and never give up in the face of adversity.”

Today, in addition to recently accepting a professional role within Parkview’s Health Information Management Department, Mossburg is preparing to move into his own house, which marks another important milestone in his life.

To others facing life’s challenges, he has a few words of advice.

“If someone was going through what I did, I would say that the sky is the limit, and with hard work and believing in yourself, you can do anything,” he says. “Never give up.”
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