Korey Soderman, an inspiration to others and making a difference in the community

Life's journey in a chair

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -  He's in a wheelchair, but Korey Soderman doesn't just watch life roll by.

He sets the pace and inspires others to follow.

On this day, along with his brother and parents, he's stopping at stores on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach with fliers and tape.

"We've come to see if we can put a poster in your window," said his mother, Wendy Soderman.
"We go to every event in the community that involves music," she said.  "Korey looks around for wheelchairs and for people that are similar to him doing life's journey in a chair. He comes home disappointed that there are few if any."

Korey is doing something to change that.

His goal is to break the Guinness Book World Record for the largest wheelchair dance in the world. It will take place in May in downtown West Palm Beach.  

"For Korey, it's all about music," said his father, Kris Soderman.. "He loves music, he lives for music."

In fact, it's because of music  that Korey is alive.

Korey is a twin. When his mom Wendy was pregnant with him and his brother, .Korey stopped growing at 20 weeks.  At 32 weeks his heart failed.

"He was one pound," said Wendy.  "They said he would not be normal physically. But they didn't know the extent but we would risk our normal son if we chose to save him. It was our choice to make and they stepped out of the room and gave us 3 minutes."

"We looked at each other and love is unconditional, or it's supposed to be," she said.   She said all she could think of was Kenny Loggins singing, "This is it. Your miracle. Stand up and fight."

 "So we saved my miracle," she said.

Loggins would go on to play a remarkable role in the Soderman's life.

A look around the IDEAL school which Wendy and Kris founded, and you can't miss the Loggins' legacy.
Song titles became books, murals of Kenny adorn classrooms.

 Loggins visited the Royal Palm Beach school in 2003 to meet the family that was changed because of his song. He said it validated the reason he wrote the tune.

"I'd gotten caught up in the idea that if the record company won't sell it and the radio won't play it, why should I make it. This is the answer to that."

 Speaking thru a computer, Korey talked about the special visit back then.

"It was very cool when Kenny came to our school mom was so excited I had to tell her to calm down."

It's hard to calm down and contain your excitement  when you're talking about the man who's song literally saved your child's life.  

So it should come as no surprise as to which song will be playing in May when 250 people in wheelchairs dance.

It will be a  new dance version of This Is It, which Kenny was happy to create.
"How does it feel to know that, that song has done so much for so many people," I asked him in a recent interview.

"It gives me the sense that my music has a higher purpose," he replied.

A higher purpose.   Exactly what Wendy and Kris Soderman are hoping both of their sons find, but especially Korey.

"He's here to make a difference," said Wendy. "He has in our lives, his brother, my marriage, our life profession in our community our building--yes, it's about purpose but it's guided by him."

"It's amazing to see the level of courage it takes for him to do this. and what he's going to make of his life," said Loggins.  "This is no ordinary life."

 And this is no ordinary bond between a famous singer and a family.

"Let's just celebrate that life is amazing no matter how you travel it," said Wendy.


Wheelchair participants can register by visiting: http://rockandrollworldrecorddance.eventbrite.com/ (It's FREE!)

To become a sponsor contact: krissoderman@yahoo.com

Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rock-Roll-World-Record-Dance/226141220789006

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