Josh Vander Vies Featured in Short Documentary

Josh and Karolis CookingLast summer, Karolis, Dalia and I spent a day with amazing Vancouver filmmaker Angelina Cantada.  She filmed an ordinary day in my family’s life, and has put it together into a beautiful short documentary.

Everywhere I go, people usually ask me: “How do you write without arms and legs?”  “How do you get dressed without hands?”  “How can you do stuff without arms and legs?”  This video shows how I have learned to accomplish the tasks that I need to, with what I have.

Angelina submitted the video to the webseries – “Ripple” is about regular people like you and me whose lives have had a positive influence on their communities. By virtue of who they are… by standing by their beliefs… by following their dreams… they create a ripple effect around them.

“Ripple” is a brand new web TV series that premiered on July 30, 2010. It is produced by Layaco Media filmmaker Carol Gancia. Layaco Media is a video production company based in San Francisco, California that uses technology and social media to solve the challenges of reaching your target audience.  Here is what the webseries had to say about its “Josh” episode:

Josh and Dalia Prepare Snacks“One ordinary day in an extraordinary man’s life.” Filmmaker Angelina Cantada is convinced that spending a day with Josh Vander Vies is enough to change how one see’s life. Josh is quite an achiever—he’s an athlete, artist and motivational speaker who’s now working towards a law degree. The guy’s got big dreams. That he’s pursuing these dreams while living his life without arms and legs is simply one of those challenges that he’s overcome.

“I love the concept of Ripple—providing inspiration through ordinary people’s lives,” says Cantada. “Josh is a source of inspiration for me and I know he will be too for many of the viewers who will see this film.”

Cantada feels it’s awesome that Josh is living his life to the fullest and “that he doesn’t let his disability, or anything for that matter, get in the way of his goals and dreams.”

Do you feel that life has dealt you a bad hand? Snap out of it. If Josh can get over his problems, so can you. Watch “Josh.”

Click below to watch the short documentary.  I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

  • Lelainia Lloyd

    OMG! That was fantastic Josh! I love the last tag line-born without arms, legs or limits! Brilliant and the perfect way to sum up your story. I was watching and nodding my head at so much of what you had to say. You’ve fully embraced your unlimited potential.

    I think that’s what people see, which is why they are in awe. I think when people see someone who lives with a disability (the operative word here being LIVES) they try to picture themselves in that person’s shoes and think “Oh I could never be as well adjusted/sucessful/courageous etc. as that person.” The truth is that until you’ve had to stare something difficult in the face, you really don’t know just how much you are truely capable of overcoming. It’s about wanting to LIVE your life, not merely survive it.

    I really love what you did with this video-it’s so matter of fact and positive and paints you in the best possible light. I hope lots of people get to see it and have their perceptions about what’s possible for people with disabilities challenged. Well done!

  • Erika

    Hey Josh,  That was “Fantastic”. It was nice meeting you the other day. I would like to “Thank you” for giving me and all others, the opportunity to have a look into your day to day life. I am ashamed when I complain about my aches and pains and feel sorry for myself. You are one Truly Amazing person. I love your energy.  Best of Luck in all that you do.   Hey Josh, has anyone ever mentioned to you that you look like Matt Damon? 😉  All the best.  Erika

  • Aec1017

    Josh that was a great short film! I cant wait to meet Dalia. Mikayla just said “Ah, he gets to ride on the back?!?!” The film maker really did a great job showing the most average, day-to-day things, and how exceptionally above-average you are! Love ya, Ashley

  • Lauren english

    Great Video Josh, I’m so glad you’re doing great! I also have been speaking to groups of highschool students on breaking the stigma of mental illness. I think that i am very lucky to have overcome the things that i have been through, and you are a great inspiration. i remember the day we met at the disability games the highlight of my boccia life.i beat you! im sure not many ppl can say that. As of this wed i am getting back into boccia! i cant wait to go and play its going to be a different game as i am in a powerchair with the use of one arm and i will be throwing over hand instead of under. itll be a different game im probably really rusty but it will be good to get back to itand have a goal in mind.

  • David van S

    Wow Josh, great documentary and congrats on UBC Law! Glad to see you’re at the top of your game, as always!

  • colleenmorgenroth

    Hi Josh….and family. Wow! what a wonderful short film – I especially love the title of the film – it says it all. During so many of your motivational talks, as well as in this film, you speak of being helped and helping. You, yourself, have been helping others your whole life. Not sure if you remember much of your time in grades 2 and 3, but when I was hired as an educational assistant to help you, it was you who helped me! YOU taught ME how to assist you. Your tenacity, even at such a young age, was indicative of your future successes. Sure do wish we had videos of some of your “show & tell” presentations back then; the skateboard/shoe story was always one of my favourites. If you don’t remember, ask your mom Sandy. Your parents are amazing people. Wishing you continued success and, most importantly………happiness. (mme.Colleen)

  • Jo-ann Arvey

    C’est super ton vidéo Josh! Et inspirant au boutte!!!!

  • Hanna Landman

    Wow, that’s beautiful! Seeing you with your loving, happy family and thinking of the doctors’ hopes for you when you were born… just boggles my mind. How little doctors know. Especially of courage, bravery, perseverance and dedication to goals. Yes, we are all born without limits – as you’ve said, Josh, our only limits are the ones we place on ourselves: our success or lack thereof depends on ourselves.
    You are truly an inspiration to all! Thank you for not allowing your disabilities to stop you, and for sharing your journey with us to teach us that we can be anything if we truly want to be.

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