CNN LIVE AT DAYBREAK
Breaking Barriers: Boston Man Refuses to Surrender to Incurable
Disease, Masters Martial Arts
BYLINE: Carol Lin, Bill Delaney
SECTION: News; Domestic
LENGTH: 449 words
HIGHLIGHT: For Alberto Friedmann, pain is as much a part of the day as
breathing. Regular movements like walking or just getting out of bed can
dislocate his joints, but it's not slowing him down. In fact, he refuses to let his disability keep him from kicking,
jumping and crashing his fists through bricks.
THIS IS A RUSH
TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN
ANCHOR: And now we go to Boston where you're about to meet a man for whom pain
is as much a part of the day as breathing.
Regular movements like walking or just getting out of bed can dislocate
his joints, but it's not slowing him down.
In fact, he refuses to let his disability keep him from kicking, jumping
and crashing his fists through bricks.
CNN's Bill Delaney
has his story.
BILL DELANEY, CNN
BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Fast, furious fluid. Alberto Friedmann's martial art. Watch, then, the aftermath.
"JEDI" FRIEDMANN, MARTIAL ARTS MASTER: That's about all I'm going to
DELANEY: Popping his
knee back in to its socket, the sort of thing he does all day with just about
every part of him.
FRIEDMANN: Give me a
second, my ankle's out.
fourth-degree Black Belt, who's also a man, literally, falling apart.
called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. A healthy person's ligaments are like rubber
bands. They move and they stretch and
they snap back. Mine are like
salt-water taffy. I move, they stretch,
and they stay that way. I can dislocate
a hip getting out of bed in the morning.
Sometimes I'll pop a wrist picking up a cup of coffee.
was already involved in martial arts when he was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos
about 10 years ago. He decided not to
surrender to the incurable disease, culminating last year when he won five gold
medals at the World Martial Arts Championships, victories, he says, of his near
mystic conviction that the mind, as much as the body, breaks bricks. And the mind, too, he says, can confront
FRIEDMANN: There's a
lot of it. I'm in pain 24 hours a day,
constantly, and you deal with it. The
first time I dislocated this hip, I thought I was going to die. You know, the pain was unreal. I'll now
dislocate a hip two or three times a day and just -- oh, wait a second -- and
I'll pop it back in and keep going.
learned that most exacting art of all, of living passionately with the way
things are. Within a decade, Friedman
will be confined to a wheelchair.
FRIEDMANN: As you go,
you do what you need to. You do what
you love. All you can do is take what's
there and keep going with it.
DELANEY: Amid a
difficult past and future, Alberto Friedmann's real mastery: the present.
FRIEDMANN: Good job,
Delaney, CNN, Boston.
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LOAD-DATE: March 16, 2001
2001 Cable News Network