ADHD Champions are individuals with ADHD who have overcome their struggles and blossomed
in their successful careers. Their stories are tales of triumph and inspiration. Each of our
Champions serves as a testament to perseverance and the ability to rise above the disorder.
Our Champions see ADHD not as a defect, but as a lifelong challenge in which the best is
brought out in them each and every day.
Do you have ADHD? Do you have a success
story to tell? Stand up and be counted! Become an ADHD Champion!
Wendy Davis is an actress who truly believes people can thrive and be
wildly successful while living with ADHD. She thinks part of the success is the creative ADHD mind
that thinks outside the box. Her mantra is, “Having ADHD means you are different but not
Wendy currently appears in the television series Scandal and plays Joan
Burton on the Lifetime series Army Wives. Her other television credits
include Commander in Chief, Cold Case, Grey’s Anatomy, The District, Angel,
Coach, Between Brothers, Profiler, Smart Guy, and In Living Color.
Wendy’s wonderful interview with CHADD highlights childhood memories of living with
ADHD and her path to her career. As a youth, she felt something was wrong with her, and her
parents didn’t know the best way to address it. Without a diagnosis and proper educational
interventions, she struggled in school. Yet in college, she recognized a career path that
complemented how her brain works, enabling her to thrive in her profession.
Wendy knows many successful people have ADHD and are silent about it. She wants to shift
this trend and encourage people to stand up and share their experiences.
Ty Pennington is best known as the host of the hit television
show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. From 2003 until the show’s last season in 2011,
Ty helped rebuild over 200 homes for families across the United States, bringing joy back
into their lives.
He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 17 years old and living in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ty describes himself as "uncontrollable" as a child—unless he had a crayon and
paper in his hand. Often the class clown, he had trouble retaining information taught
in the classroom. When the teacher asked him a question, he often would respond with a
joke to avert the situation. But once he got treatment for his ADHD, his grades began
to soar, and his life turned around.
Pennington is a leader in the field of
volunteerism and as an advocate for the treatment of ADHD, especially for children.
In an appearance on the television show The Revolution, he raised awareness of ADHD by
talking about his diagnosis and interviewing Dr. Edward Hallowell about the disorder.
According to Ty, “It’s about the joy of doing things for others…
Random acts of kindness can restore your faith in people.”
Max Fennell is aspiring to be the first African-American professional triathlete.
Diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, Max adopted competitive sports as a way of actively
expressing himself and focusing his attention.
Max placed second in his age group at the New Jersey State Triathlon, qualified for
Team USA to compete at the 2013 Sprint World Triathlon Championships, and ended his
season with a fourth overall at the Second AC International triathlon.
Like many people with ADHD, Max has hit pitfalls in following his aspirations.
After two years of playing college soccer, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming
a professional soccer player. Two weeks before tryouts for a semiprofessional team,
he sprained his MCL in a pick-up soccer game. It proved to be a career-ending injury
that crushed all hopes of ever playing soccer competitively.
give up, however. He proved hard work pays off. Entering his third season as a
triathlete, he is striving to receive his pro card, which would make him the first
African-American professional triathlete. Ultimately, he hopes to inspire young people
that through hard work, passion, and clear vision of their goals and dreams,
anyone can achieve what they desire
2011: National Class USF2000 Champion
2010: FWT Rotax Senior, Supernats Senior
2009: WKA Yamaha Can and HPV Light, FWT Rotax Junior, FWT Formula Junior Tag
2008: FWT Rotax Junior
Having struggled with ADHD throughout his young life, Luca fell behind during
his early years at a public school with little support from his teachers. To make
matters worse, he faced constant bullying from his peers. Once he learned to view
his ADHD not as a roadblock but as a special condition that could be overcome by
determination and hard work, he started moving forward.
Along with homeschooling, medication, and exercise, Luca’s newfound
ambition to succeed carried him far. Luca has quickly risen as one of the nation’s
most accomplished young race car drivers. With endless determination and hours
spent practicing on the track each day, this inspiring young man defies expectations
of what someone with ADHD can accomplish.
"My ADHD has been a major part of my life, shaping me into the person I am today and influencing the person
I will improve for the future,” says Luca. “My struggle encouraged me to adapt in many positive ways, and
most importantly, made me more resilient in life. It also taught me that not everybody is the same, and
that being different makes for a unique style of thinking and a new perspective, which is something I
think we can all agree the world needs most today."
Sean Murray is a junior golf player who is following in the footsteps of his father, professional golfer Kelly Murray. Kelly struggled with undiagnosed ADHD during his golfing career until the age of 48 when it was brought to his attention that Sean possibly had ADHD.
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