Cover Story— Barbara Cull– A Visionary and Advocate for Children and Families in Need
Exceptional Children’s Foundation– Life Measured in Love
Now is The Time to Claim Your Extraordinary Life
Mirror, Mirror of Myself
Enrico Thomas—New York’s Subway Artist Transforms His Abused Childhood Into a Life of Masterpieces
The Lighter Side 96
Don’t Misunderstand Me
398 Adopting Some New Resolutions
Cover Photo by Lisa Kelly
100 Writers and Contributors
The world is in your hands. You have the power to change it .
Exceptional Childrenâ€™s Foundation
The Kayne Eras Center in Culver City, California serves more than 550 children, adults and their families each year through its special education programs and services.
Life Measured in Love by Sharon Raiford Bush For the past 15 years, she has traveled each day from her home in mountainous Valencia to Culver City, a significant center for motion picture and television production. It has been a near 35-mile-long journey where hourly traffic jams have had a head-pounding reputation of turning Interstate 405 into a veritable parking lot, resulting in roughly a one-hour commute each way.
Even after lethal cancer cells invaded her diminutive body, robbing her of full lung capacity, the perpetually enthusiastic Radd has refused to allow anything to stand in her way of making a positive impact on the impressionable lives of at-risk youth. She is a warrior with indomitable spirit who is steadfast at giving developmentally-challenged adolescents a fighting chance. In 1978, Radd performed alongside mega stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Stockard Channing in Grease, one of the best musicals brought to the silver screen. Today, Radd delivers to the exceptional children and teens at the Kayne Eras Center of the Exceptional Children's Foundation (ECF) in Culver City the same level of allegiance she perfected decades ago when Grease became more than a household name.
Actress/dancer and cancer survivor Barbi Radd takes center stage on the floor in ECF's Kayne Eras Center's music department to prepare her students for the school's June 17 graduation performance of "Seasons of Love." Photo by SDR Bush
Unlike tourists who flock to the dramatic subdivisions of West Los Angeles year-round, former actress/dancer Barbi Radd's destination is not MGM Studios where the lion roars or Sony Pictures Entertainment where such productions as I Dream of Jeanie, Bewitched, Spider-Man, Stuart Little, Men in Black and Ghostbusters were conceived and later slapped with glorious cinemascopic life. Radd's mission has been far greater, considerably so in measured degrees of power, intensity, self-worth and focused dedication.
76 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
“Why do we sing? Because it's joyous,” said Radd, who also kicked up her heels in the 1978 theatrical release of the musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. “Why do we dance? Because it makes you feel good. It's craft and technique. It takes behavior to do those things. That's what keeps you going. It's pretty magical.” It takes more than a wave of a wizard's wand to help Radd endure her normal activities. She depends on daily blasts of oral chemotherapy, a wallop to a sensitive stomach that reminds her -- without pause -- that she is living with a malignant disease that has the power to send her directly to the emergency room at any given time. She knows it. To read more of this great article, subscribe at www.exceptionalmag.com. Take advantage of our special promotion and receive a free two-year subscription by visiting: www.exceptionalmag.com/ celebrate_5_years.html.