The Weightlifter With Butterfly Skin | BORN DIFFERENT


DEAN CLIFFORD: Weightlifting is just a great
challenge and it’s incredibly rare to have a EB survivor lifting weights. DEAN CLIFFORD: Everything in life potentially
is painful. It’s just a matter of risk versus reward and working out if it’s something
I really want to do than I am going to find a way to do it every single time. DEAN CLIFFORD: My name is Dean Clifford and
I am 38 years old. DEAN CLIFFORD: I was born with a very rare
genetic skin condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa Junctional. The way I describe it
to people that I have just met is my skin is basically as strong as tissue paper or
as strong as butterfly wings. So the slightest little movement will create a blister or create
a tear in my skin that will become ulcerated and become a nightmare to deal with.  It’s
sort of equivalent to living with third-degree burns every single day. DEAN CLIFFORD: As a very young child, I was
always aware that something different was happening to my skin. The doctors treating
me openly sort of suggested that my life expectancy wasn’t more than a few years. JENNY CLIFFORD: When Dean was first born,
he was a beautiful baby – good weight and normal delivery. The rollercoaster started about
four-five days after birth. So doctors painted a very bleak picture. When he was about a
year old, we thought well maybe, two years, three years we would have. DEAN CLIFFORD: EB affected growing up a lot
because of the trauma to my skin and the severe blood loss and severe loss of vital nutrients
because I was always trying to be so active and as active as everybody else and growing
up, it seemed to affect predominantly my face. Kids of my age would be very scared to be
around the scary looking person. I can’t ever recall not having pain in my life. That’s
always there, but you can still get on and live your life. DEAN CLIFFORD: Weightlifting was never something
that I anticipated. Then I was hanging out with one of my really good mates and he knew
that I had a fair bit of upper body strength as well from everything that I did and we
were sort of mucking around and he said, said, ‘Well, can you do five pushups?’
and I was able to do five pushups and he said, ‘Well, can you do five more?’ and everything
that he asked me to do I was able to do. DEAN CLIFFORD: We started off with no weights
and by the end of that, sort of hour, gym session I was lifting my body weight and bench-pressing
my body weight. And that’s something that most people have to spend weeks and months
and years training to build up their strength to be able to do. DEAN CLIFFORD: The heaviest weight I have
bench-pressed is about 150 kilos, which at the time was, I think, it was about 205% of
my body weight. AARON WHITCHURCH: I think weightlifting has meant
a lot to Dean. I know he loves it. Yeah, I just think it’s amazing what he has been
able to do to be honest. Yeah! DEAN CLIFFORD: Is it painful to do weightlifting
with EB? Everything in life is painful from the smallest things to the biggest things.
So, yes weightlifting is incredibly painful. JENNY CLIFFORD: I would say to him sometimes,
you know, just take it easy. But, no! If he wanted to do something he was going to do it. PETER CLIFFORD: Back in 99, I suppose, when
before the 2000 Olympics he was a torchbearer in the town where we lived and up until then
he, he could hardly walk very far, he was in a wheelchair most of the time. He was determined
that he was going to walk 600 meters that he was allocated to do. And then the whole town
was walking with him. So that was a pretty proud effort. DEAN CLIFFORD: So, I’ve recently been selected
to be a participant in the Queen’s Baton Relay in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which
is a huge deal to me to be able to almost recreate the achievement of the 2000 Olympic
torch run. JENNY CLIFFORD: Driving around he is doing
what he wants. He has got a job that he loves. He loves motivational speaking. Who would
have thought that that would happen? DEAN CLIFFORD: It was, sort of, a goal of
mine to become a motivational speaker and I did the talking to my boss at Toyota that
I still work with. And I sort of said to Ken that I have this crazy idea when I was older,
to become a motivational speaker and Ken sort of looked at me and he said, ‘Well, Dean,
your entire life is about inspiring people without you ever realising it. If you don’t
think you are motivational speaker already, you are kidding yourself. DEAN CLIFFORD: The message I am always trying
to spread is basically, to be true to yourself and to sort of, find that thing that makes
your life special, that people can hopefully see and look past my skin condition to see
somebody pretty amazing achieving some phenomenal things in his own life. The three words that I live my life by with my motto being to, “Never admit defeat.’

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100 thoughts on “The Weightlifter With Butterfly Skin | BORN DIFFERENT

  1. Wow. I'm moved to tears. If I could only have a tiny fraction of his mental fortitude… I actually just gained a hero today. A real life hero

  2. I just like his spirit. I am so happy that there are people like him, who is strong and do not let their weakness take over .

  3. How can someone dislike this video seriously you gotta be a liberal to be so heartless. Does his looks trigger you? Do you have a mental illness that makes you so thick in your head.

  4. Were all limited in our strenghts through pain tolerance.. makes sense that hes lifting 330lbs hes feeling that all the time.

  5. The dislikes must be from all the oly lifters due to the fact that he does powerlifting and not “weightlifting”

  6. He looks horrifying but i also feel extremely sad for him, bless him for staying motivated and i wish him the best.

  7. Iam ashamed of myself. When i saw him first i was a bit scared and i will live with this shame for the rest of my life. But iam growing on this and this man is a real inspiration for me and should be for every one else out there. Give me just 10% of his power of will and i would be able to reach all the goals in my life

  8. This guys tossing around 225 faster than me! Motivating and proof that no matter what cards you're dealt you can never roll over and die. Never quit!

  9. Glory to the Glorious Brother of the temple of Iron
    May the strength of Thor and Wisdom of Odin be with you
    These are the people who deserve body positivity not the fat fucks who heretics to the temple of Iron

  10. No excuses man!
    This guy is one of the strongest persons. Lifting weights is one thing, but living your whole life feeling pain, now that's another!
    Kudos to you man!
    Again, to all people out there, no excuses!

  11. This dude is more resilient than like 99.999% of humanity. People sit around bitching about their life, this dude is a warrior! Next time you sit on your couch boohooing about life, understand you've got a great one. #canthurtme

  12. this guy has my utmost respect, it takes a lot to do what he does and even i couldn’t endure the training and pain he must go through everyday. bless you sir, bless you and your whole family.

  13. If he is comparing his skin to a burn victim… that is so crazy and I feel for this guy… I'm glad hes still motivated to live idk if I'd be able to do what hes doing

  14. I just noticed his nose looked closed off. I wonder if he’s only able to really breathe through his mouth? Inspiring this guy is.

  15. They should have a horror film where this guy terrorizes a small town. He looks the part and has the strength. He could make some good money. Besides that, his positive attitude is incredible.

  16. Live it to the fullest!!!! And that is EXACTLY what Dean is doing. Keep it up🤟👍👍👍👍❤

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