Hi Lorenzo and welcome to The Phil Factor. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about your book and answer some questions. For those of you not yet familiar with Lorenzo he is the first-time author of the recently released book Anything is Possible: Thought Provoking Quotes to Inspire Your Mind. As a child Lorenzo was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis which presented him with obstacles throughout life. In spite of this Lorenzo grew up to have a successful banking career and recently retired and published Anything is Possible, the story of his life interwoven with inspiring quotes, thoughts and perspectives. First off Lorenzo, how has your health been?
LV: Hi Phil, my health has been ok thanks. I continue to have doctor appointments to monitor my neurological disorder as well as my heart condition, but I stay positive and confident as always.
TPF: For my readers not familiar with neurofibromatosis, could you explain a little about it?
LV: Sure, there are two types of NF. I have NF1. NF type 1 is a neurological disorder that affects about 1 in 4000 people. It affects the nervous system, skin and eyes and more. It causes tumors to grow on your skin, nerves and spine causing pain in many cases. It can cause scoliosis, brain tumors, severe headaches, learning disabilities, hearing loss and more. It can also cause disfigurement of the face in many patients.
“For one day make it your goal to make five people smile”
TPF: You went from banker to author. Is writing something you’ve always wanted to do, or did something inspire you to share your story?
LV: Well, I have always considered myself a confident, positive person. I’ve always enjoyed people and helping coworkers and clients to be their best. In July of 2011, I started having some pain in my ribs and spine. I went to the doctor and had an x-ray done. This was the start of what would cause me to end my career in banking. Further scans at the Cleveland Clinic uncovered severe deformity of my spinal canal that were a result of my NF. The tumors were growing inside my spinal canal eroding my entire spine. This was incurable. My neurologist and the Cleveland Clinic recommended permanent disability. Like other times, when diagnosed with a brain tumor and scoliosis, I stayed positive and carried on. This inspired me to start writing and posting positive messages on social media. All my messages came from my inner thoughts and personal experiences. I wrote original quotes that were either positive and inspiring or quotes that made you think deeply about life. After a few months, I developed a heart issue that caused over 2 liters of fluid to fill a cavity in my heart. This caused heart failure and nearly killed me. I was hospitalized and a surgical procedure was performed. This time, I went on permanent disability. Despite my medical issues, I continued to post on social media from my hospital bed. My friends kept encouraging me to compile my quotes into a book. I decided I needed more than a quote book. So I thought about writing about my life experiences dealing with and living with my medical condition yet still having a successful banking career. I also thought that incorporating my quotes into the book would be an interesting idea. Thus, the book was born.
TPF: Had you always been philosophical about overcoming the obstacles neurofibromatosis posed for you?
LV: Yes. I found out at the age of 12 that I wasn’t scared of having NF nor how I would overcome this disease.(This is also when I first learned I had NF). In fact I was more concerned for my parents worrying for me than I was for how I would handle it strangely. I think the reason for this is because I had a series of medical events in a row, so there wasn’t much time to reflect on what was occurring. My parents were very worried for me. I had to be strong to show them that I was going to be ok. I stayed confident and had a positive attitude. My doctors were also so confident, positive and friendly which boosted my mental attitude. I also had great family support surrounding me.
“Your life is like a movie. It can be played and replayed in people’s heads. People will remember you for your role.”
TPF: Was there at some time a turning point with you that changed your perspective?
LV: I would like to say that I wondered –why me- . Why did I have this disease that caused all my medical issues. I have had people say to me- “You’re like the bionic man”- 8 surgeries and still around to talk about it. But Phil, I can honestly say that from day 1-I have never had a different outlook at life. I have never been upset with my life despite my medical issues even while laying in the hospital. In fact, I consider myself the person I am today-positive-caring-goal oriented and always looking to inspire others because of my NF. I feel that I have always been this way, even from the beginning. I recall my doctors and nurses as a child being amazed that I would respond to treatments as I did. I attribute a lot of that to my family and great doctors.
“Smile and be happy. Every day you smile is another day that you live. Frown and be mad. Every day that you frown or or are mad is a day that you aren’t able to live.”
TPF: Now that you are retired. What comes next in your life and in your writing?
LV: Well this was my first book. I would like to move on to speaking engagements centered around being positive and believing in yourself regardless of any obstacles you may be facing. I also want to help young people realize that they are capable of endless possibilities. It all starts in their mind. I am starting a blog soon. I continue to write positive, original quotes and my blog will have content with quotes, inspiring stories, book giveaways, and a feedback section. I’m still new at this so I’m exploring some other options.
“Blaming others for misery is useless. Focus on happiness. Blame someone for your happiness. This is healthy.”
Lorenzo, thank you for your time and for stopping by #ThePhilFactor. If you want to learn more about Lorenzo Victory you can visit his website www.lorenzovictory.com, you can follow him on Twitter @cwbys022, and you can find his book on Amazon, B&N and other online bookstores. As always, if you enjoy The Phil Factor feel free to share it by hitting one of the social media buttons below.