Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Challenges – no problem, bring them on - Dane Coleman overcomes odds to excel in life

Published:Monday | September 28, 2020 | 12:08 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Dane Coleman, 38-year-old farmer from Simon district in Clarendon, climbs a tree with ease. Physical disabilities have not deterred Coleman, and there is no tree he cannot climb.
Dane Coleman, 38-year-old farmer from Simon district in Clarendon, climbs a tree with ease. Physical disabilities have not deterred Coleman, and there is no tree he cannot climb.
Dane Coleman tends to the plants in his farm.
Dane Coleman tends to the plants in his farm.
Dane Coleman works in his farm in Simon district in Clarendon.
Dane Coleman works in his farm in Simon district in Clarendon.
Dane Coleman, shows his hands. He was born with physical disabilities, but those haven’t been a challenge for him in any manner.
Dane Coleman, shows his hands. He was born with physical disabilities, but those haven’t been a challenge for him in any manner.
Dane Coleman’s brother, Andrew Nelson, who is a farmer and was featured in The Gleaner. Like Dane, he has defied and overcome challenges that have come his way. Here he is seen climbing a tree with ease.
Dane Coleman’s brother, Andrew Nelson, who is a farmer and was featured in The Gleaner. Like Dane, he has defied and overcome challenges that have come his way. Here he is seen climbing a tree with ease.
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The odds may have seemed to be stacked against Dane Coleman, but he has defied the odds and is a happy farmer.

When he was one year old, he lost both parents – his father murdered and, according to him, the murderer took him to his grandmother.

Coleman, who was born with one foot, and three fingers on one hard is the brother of Andrew Nelson, the man with no legs who was previously featured in The Gleaner.

Just as his brother, he doesn’t see his physical disabilities as any restrictions. In fact, he was proud to inform The Gleaner “the tree hasn’t been planted yet that he cannot climb!”

Coleman, who has a passion for farming, said growing up with his grandmother – until he lost her at age 18 – he developed a great love for tilling the soil.

The 38-year-old says he never misses an opportunity to encourage other young men in the community of Rock River and Simon, where he hails from.

LAUGHS IT OFF

While others might have look at their disabilities as a restriction, Coleman laughs it off.

“No, mi nuh have nuh problem. Mi never tell miself dat,” he said, adding that he has always accepted his lot in life and deal with the hand he has been dealt. He doesn’t look at how he was born, nor does he allow it to stand in his way of going after his dreams.

Challenges are something he cannot relate to, as in his own words, “Mi so creative, mi just used to doing mi ting,” he said.

Coleman who is a father of two – a 12-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old son – says he works hard and is pleased that his son has also developed a love for farming.

“Sometimes a tek him to the bush with me and right now him have a red peas soon ready fi reap,” he said, pride coming through in his voice.

A staunch advocate for farming, Coleman said that’s where the money is, and he never misses an opportunity to tell the young men in the community just that.

And if readers should get anything out of his story, he wants it to be “Just live good and do some farming. Love and levity, without that yuh nah reach no weh.”