On September 30, 2016, Trae Green turned 30–which was no small miracle. The day he was born, the doctor informed his parents Cliff and Cammie, that they would be lucky if their son lived through the evening. Gratefully, he did and nothing–not even being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at six months of age–has slowed him down or stopped him from living a full and happy life.
After his diagnosis, he began physical therapy when he was just nine months old. Since that time he has exercised and worked continuously to strengthen his body. He jokes that at age three, “I wasn’t exactly curling barbells, but I was practicing simple stretches and other movements that would help me to gain muscular strength and balance.”
Trae recalls that the biggest frustration he had as a child was not being able to ride a bicycle without training wheels. He remembers, “It was frustrating when all my friends would take off down the street on their bikes, and I would struggle to catch up, even with my training wheels on.” His determination to achieve was evident from a young age. Although he was a little slower in learning different techniques to balance a bicycle, he continued to practice and eventually he was able to keep up with the rest of the kids.
When he was four or five, he decided he wanted to be a police officer. As he reached adulthood, that desire never wavered. All he ever wanted to be was a cop. He participated in the Explorer program with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for 5 1/2 years. Throughout those years he gradually came to realize that being a policeman was an extremely physical career, one that his cerebral palsy would not allow him to do. He also knew he would never be able to pass the medical examination process. Letting go of that dream was difficult, but hard things can turn into unforeseen blessings. Today he has a great career working at the JW Marriott Hotel. He started working there as a pool boy 12 years ago, and has continued to receive promotions. He is now an event manager. The icing on the cake is that his dad also works at the Marriott. Trae says, “It is a pleasure to be able to work with my dad. He is such a great individual.”
One challenge that he continues to face—although not too often—is the judgment he sees coming from people who notice that the way he walks or moves is different. “They are sometimes quick to laugh or mock me without knowing my story. Although this can be frustrating, I try not to let it bother me,” Trae explains.
“When I see others who are disabled, especially children who have more severe disabilities than myself, I am encouraged to keep pushing forward. I see them set their minds to do the things they want and then work so hard to overcome their obstacles. They remind me that if you fall, you dust yourself off and try again.”
Trae has been an LVAC member since 2008. He said, “LVAC has had a huge impact in helping me to maintain and improve my fitness levels. I love that LVAC provides affordable memberships, and fun group fitness classes to participate in. Not only has being a member allowed me to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but my work at the gym has also increased the confidence I have in myself.”
In the future Trae would like to continue to grow in the hotel industry. He is also looking forward to getting married someday. “My girlfriend Kim believes in me and loves to make me laugh,” he says. “We really love to travel. It’s exciting to see how diverse communities are. I love the beach (specifically Laguna). Most of my down time I spend with my dog, which I recently adopted. We enjoy going on hikes to Red Rock or just to the dog park. During the fall and winter season, you will find me watching football every Sunday, especially when the Dallas Cowboys play!”
Trae is very grateful for his support system. He says, “My parents have been awesome role models my entire life. Along with my two younger sisters—Ashley and Haley—they have believed in me and have fully supported anything I have tried to accomplish. They continually motivate and encourage me. I feel very blessed.”