What are the facts about Ben?
Ben Yorgey was born January 15, 1985 to Kent and Ardyth Yorgey in Allentown, PA, and he lived his life nearby in Macungie, PA.
Everything with Ben was absolutely normal until he was eight months old. At that time, he started having seizures which significantly delayed his normal development. An initial diagnosis of developmental delay was changed to mental retardation as the gap between Ben and his peers continued to widen. Ben’s speech began when he was around 6 years old, but his language skills never reached more than a 6-year-old level. His school years were spent in East Penn School District in an Intermediate Unit Life Skills class where he was instructed using a functional curriculum. Ben thrived in the Life Skills classes and graduated at the age of 21 from Emmaus High School.
On May 7, 2009, Ben died from anoxic brain injury caused by a seizure that he suffered on May 5th.
What legacy did Ben leave?
Ben’s abilities went far beyond merely describing his cognitive disabilities. Ben was driven by an ultimate purpose -- to share his gift of love, and we are all changed people because of it. This was evident by the variety and amount of people (around 1,200) who came to pay their respects at his funeral. Ben's wish would be for each of us to live every moment of every day with the same joy and enthusiasm that he did. Never meet a stranger. There is no such thing. Love everyone.
A picture speaks a thousand words, but this video says it all ...