Mark  Cummings

Mark Cummings

At only 2 months of age it was discovered that I had been born with dextrocardia situs inversus with a single ventricular bilateral cavus L-loop malposition of the great arteries and an atrioventricular septal defect. To put it simply, my heart only has two chambers and it's on the opposite side of my body facing my shoulder blade. When I was 15 I was diagnosed with kyphosis, a severe curvature of the spine that causes one to have a humpback. The condition threatened to crush my internal organs. I had two 18 inch steel rods bolted to my spine to correct the problem. As a young child I was also diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I was prone to lashing out, never knowing where to put my energy. It was easy to have thoughts of loathing and self-doubt. I didn’t fit in anywhere or have a group of true friends but instead of having a negative attitude, I walked into a small karate school in Central New York called Brooks Karate. That was the best decision I ever made.