Frederick R Best penned the book ‘They said I wouldn’t make it,’ and is currently shopping the best seller for a biopic documentary. The book was previously turned into a hit stage play. This is one of the 12 books inked by Best. The father, motivational speaker and pastor was born in Bethel, N.C with muscular and skeletal deformities.
At birth, his kneecaps were backwards and his knees could not be bent. His left arm is not fully formed and he has limited use of his right hand. These were physical challenges he would physically be affected by his entire life. It was definitely the love and encouragement from his mom who made him feel that he was capable of all accomplishments he sought after. She encouraged Best to never look at his circumstances as a disability but to live from his heart and mind. This is how Frederick Best learned to develop the mindset that he was no different than anybody else.
Being able to triumph over the toughest of hardships and triumphs are feats that Best credits to “the power of God.” He makes it his intentional purpose to inspire everyone he meets and plant the seeds that show people “they were born to win” regardless of their circumstances. Best’s physical defects were caused by Thalidomide, a drug his mother had taken for morning sickness.
This drug originated in Hamburg, Germany in 1956. The first baby born to thalidomide was the result of a test drug given to women to help with morning sickness. They told everyone the drug was completely safe. No one knew the drug would later cause over 20,000 babies to be born with birth defects. By 1961 Two and a half million pills were handed out to doctors to pass out to patients. Thalidomide started out in the United States as a trial test but years later it was discovered this drug that caused thousands of fetal abnormalities was never approved in the United States.
The one thing Best always did while growing up was train his mindset to focus on the things he did have rather than what he didn’t have; and he embraced what he was able to do instead of focusing on the negative. His attitude enabled him to call himself the ambassador of hope.
15 million pills per month were being sold in Germany. There was an astounding number of babies born with deformities all linked to thalidomide. It wasn’t until 1961 that 67,000 doctors were sent letters to all the doctors warning against the use of this drug; but it wasn’t until the press got a hold of this until the drug stopped being administered.
Raised in a very poor environment, his mom eventually lost all 15 of her kids to social services and they were all separated and placed in foster care. Nothing deterred Dr.Frederick R Best from the thought of putting his family back together. When he turned legal age he set out on this life mission to find his family and eventually got every last one of his living siblings out of foster care and under his legal guardianship, even his mother.
“She taught and trained me over the years to never let anyone treat me as though I was handicapped. My mother always encouraged me to never let anyone put a label on me. She taught me that being handicapped was a state of mind, and not a state of being.” – Frederick R Best
Thalidomide is still being made and currently a drug to treat leprosy and cancer. In Germany there was a multi-million dollar settlement reached along with an apology after 50 years from the creator of the drug. According to several reports thalidomide babies are still being born. Today the value of this drug has soared to 1oo billion dollars. Thalidomide survivors are not happy with just an apology and there are about 40 women who have never been compensated for anything from the lawsuit.
Frederick R Best is now shopping his book ‘ They said I wouldn’t make it’ to tell his story and offer hope as he is still alive, and his best days are spent raising his son, writing books, and spreading hope. As the fourth son of fifteen siblings, his biggest desire is for his story to be told across the world and inspire others to never give up regardless of their circumstances because everyone is born to win.