Stephen Hawking Biography: Living with an Incurable Disease

Stephen Hawking was an English physicist, cosmologist, and author. He had to overcome a disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is an incurable disease where nerve functions begin to gradually shut down and caused Stephen Hawking’s depression and an inability to move. He took up his cross by living with his disability and thriving while still having it. He inspired people around the world to spread awareness for ALS in 2015.

Growing up both of his parents went to the University of Oxford. Hawking’s family was considered highly intelligent. So Stephen was expected to live up to a high expectation. When the Hawkings had meals they were spent with each person reading a book to themselves. They lived an in a large, cluttered, and messy house and often travelled in a London taxi. Hawking started school at the Byron House School in London. He did not know how to read and blamed the school for their “progressive methods”. Not knowing how to read did not stop him from still being a very intelligent young man. Hawking later attended St Albans High School for Girls. At the time, younger boys lived in the houses there. Hawking attended two independent schools, Radlett School he switched September 1952, to attend St Albans School. Hawking remained with his friends. They had long conversations on Christianity and made fireworks.

With time, he began to show considerable potential for scientific subjects and, inspired by Tahta, he decided to read mathematics at university. Even at a young age he started to plan his future and what he wanted to achieve. As it was not possible to study mathematics there at the time, so Hawking studied physics and chemistry. By this time symptoms of his ALS started to be noticed, and he was given 2-3 years until he would be not able to move again. Even though he was burdened by his disease, Hawking was awarded a scholarship on March 1959, to study at Cambridge University. For the first 18 months of his schooling he became bored and lonely. He thought school was too easy for him. So to start his second year he decided to make more of an effort to fit in. He succeeded in that, he became popular and well-liked.

He was mostly interested in classical music and science fiction. He decided to join the college boat club where he was the team leader. Due to his disease, he made many mistakes when on his team. He still did not quit and stayed on the team. While in his 3 years at oxford, Stephen said that he studied only about 1,000 hours. These “unimpressive” study habits made his finals a challenge for him, and he only answers theoretical physics questions rather than doing the whole test. In his last year at Oxford he had a hard time walking. This was noticed by his peers and started to go to the doctor more regularly. He was worried to be perceived as a lazied student so he went to Cambridge to add to his success.

Hawking fell into depression though his doctors advised that he should continue with his school, he felt there was no point. His disease progressed more slowly than doctors had guessed. Although Hawking had difficulty walking, and his speech was almost not understandable, he had diagnosis that informed him that he had two years to live be unfounded. With encouragement from his peers, he returned to his work. Hawking was known for his brilliance around the world. When he was 21 he was given two years to live. By the age of 24 he won the Adams Prize from Cambridge university, he was awarded this for his excellence in mathematics. He did this while fighting ALS and his depression.

In the 1960s, Hawking’s physical abilities started to decline, he began to use crutches and decided to stop giving lectures, As he slowly lost the ability to write, overcoming his declining ability to see he started to see equations in terms of geometry. He required a lot of persuasion to use a wheelchair. By 1970 he could not be understood at all, only by his family and friends. In 1986 he received a computer program called the ‘Equalizer’ from Walter Woltosz. He had formally created this for his mother-in-law. When he could no longer use his and to write what he wanted to say, he contacted intel about using brain patterns which worked a lot better. Hawking had an easy time adapting to this system and it is what he used to the end of his life.

At the end of his life he had trouble breathing he had to use a ventilator. He was regularly hospitalized. Stephen Hawking embraced his disability and stayed one of the smartest men on the planet. Hawking was affected everyday by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and he still made many theories and breakthroughs in cosmetology. He had an iq of 162 that was better than Einstein’s 162. He was a gueins, one of the most smartest men ever to exist. He was not put down by his disability and thrived because of it. He succeeded in many fields such as being a english physicist, cosmologist, and author for many books. In 2015 he inspired millions Americans to show support for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by doing the ALS challenge to spread awareness for this disease. He was seen as a inspiration for all the advancements he made while be immobilized and not letting that stop him from doing what he loved.   

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