July 10th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
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Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week we introduce you to 27-year-old Tim Harris, who says he's living the life of his dreams.

I was born in January of 1986. A few hours after I was born, our doctor told my parents that I had Down syndrome.

A lot of people told my parents that they were very, very sorry. I guess they didn't know then just how totally awesome I would turn out to be.

Growing up with three brothers was a lot of fun. They treated me like a brother - not like someone special or different. They never let me use my disability to get out of doing the dishes when it was my turn. I did try sometimes, though.

I started in Special Olympics when I was 13 years old. My Special Olympic sports are basketball, poly hockey, volleyball, golf and track and field. I have dozens of gold medals - way more than another Olympian, Michael Phelps Many of them are on display in my restaurant.

Read - Breakfast, lunch and hugs at Tim's Place

Today's special: a cafe on a mission of empowerment
Autism, dining out and a side of kindness
The waitress, the autistic girl and the broken hamburger
Serving time at an inmate-staffed restaurant inside a prison
Dark restaurant provides ray of hope for visually impaired

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Filed under: Restaurants • Service

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Joy Hill

    Would love to visit Tim's! What a special loving young man. He has my utmost admiration! Continued blessings!

    July 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  2. Thinking things through

    I have to be in the mood for hugs, but seriously, more power to you! Keep on, your ambitions and abilities are awesome!

    July 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  3. Ganthor the Troglodyte Troll

    I claim this spot on behalf of all troglodytes and ignoramuses in the land of Krangogham!

    July 11, 2013 at 7:30 am |
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