Anthony Valla

by Maxime from France

Anthony presenting IUT (
Anthony presenting IUT (

From Nelson Mandela to Johnny Depp, the list of people I could choose as “my hero” was very long and the choice so hard. But in fact, it was not necessary to search too far. I had an example just in front of me : my friend Anthony Valla. Who is he ? He is just a person like you and me. The only thing that can show him different(not for me) is his handicap. In fact, he is deaf since his birth. In this little essay, through his story, I will show you why I admire him and his whole family.

Anthony whrn he was child (
Anthony whrn he was child (

France, 1988, May, the 23rd. It was a day like any other in the little maternity of Firminy. Lots of births… A day like the others except for the parents of little Anthony who was just born. Joy, presents, congratulations… a nice first day for them. A few days later, it was already time to go back home. Everything seemed right. And it was the beginning of a nice life for him. The days went by very quickly and the baby “developed” very quickly too. The parents had the impression he was just born but it was already the first “birthday”: the baby was one month old! And, time still flew by. Two months, three, … He began to smile, to play… like all the babies in fact. As you see, everything was “wonderful”… Everything was wonderful until these days. Anthony was about 8-9 months old when his parents began to worry. In fact, when they called him, he seemed not to hear them so they decided to ask a specialist. Many exams later, the results fell as a hit of hammer behind the head : he was deaf since the first day. I don’t want to insist on this terrible moment but on the courageous reaction of the parents. In fact, “very quickly”, they rolled up their sleeves and decided to never complain about their fate.

First, Anthony had been placed in a “special” school. But, his Parents rapidly understood that he could do better. So, when Anthony was about 6, they took the decision to place him in a classical school. It was a very courageous decision. He could have failed. He could but he didn’t. Very quickly, the teacher understood that he had lots of capacities. In fact he was as intelligent as other pupils, even much more. A few years later, in 1996 (he was 8), everything went pretty well. But the parents and he had to go through another step : Anthony had to undergo a medical operation that aimed to permit him to wear s hearing aid. At this particular moment, we could see all the determination of his parents after the operation. In fact, they accepted to go very far (in Montpellier) many times to adjust the hearing aid. After that, Anthony still followed classical teaching and it became more and more impressive. Then, he finished primary classes and he started year seven. And, thanks to the great courage given by his parents and his will, he succeeded year after year. And, moreover, he began to develop many other talents, in particular drawing or an incredible historical knowledge… And, year after year, he became a very good artist. After succeeding the BEPC, a French exam, he embarked in high school classes. He became the “official cartoonist” of the school and participated in many drawing expositions. After the first year, he chose a scientific class like me and it is at this moment, in class with him, that I have really understood that his handicap couldn’t prevent him from succeeding in anything. He managed not to focus on it anymore and he was ready to face all the difficulties of life.

A cartoon by Anthony (
A cartoon by Anthony (

And, during this period (high school) he became “famous” “Tony Sp”, always ready to help other people… In fact, he became maybe stronger than a lot of people. Moreover, during these years, he has never stopped improving his language, his comprehension and finally, he became one of those people always ready to help you when you were feeling sad. And I find it great. It shows that the handicap doesn’t always make a person different from “the others”. Finally, it is a great “lesson of life”. It answers all the persons who dare to say that “handicapped” persons are feeble. Now, after succeeding the “baccalaureate”, Anthony is studying at a scientific IUT in France, an example of his knowledge and, besides, he is known in all “the region” for his generosity, and courage… (in particular, he organized many parties… ;) )

Anthony at Bowling (
Anthony at Bowling (

…Nice outcome, to be continued…

The story can seem very classical or maybe boring but for me it is the typical example of a person we can admire. In fact, Anthony went through lots of obstacles in his life, keeping the smile all the time and I think it is something really exceptional. That is why I had to chosen to speak about him. It shows that, in life, will and hope can make us succeed in lots of things.

Written with him, under his entire agreement.

Page created on 3/30/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/30/2007 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Extra Info

My only source was the hero himself. In fact, we wrote it together for the main part.

Author Info

Anthony Valla is just a person like "you and me". A difference between us? His deafness?

No, his incredible perseverance and courage in life!