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7Everyday Hero: Lewis Franzen doesn't let his disability stop him from helping others

Posted: 8:36 AM, Oct 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-22 10:53:23-04
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CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Money doesn't buy happiness. Lewis Franzen will tell you that.

"It took me 68 years to find a job that I really enjoy doing, and I don’t get paid for it," he said.

Five days a week, Franzen volunteers at Centennial Medical Plaza. He greets patients and helps them find their way around the hospital's renovation, all from the seat of his wheelchair.

He was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that happens when the spine and spinal cord don't properly form. He spent most of his childhood in Children's Hospital Colorado undergoing numerous surgeries.

But his disability and the wheelchair hardly slow him down. He said he can do pretty much anything from the chair. Plus, he said laughing, he gets parking closest to the door.

"I’ve had that sense of humor because life is too short to be grumpy and mad at the world," he said.

Centennial Medical Plaza's Behavioral Health Outpatient Manager Whitney Kearne said Franzen has been selfless in the amount of time, energy and compassion that he brings to his role every day. The hospital's Pharmacy Manager Kristi Coffield described his outlook on life as "super positive."

"We have a lot of patients who they’re struggling with something — they don’t feel good, maybe they’ve had a loss, they’re going through treatment," Coffield said. "They come in one way and they usually leave another."

Franzen said he lives by four simple words: Be good to people. And life is usually good to you in return, he said.

"If you don't hit the floor getting out of the bed, it's another good day," he said.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here . To nominate a hero in your life, click here .