After losing an arm to cancer at only 14 years old and having been diagnosed once more with thyroid cancer in 2014, Todd Waites has learned the true meaning of living life. Today, he is committed to helping others see their worth and purpose in this world through motivational speaking engagements.
Todd Waites is one of the nation’s top children, youth, and corporate motivational speakers. What makes him stand out is that his motivational messages come from a life filled with unexpected challenges that have truly pushed him to his limits physically and emotionally.
At the early age of 14, Todd Waites was diagnosed with cancer, which caused him to lose his arm and shoulder. He spent two years of rigorous treatments after this experience to be cancer-free. Having played the keyboards since he was four years old, he had to relearn how to play the musical instrument with only one arm. He became a professional musician and went on concert tours all over the United States, playing in front of thousands of people.
He quickly gained the public’s attention, which led him to be featured in music publications such as Keyboard Magazine and different news outlets. He has worked side by side with former and current members of famous bands like Journey, Firehouse, Petra, Newsboys, ApologetiX, and Stryper with further references from David Bryan of Bon Jovi, Rick Springfield, Styx, and more. Todd has also been featured in several CD releases locally and internationally and in double live DVDs. He was featured as the main character in the 2012 motivational book I Work with Crabby Crappy People, for which he recorded the digital soundtrack.
In 2012, he left the musical tour scene to pursue his mission to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and professionals in the corporate world. He started “True Rockstars Don’t Hate,” a fun, inspirational assembly program that has been performed in front of thousands of students from hundreds of schools throughout America and in three other countries. He has spoken in front of schools that faced shootings, children of celebrities, and those from poverty-stricken areas. To make his speaking events engaging, he incorporates his personal experiences, comedy, and music by bringing in his keyboards. Todd Waites covers topics on overcoming bullying, gaining self-esteem, and chasing goals in life. He also holds anti-drugs and anti-suicide speaking engagements for the youth, depending on the age group.
In late 2014, he was diagnosed with cancer once more, but this did not slow him down. Instead, he has come back stronger than ever. With more experience and realizations at hand, he expanded his speaking engagements, not only catering to the youth but also professionals in the corporate industry. In the world of business, Todd Waites is a Director and Vice President of sales who has led successful sales teams in reaching exponential growth for companies. However, his speaking engagements do not include tips in succeeding in the sales arena. It focuses on helping professionals find their self-worth and building themselves to be a “rockstar” regardless of their status or title.
Recently, Todd Waites recorded a remake of the song “When the Children Cry” with the blessing of Mike Tramp, the legendary rock singer who wrote the song initially. Today, he continues to spread a vital message to children, youth, and adults in the professional world: “Only they can stop themselves from chasing dreams, overcoming obstacles, and reaching their full potential regardless of what anyone has told them or how others have made them feel.”