If the title of this blog post is a familiar phrase to you, then you, like StoryCorps Participant Chris Parm and myself, are probably a comic book fan. The “healing factor” refers to the super powers of one of Marvel Comics’ most popular mutant anti-heroes, Wolverine. This particular character has feral tenacity and an ability to heal from virtually any wound or disease.
Chris was born with a condition called V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome which has compromised the health of his kidneys and led to two surgeries and frequent infections throughout all of his 18 years. While Chris has not had the benefit of a mutant power to help him through the lifelong challenges of his condition, he has had his own kind of healing factor: the love and support of his family, which includes his mom, Jennifer Murray, and his grandmother, Anna Armstrong, who accompanied him into the MobileEast Booth.
Chris’ love of heroes with complex personalities, like Wolverine, the Incredible Hulk, and Spiderman speaks to his own belief that the good and the bad sometimes go hand in hand. “There is darkness in everything, in everybody, but within the darkness there is a glimmer of light,” says Chris. “If you can find that light you can help it shine. I think the light is what we all call faith. If you just believe in it the darkness will go away.”