First, a shout-out to the Kinnelon High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and their advisor Anna Ellington for supporting Push to Walk and raising $600 for us through their help with the Jack O’Lantern Jamboree held last October. Thank you for all of your energy and enthusiasm!
For the next several Fridays, my blog post will be tied to new content we’ve added to the Family Corner section of our website. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve added new information to that part of our site, but I have committed to completing it, and have thought of new topics as well.
On the topic of “Doctors and Out-patient Therapy,” I hope I have provided some helpful information. Even though it has been almost 10 years (this July) since Darren’s injury, I can still remember the worries I had in coming home. He had battled SO many medical issues during his in-patient stay, that I was fearful of what lay ahead. At Shepherd Center, if there was a need for a doctor or a specialist, they were just called in. They did their rounds, came to his room – it was all very convenient. But the idea of being home without that medical support (in addition to all the other concerns!) was overwhelming.
Preparing ahead was the key, and making connections well before our arrival home made the transition that much easier. Read my post here. I hope you find it helpful.
If you have ideas for new topics in our Family Corner, or have questions you can’t find answers to anywhere else, please let me know!
Enjoy the weekend,
Posted in Disabilities, Push to Walk, Spinal Cord Injuries | Tagged Anna Ellington, Darren Templeton, disabilities, family, Family Corner, family support, FBLA Kinnelon High School, Future Business Leaders of America, Jack O'Lantern Jamboree, Kinnelon High School, paralysis, push to walk, spinal cord injuries | Leave a Comment »
As Push to Walk’s clients now include a growing number of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I wanted to do my part to spread awareness and information about this often misunderstood and misdiagnosed autoimmune disease. With permission from my friend, Cathy Chester, I am re-posting her recent blog entry about living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
I was thrilled to see that my post, “5 Things I Want You To Know About Multiple Sclerosis And Me” reached 1K “likes” on The Huffington Post. I hope it will help to spread awareness about MS and make our world a better one until they find a cure.#ms #multiplesclerosis #disabilityadvocate
5 Things I Want You to Know About Multiple Sclerosis And Me
The month of March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, an effort to help expand knowledge, support and understanding about the disease. I wrote this short piece to educate others about what it feels like to live with MS and a disability. It is my hope that you’ll join me in spreading awareness about MS by helping to educate others.
Don’t feel sorry for me, but do me a favor by learning more about MS. Then the next time I tell you I’m tired or I seem to often cancel plans, you’ll have a better understanding why.
I don’t look like there’s anything wrong with me, but my immune system tells a different story. So the next time I feel the need to occupy a handicapped parking spot, first ask whether my placard is registered before you begin shouting obscenities at me. I appreciate your concern, but I think you should treat a disabled person with the respect they deserve.
Practice compassion and tolerance whenever you see someone with a disability. Their road is a daily battle of maneuvering the challenges of life. The things able-bodied people take for granted, such as walking, talking, dressing, exercising, seeing, peeing, pooping and intimacy is considerably more difficult for people with disabilities.
Help us keep our self-esteem intact. Imagine falling down in front of a crowd and people begin to whisper that you look drunk. Or you find yourself attending an event with some friends and are unable to keep up with their fast pace. We don’t enjoy burdening others with our issues. Yet, in our silence, we’d be comforted in knowing that not only do you understand why our bodies are disobeying us, but that you’ll also be willing to slow your pace down to help us feel better about ourselves.
Be patient. We are fearful of the next exacerbation (flare-up) that may wreak havoc on our bodies. So if you’re trying to make plans with us, and we seem to ask a lot of questions (how long will the event be, where is the nearest parking lot, is the venue accessible) please be mindful there’s a reason why we’re asking so many questions. It’s not that we don’t want to see you; it’s simply that we need to take care of our MS.
For more information about Multiple Sclerosis, please visit The National Multiple Sclerosis Society website.
Follow Cathy Chester on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@CathyChes
Look for new blog posts from me each Wednesday related to various MS topics. If you have any suggestions for information and resources, or would like to write a “guest” blog post for me related to MS, please let me know. Thanks for reading, Cynthia
Posted in Disabilities, Multiple Sclerosis, National MS Society, Push to Walk | Tagged Cathy Chester, disabilities, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, National MS Society, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, push to walk | Leave a Comment »
I’m sure a lot of you watched the Olympics, and enjoyed the tough competition, the incredible skills and the amazing stories of the athletes and their families. Personally, I love the “back stories” of the athletes – how they got to be where they are, the adversities they’ve overcome and the drive they have to compete with the best in the world. I even love the commercials – thanking Mom and the backwards ones, too! In a world of DVR’s and on-demand programming, I don’t watch too many commercials anymore, but these were fun.
I see The Olympic Spirit every day at Push to Walk. Our trainers are the coaches, our clients the athletes and the families supporting all of us. Working hard at their training every time they come in, staying focused on their goals, and keeping a positive outlook all contribute to their success. Getting their names on our blackboard provides some incentive for them to accomplish special things each and every time they are here.
Here’s to OUR Olympians – our CLIENTS – and all they do every day to improve their lives. We may not have any medals to distribute, but hopefully our encouragement and dedication to help them is proof of our commitment.
Here’s also a shout-out to NOLAN KASPER, our family friend and US Ski Team Olympian who finished 13th out of 117 skiers in the Sochi Men’s Slalom Event. He was also the ONLY American man to finish both runs of that event. Congratulations, Nolan!!
Posted in Disabilities, Olympics, Push to Walk, Spinal Cord Injuries | Tagged family support, Nolan Kasper, Olympic Games, Olympics, push to walk, Sochi 2014, Sochi Olympics, spinal cord injuries | Leave a Comment »
Yay, a day without snow! With record snowfalls in northern NJ this year, everyone I know is looking forward to spring. We all hate the shoveling, clearing our cars, and navigating through parking lots and sidewalks. But if you know someone who uses a wheelchair or has difficulty walking, what an added element of difficulty snow adds to a daily routine.
As I make my way carefully over slippery surfaces, up and over snowbanks, or around obstacles to get where I’m going, I think about everyone who relies on their wheelchairs for mobility or have difficulty with balance and taking smooth steps. HOW do you do it? From very narrow walkways to uncleared access ramps, snowed-in parking spaces to icy surfaces – it can be a nightmare, I am sure. And how do you clear off your car, or dig out after being plowed in?
Other than moving to a warmer climate, what are your solutions and tips for others who might be facing similar situations? I’d love to hear your ideas, and pass them along to others!
Until the next snowstorm (although I know the snow we already have will cause problems for months), stay safe!
Posted in Disabilities, Push to Walk, Spinal Cord Injuries | Tagged accessibility, accessible parking, disabilities, paralysis, push to walk, record snowfall, record snowfall in NJ, snow, spinal cord injuries, walking, wheelchairs | Leave a Comment »
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
There is a lot of love at Push to Walk every day, but it seems fitting to recognize it today. We love that our clients and their families put their trust in us to help in the journeys they are on after spinal cord injury, brain injury, transverse myelitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and stroke.
We love that our donors choose Push to Walk as a cause to support, knowing their dollars go directly to our program and helping our clients regain strength, function, and independence.
We love that so many people have contributed to our success by donating their time, talents, energy and material goods to make Push to Walk a successful, sustainable organization.
And personally, I love our entire Push to Walk team. Not only our staff members, volunteers and interns, but their families too. So many people who have taken an interest in what we do and how we do it. Our staff members who especially bring a passion and commitment to their jobs every day-I love you all!
So when we hear or say those three little words that are sometimes so hard to say, know that the meaning behind them is so much more…a testament to the fact that love really does make the world go round.
Enjoy the day with those you love, and let them know you love them!
Posted in Push to Walk | Tagged brain injury, love, Multiple Sclerosis, paralysis, push to walk, transverse myelitis, Valentine's Day | Leave a Comment »
Happy New Year and Happy Wednesday! We have had a major snow storm here in the northeast, so if you have been affected by it, I hope you are all safe. Stay warm as the forecast is for really cold temperatures!
Push to Walk has been really busy, and several of our new inquiries and clients are people with brain injuries. We have found that with some adaptations, our exercise programs and methods used with people who have spinal cord injuries are beneficial to people with brain injuries as well.
As a staff, we are committed to educating ourselves in this area so we may offer information and resources to individuals and families living with a brain injury. One such resource is TBI News & Views , a printed newsletter published by the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brian Injury System. It is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and is a collaborative effort among Kessler Foundation and several medial centers in New Jersey.
The cover story about a young woman’s goal of achieving independence after a brain injury very helpful and informative. Articles and recaps of research and conferences (one of which I attended) were also very interesting. I suggest checking out the newsletter and Kessler Foundation website.
If you know of someone with a brain injury that this information might help, please pass this along.
Posted in Push to Walk, Spinal Cord Injuries, Traumatic Brian Injury | Tagged brain injuries, brain injury, disabilities, Kessler Foundation, NNJTBIS, Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System, paralysis, push to walk, spinal cord injuries, TBI News & Views, traumatic brain injuries | 1 Comment »
Ahhh, finally….on the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me……
Dare we put all my “days” together? They will definitely not sound anything like the song, nor as pretty, but hopefully meaningful……and now that I know the twelve days of Christmas actually START on Christmas Day, I’ll have to….oh no, don’t even think about that……..guess I should have done my research BEFORE starting this little project!
I’ll stick with twelve drummers drumming because I can relate to that. Whether it be a high school marching band like my friend Lisa’s daughter – highly competitive and striking to watch – or Ohio State University’s incredible musical feats, or drummers in bands, I love them all! We’ve seen some incredible drummers perform live music recently, some SO young, and they are all amazing. There’s something hypnotic about live music, and drummers can do that to me!
So here goes: 12 drummers drumming, 11 parents praying, 10 lords/ladies-a-lifting, 9 ladies dancing, 8 merry Santas, 7 Christmas cookies, 6 silver bells, 5 golden rings, 4 waterfalls, 3 rules of three, 2 sunrises & sunsets and one family. Well, not too bad if you hum along and have a little imagination!
Stay tuned for a follow-up post before I journey into 2014 with new ideas!
Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas, and may it be blessed with family and friends to celebrate joy and peace during the season.
Posted in Push to Walk, Spinal Cord Injuries | Tagged 12 drummers drumming, Christmas, Christmas Spirit, family, family support, friends, friendship, holidays, push to walk, spinal cord injuries, Twelfth Day of Christmas, Twelve Days of Christmas, twelve drummers drumming | Leave a Comment »