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Archive for July, 2012

Is it an anniversary? A second birthday? A day to celebrate life or mourn loss? For me, it’s all of these things and so much more. July 23, 2004 was the day our lives changed forever. Most notably my son Darren’s, when he sustained his spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. It affected his whole family, his friends and an entire community. Now, 8 years later, I’d also like to think it has changed the spinal cord injury community as well, at least locally, with Push to Walk.

But the personal side of the story is now a part of our lives. I can’t even begin to imagine the thoughts in Darren’s head as this date comes around each year. On the outside, I see a strong, motivated, determined young man who lives life to the fullest. He’s accomplished so much and has much more he strives to do. He sets goals for himself and works toward them with a calculated plan. I admire him every minute of every day.

Even eight years later, tears are always just beneath the surface and a thought, a word, or a vision brings all the raw emotions to the surface. And I am not the person living this life, but observing it one step away. How Darren and all the others with SCI I’ve met do it, I can’t completely comprehend.  As I write through my tears at this keyboard, I recall the many wonderful memories of life before SCI and there are many. And in these 8 years, there are also many good and happy memories. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss our “old life.” The spontaneity, the freedom, the ability to do whatever one pleases without the challenges that must be faced at every turn.

But here I find myself, immersed daily in the lives of people with SCI, and I am grateful I am where I am, doing what I am doing. Sure, some days I’d rather stay in bed and keep the covers over my head, but what would that accomplish? I’ve said for a very long time “if Darren can keep going, then so can I.” So I wake up each morning and face the day, having a hopeful, optimistic plan for something good to happen today. To work toward some goal that will help someone, do something that will make someone’s life a little better, a little easier, or a little happier. This is what keeps me going.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us in some way during this journey. There are way too many people to name, but my family, friends, neighbors know who they are. To countless others who have been there for us in the past and continue to support us – thank you. While I would not have chosen this path for myself (and certainly not for Darren), I am trying to at least have a positive impact on those around me.

Here’s to LIFE – the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks to those around me for helping me to focus on the good, not dwell on the bad and to laugh at the ugly…………..we are all in this together and I treasure your love, friendship and support.

Love Cynthia

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Hi Everyone,

Here we are mid-week already for our week-long Summer Camp, and I feel like we’re just getting started! Our campers are enjoying activities with current clients, former clients, prospective clients, families and friends! I always like seeing when our events officially “end,” and people are talking to one another, sharing stories, showing others their accessible vehicles, and just hanging out. This, to me, is PRICELESS and exactly what I hoped our camp would accomplish.

Please check our Facebook page for recent news, pictures and videos:   https://www.facebook.com/PushtoWalk

Our campers tell me they are loving their workouts, and while they are tired afterwards, they are energized and excited about what they are doing! Hopefully this week will help each person reach new goals and strive for more!

We are so grateful for all the support and donations we have received so far to help make our Summer Camp a success! For starters, thanks to Scott Chesney (www.scottchesney.com) and Curly’s Ice Cream in Riverdale for a great Ice Cream Social on Sunday. Thanks to Laurie Kammer and David McCauley (www.riseupgallery.com) and the Riverdale Art Center (www.riverdaleartcenter.org) for teaming up to host a wonderful Art Workshop on Monday night. Thanks also to Steve and Laurie Colella (Colella’s Pizza, Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ) for donating a delicious lunch on Tuesday that provided food for clients, guests and even the rugby players Tuesday night! Speaking of rugby, the NY Warriors Quad Rugby Team put on a fun exhibition at the Wayne YMCA. Campers and clients (even staff!) had a great time playing and learning about the game. Several of the rugby players traveled quite a distance, and we really appreciate their interest in being part of our camp activities.

Check our website for details on events still to come: Trivia Night at Hooters in Wayne tonight (Wednesday), a Push to Walk Open House and Dr. Wise Young’s Open House at Rutgers on Thursday, Pizza and Music Night Friday night, and capping off the week with Adaptive Sports Day and a second presentation by Scott Chesney on Saturday. http://www.pushtowalknj.org/document/description-of-activities.pdf.

Hope to see you at one of our events! Cynthia

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The entire staff here at Push to Walk has been working really hard to make next week’s Summer Camp a great experience for clients, campers, family members and friends. There are SO many fun and interesting events planned; there truly is something for everyone!

Sunday, July 15 kicks off the week with an Ice Cream Social at the Riverdale Senior Community Center at 4 pm with Guest Speaker Scott Chesney. This is a great opportunity to meet Scott and listen to what I know will be an awesome presentation. Please join us!

Our daily schedule for client workouts is very busy, and we are excited to have some former clients returning and a few new people joining our current clients.

Afternoon/evening activities include an Art Workshop, Quad Rugby Demonstration, Trivia Night, Open House with Dr. Wise Young at Rutgers, a Music & Pizza Night, and an Adaptive Sports Day on Saturday to cap off the week. Scott Chesney will also be speaking at 6 pm on Saturday, June 21 at Central Park of Morris County.

During the week, we are hosting 2 Open Houses: Tuesday, July 17 from 9:30-5 pm and Thursday, July 19 from 9:30-3:30 pm. If you’ve never been to Push to Walk, or haven’t visited in awhile, please stop by! In addition to seeing equipment demos, we’ll have an MV-1 car (the only auto built from the ground up to be accessible), hand cycles, sno-cones and more!

All are invited: doctors, physical therapists, prospective clients, neighbors, friends, and any one else interested or curious about what we do!

This is our chance to show people who we are and how we help people with spinal cord injuries strengthen themselves, lead productive lives and increase the quality of their lives each and every day. We do this with YOUR support, so THANK YOU!!!

Here’s the link to our website to see detailed information on Summer Camp week:    http://www.pushtowalknj.org/summer-camp.html. Scroll down to Event Flyers or Event Information, and you can click on the particular links below those categories. Or you can call us at 862-200-5848 or email Stephanie at slajam@pushtowalknj.org. We are asking for RSVP’s for certain events, so please let us know if you’ll be attending.

Hope to see you at Summer Camp July 15-21!!!

Cynthia

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