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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

I wish everyone in our Push to Walk family a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy family, friends, caring and sharing this holiday season. May you enjoy celebrating with those you love, cherishing the gifts of time spent together, family bonds and friendship. I am blessed to have all of you in my life, and am thankful to know you and your families. Our Push to Walk family holds a special place in my heart, and I am grateful to our wonderful and dedicated staff, motivated clients, supportive families, generous donors and good friends  who, together, make it all happen! Thank you for all you do for me, our clients, our program and our organization. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Love Cynthia

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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.

Love Cynthia

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Oh, I’ve been singing this song in my head (you wouldn’t want me to sing out loud!) for days trying to get ready for this project of mine I have convinced myself to take on. So here goes………

On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…………a wonderful family! My two children, Darren and Arianne, have brought so much love and joy into my world, I can’t really describe it. I’m sure all of you parents out there reading this can relate to what I’m saying.

While I try to follow my own advice all through the year, during the Christmas season I try especially hard to not lose sight of the importance of family in my life. While my husband and I have both lost our parents, and extended family is not really part of our lives, my husband, children, siblings and their kids are my focus. It is my family that got me through the most difficult days when Darren was first spinal cord injured (my Mom was alive then and provided a very strong support system) and continues to this day. It is my family that keeps me going  day after day, month after month and year after year.

I hope you have family with which to celebrate this holiday season, and if blood relatives are not part of your life, I hope you have found friends and communities who can stand in their place and give you the support you need to life live as fully as possible every single day of this holiday season.

Celebrate FAMILY! Until tomorrow…………Cynthia

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Hello Everyone,

I know I’ve been out of touch for quite awhile, caught up in busy days and never enough time to do everything I want to…….

The last few weeks have been tough, but this morning, Frank Sinatra’s words found their way into my head, and I knew it was a sign to write a blogpost!

With a computer hard drive crash, a big project getting derailed and my son not feeling well (always a concern of us Moms!), I was frustrated, disappointed and not feeling so optimistic. But here’s the thing – I’ve got to keep going! These things are all pretty small in the big picture; I just have to convince myself to keep a reasonable perspective and get on with life. So perhaps reading, typing and re-reading these words will help me – and maybe even you, too, if you are dealing with something difficult in your life:

I've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life
(That’s life)

Here’s to a better day RIGHT NOW!

Cynthia

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Along with so many of you, I have been watching and listening to hours of coverage about the bombs that were set off at the Boston Marathon. The terror that ensued, the deaths and injuries, the heroic acts of kindness – all of it in my head and leading to so many questions. I would venture a guess that all of us have been in a situation where large numbers of people have gathered with no way to secure our safety. Furthermore, many of us have been specifically at marathons, either on the course or at the finish fine. More thoughts, more questions, more fear………..

But today I wanted to write about an interview I saw on TV with the staff of the Forum Restaurant, the site of the second bomb that was set off in Boston. With sidewalk seating, many patrons were outside, craning their necks to see what the noise was created by the first bomb when the second one went off right where they were. People ran into the restaurant, through the back and out of harm’s way. But the staff ran to the front and started helping people. When the newscaster asked if they saw themselves as “heroes,” all of them shook their heads no…….but I believe it was the Manager who said “we were in the wrong place at the wrong time but we did the right thing.” Those words have stayed with me; I found them very moving and powerful.

I have asked myself many times since hearing those words – would I have done the same thing? The “right thing?” It is one thing to help someone in need when no other threat is present. I am sure I could do that. An act of kindness, a lending hand – sure. But now two bombs had gone off; might there not be more? Yet these people, and so many more, helped those that were injured, seeing unthinkable sights, and they saved people’s lives. They all put their own lives in danger to save others.

These actions shout out the word HERO loud and clear. I only hope I would do the same if faced with the same circumstances. Would you???

Cynthia

P.S. Watch the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams show tonight at 10 pm for a mother/daughter survival story from the bombings. I saw a preview this morning……

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Our Own “Push Girl” will be on HBO Real Sports! Thanks to Christan Zaccagnino, and her willingness to share even the most intimate of details about her life, her relationships and her challenges, spinal cord injury is getting some well-deserved media attention from someone who is living a very full life. I am sure Christan’s story will make you laugh and make you cry, and will hopefully provide a spark for the bundle of dynamite needed to set off interest and funding for clinical trials for SCI in the U.S.

As many of you know, we follow Boyd Melson, a professional boxer who donates all of his winnings in the ring to Dr. Wise Young and the quest to bring clinical trials from China to the US. Boyd’s best friend, Christan Zaccagnino is a Push to Walk client, and she has worked tirelessly for many years to bring SCI into the media and the forefront of people’s consciousness. One HUGE step forward for Christan and Boyd (and the entire SCI community) is the filming of an HBO Real Sports segment which will be aired tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16, at 10 pm.

Set your DVR’s NOW!

To read a short clip about their story, click on this link: http://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/index.html.

I’d love to hear your comments after watching! Let me know what you think!

Cynthia

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I can’t say it’s my favorite holiday as I also really love Christmas, but it is a very close second! Lots of food, family, friends and all in the name of giving THANKS for what we have, who we are, and what we do. I am grateful for all these things and more, every day, but with a day to celebrate thanks, it is that much more special.

I am a big believer in things being “relative.” Yes, there are things in my life that are not perfect – I think we can all say that to some extent. But whatever I have going on may be worse than some, but not so bad compared to others. When people complain about “little things” I really, really try to see things from their point of view. Sometimes their complaints are valid, and present real difficulties. But other times I just want to say “really? REALLY???” Oh, they just have no idea………..

And I’m not just talking about my world as related to spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, MS and other neurological conditions. I see friends struggling with major illnesses, children with severe problems, catastrophic losses from Hurricane Sandy – the list goes on and on. Those are the REAL problems.

So this Thanksgiving, I’d like to express my gratitude to all those in my life who contribute to who I am, what I do and what I have.  I am so thankful for my family, friends, co-workers and everyone in my Push to Walk family, far and wide. Thank you for being part of my life!

I wish all of you and your loved ones a wonderful, thankful Thanksgiving holiday! May it be a day of joy and celebration, but also recognize  others who are struggling and may need our help and support. I hope this holiday brings out the best in all of us, and that we help each other.

Love Cynthia

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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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Check this out! We now have our VERY OWN Push to Walk bracelets! We had these made to help us celebrate our 5th Anniversary, and we’ll be doing some fun videos, photos and client stories as well. You might say we are jumping on the bandwagon, since every organization or cause seems to have these (or does that really mean that we’ve missed the bandwagon??) But I see kids and adults with arms full of these things! Well, here’s ONE more cause to add to your arm!

We’ll be selling these for $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00. Let us know how many you’d like! 🙂

Help support Push to Walk and our clients with spinal cord injuries and paralysis who are working hard to regain strength, function and independence!

Help us make a difference!

Help Spread the Word!

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I made it! I finished! Crossing that finish line, arms held high and smiling for the camera, I hugged Darren with tears streaming down my face. I did it – that’s all I could think about. I was physically and emotionally drained. Smiling and crying at the same time, I hugged my dear, dear friend Stephanie who ran with me the entire time – all 5 hours and 16 minutes of it. For those of you who know me, you won’t be surprised to read that I am crying as I write this now. What an emotional journey.

There is SO much I want to write about, and I know I will write several entries all related to the race and the event. But for this morning, I want to thank the entire Push to Walk team and our support crew. From Darren who inspires me every step I take, to my husband for supporting me even though he doesn’t understand (who can?), to my incredible staff, our clients, runners and hand cyclists. To our generous supporters and donors who contributed way more than I ever imagined, to my old friends and new friends for taking part in this great event. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

I told Darren the night before the event that I only wanted him to do two things: do his best in the race and be there for me at the finish line. Being the wonderful son that he is, he came through with flying colors. He finished the half marathon (13.1 miles) in just 1 hour 47 minutes and was there to greet me at the finish. What more could I ask for? I hugged him and held him and didn’t want to let go.

I never expected my dear friend Stephanie to run with me the whole time. We had never spoken about it beforehand. Perhaps that was her intention, but I didn’t know it. She is an experienced marathon runner and a successful Ironman triathlete.  She could have run at whatever pace she desired, but she chose to run with me. For that, I am very, very grateful. THANK YOU, Stephanie. You are a kind, caring, compassionate person and I am proud to be your friend. Thank you for encouraging me, supporting me and running with me.

My husband, John, is my biggest fan and cheerleader, doing for me whatever has needed to be done for the past almost 6 months of training. Whether it was doing the food shopping while I was running, bringing me supplies, checking up on me or picking me up at my ending point, he always did what would help me. While I can’t say he understands why I felt the need to do this or agreed with the whole idea, he was supportive and encouraging. Thank you and I love you!

And last but not least, my daughter Arianne has encouraged me in every way during my training. During my last marathon in 2008, she ran miles 21-25 with me. While I knew she couldn’t be with me this time, I knew she was with me in spirit. As I thought about my aches and pains this time around, I thought of her encouraging words last time, and she helped me keep on going. She also sent me and Darren a very sweet card the day before the race, wishing us success and letting us know she was thinking about us.

While I have so much more to write, I will try to organize my thoughts and write more in the next few days. Two things I distinctly remember seeing on the course – one was a large sign that said “The reward is the journey,” and another hand written on the back of a Team in Training member (running for leukemia and lymphoma) that said, “If you think running is hard, ask my Mom about her chemo.”

So I have accomplished this goal, but not by myself. At times, I was only thinking, just one more step, one more step, and I WILL get there. Thanks for helping me and being a part of this incredible journey.       

Cynthia

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