Achieving Potential through Therapeutic Insight

By Kara Aiello
Raising a daughter who lives with a disability is far from easy. My parents did the best they could as most any parent would.  As a child, I was given safety and comfort when I lived through fractures and operations. I was protected from the bumps and bruises of life that could have done me great harm at that delicate period of my life.

That protection, so important then, didn’t always benefit me as I grew up. I became more physically strong not having fractures past the age of 11, but not emotionally strong.  However, a gift from my mother did send me on a journey of growth that has helped change my life in so many ways.  

Journey to Self-Empowerment

By Bethany Hoppe

All of my life I knew what I wanted to do.  And that was to help people.  Growing up with Spina Bifida, much of my playtime was spent pretending I was either a surgeon or a nurse.  My dolls and stuffed animals were my patients, with my mother’s living room as the hospital ward.  Back in the day of glass I.V. bottles, after some of my own hospital stays, nurses would send me home with a clean empty I.V. set without the needle for me to play with.  Raggedy Ann was usually the one hooked up.  From time to time, my favorite stuffed dolphin had a line of saline taped to her fin to revive her (little did I know then how apropos that was).  I was incredibly elaborate and detailed in my playtime.  It was real to me!

As I prepared to go to university, I was fortunate enough to qualify for OVR (Occupational Vocational Rehabilitation) support for my education; a government incentive to pay for an associates or bachelors degree education for people with disabilities.  Even though my high school grades were not the greatest, I knew that I could focus and learn.  I also knew that with my own lifetime of hospital experiences, I had unparalleled bedside manner, unwavering ethics, and a first hand understanding of the hospital experience from the other side of the bed rails. 

Decluttering Tips for the mobileWOMAN

by Wendy Crawford

The New Year is an exciting time, a fresh start to new beginnings, goals and plans, however it is difficult to begin the new chapter when your life is cluttered with objects from years passed. Since many of us live in cold climates and are stuck inside, why not make this a productive time to purge? After you go through these steps, you will feel surprisingly revitalized, energized and ready to tackle 2016! Now, take a deep breath and let’s do it!

1. Medication:
When you open your medicine cabinet, do prescription bottles tumble out and fall onto the counter and into your sink? If so, it is probably a sign that you need to sort through your medication. Any important medication should not be used passed the expiration date. First, remove labels off the bottles or scratch out all personal information.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against flushing medication down the toilet and to crush medication and mix with coffee grounds, kitty litter, baking soda or a substance that will absorb them. Then place the mixture in a sealable bag or bottle with a screw on lid and throw in trash. Another option is to take advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. Call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service or check with your pharmacy to see if a take-back program is available in your community.

Discover Freedom through "Advanced Freedom" - Accessible Swimsuits for All Abilities!

By Louise Sertsis
I'm just shy of my fortieth birthday and ready to fully engage myself in becoming a contributing member of society. For years, I was a hermit in my home, believing that activities did not include disabled people like myself. I've had Multiple Sclerosis for eighteen years and need to use a wheelchair for mobility. It took many years to accept my situation. I was full of resentment and self-pity. I was unable to look at life as a gift, and in my own stubbornness, chose to shut myself off to society. This only brought more pain and suffering. I was in a vicious circle that just exacerbated my symptoms, adding to my mental anguish and further isolation from the world.

Through my very turbulent symptoms with MS, I've had two major procedures to alter the course of my disease:  A bone marrow transplant to halt the progression of MS, and CCSVI that opened narrowed veins that are typical in people with this monster of a disease. I really am thankful to have had these procedures, as I was progressing at an accelerated rate. It was a long recovery, however now I feel reborn and energized for life!