Aimee Hofmann – Household CEO, Mother & so Much More!




A day in October of 2006, I was at home doing laundry.  On this day, I knew something was different about me that just didn’t feel right. I was feeling weak and sick, but ignored it and took a walk across the street, to go to a store to get exact change for the laundry machine.  I’ll never forget that walk across the street, because little did I know, it would be my last walk outside.  Shortly after, I started to lose sensation in my legs and was rushed to the hospital. I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord that causes paralysis.I was kept in the hospital for 2 months for tests/recovery and spent my 30th birthday there.

When I was first told that I may never walk again, I didn't want to accept it. I felt scared and angry at the world. I refused to "learn" how to function in a wheelchair because that would mean I had to accept this kind of life. This is not how I envisioned myself nor how I imagined that my life would turn out. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me.

Everything in our lives was going so well when my sudden onset of paralysis, hit us like a ton of bricks. After all, my husband (of seven years at that time) and I, were living the high life in the big city. We would meet friends every weekend, and were always at the best places "to be and be seen" of New York City. We had one those love stories you read in storybooks. We met, fell for each other instantly and flew back and forth to see each other for a few months. We had a whirlwind romance and were married within 6 months.


We were also at the stage in our lives when we started to think about having children.  From then on, I had to watch all my friends getting pregnant and having babies before me. Meanwhile, I had to spend the next few years taking new medications, doing physical therapy to somewhat maintain my body and learning to function as a paraplegic. I also had a lot of self-discovery to do. I didn't feel like the woman that I thought I was, before I was in a wheelchair. I had to redefine what being a beautiful woman meant within myself, rather than how society envisions a beautiful woman. In other words, I had to "bring my own sexy back," but this time, in a wheelchair.

The one good news that I received from the doctors, was that I would be able to carry a pregnancy and give birth. This statement became more important to me than whether or not I would walk again! To give new life and to become a mother, became my new goal and I was very determined to make this come true.


In April of 2009, I became pregnant with our daughter. I had an easy full-term pregnancy. On January 22, 2010, Emilee Hofmann was born through a normal delivery (no C-section required!). She is now a bright and sassy 7yr old. We moved our lives into the suburbs of Westchester, to make space for our growing family. Since then, I've become an active mom in our new community here and even mastered driving with hand-controls so I could become a more independent mom.

In July of 2013, I became pregnant again with our son. Once again, I had a healthy full-term pregnancy. After a swift labor, Christopher Hofmann was born on March 9, 2014 via a normal delivery (again, no C-section was needed). Today, he is a 3 yr old little mischief that is quite a handful.

These days, there is never a dull moment!  Between potty training, getting the kids ready for school, packing lunches, taking/picking up the kids from school, swim classes, dance classes, language classes, planning playdates, giving baths, helping with homework, cooking dinner, picking toys off the floor, loading the laundry and on top of that, doing physical therapy!  You can say my life is just like any other mom’s except I do everything on wheels!
 
One of Aimee's paintings
I’ve realized I can still accomplish anything I want and the sky’s the limit for me.  I discovered my talent for painting, something I maybe would not have taken up if I wasn’t forced to sit all day! I can now call myself a self-proclaimed artist, among others. 

Who knew that my latest title would also be “advocate/activist"? My husband and I have since become strong supporters of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to find a cure for paralysis.
It is still my dream, and my children’s dream that they will one day see their mother walk. My daughter, Emilee, says, “If there is no cure by the time I’m a grown-up, I will become the scientist that finds a cure for you to walk.” This has inspired me to head my latest project, the Race for a Cure Gala, an event to bring our hometown community of Westchester together to spread awareness about spinal cord injuries and to honor "superheroes" that persevere despite their disabilities. The funds made from the Gala event will be awarded to the Reeve Foundation to support people living with paralysis and the discovery of cures.  The Gala Benefit will be held on June17th at Mulino’s Lake Isle Country Club.  Tickets can be purchased at: http://raceforacuregala.brownpapertickets.com).  I strongly encourage the disabled community and their family/friends to be present at the event for a wonderful and worthwhile evening.

Now at age 40, I may wear may titles these days, but I don’t claim to be a heroine. However, I can claim one thing: I am leading the life that I've always dreamed of having and I never let my disability stop me from living that dream. I thank my lucky stars for everyone in my life and everything that I am blessed to have. I married Prince Charming. We live in our "beautiful castle" with our two beautiful children. I've learned that a wheelchair is just something I use, but it doesn't define who I am. I am the CEO and founder of my household. I am a wife, mother, daughter and friend, first and foremost. I may not be perfect, but you can say I'm a "work-in-progress" just like any other woman. I manage to do it all, sitting in my wheelchair with a smile on my face. If my children will see me as a hero one day... well, that is good enough for me!

About the Author:
Aimee Hofmann is a New York native, raised in Queens. She holds a BA from NYU's Stern Business School which has influenced her marketing/PR savvy-mind.  However, she has worn many hats throughout the years. Aimee is an avid swimmer and a well-rounded artist. In 2006, she was struck with Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation in the spinal cord that results in paralysis. Since becoming paraplegic, it has opened her mind to a new founded identity as a woman with a disability. "The beauty of a woman is how she feels on the inside, which will in turn radiate on the outside. It’s about how she carries herself, whether she happens to be sitting or standing, walking or rolling." Aimee's attitude has led her to be selected as a Model for The Raw Beauty Project (in collaboration with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation), a photography exhibit of women living with disabilities that showcases their beauty, power and passion, thus educating society to redefine perceptions of beauty. 
 
Aimee's Raw Beauty Project photo by Alex Barberio

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