Finding Home

By Emily Ann Hupe

One of the first things that I remember about our old house and property, was the smell. As we got out of the car, the first day we looked at the property, I inhaled deeply, the smell of the pine trees. I closed my eyes and let that smell envelop me and it created such a peace. I have so many memories of camping and canoeing associated with that smell. These were times during my childhood that I was truly happy.

The view from the kitchen window was not the best in the house, but it was the window I looked out of the most. I could look into the front yard and see the children play. Whether I was cooking, talking on the phone or getting a drink in the middle of the night, I looked out that window.
I always left that kitchen window open during summer evenings. In the middle of the night, I would get a drink and pause a moment just to listen. The crickets always arrived around late June. As the sunset after a hot day and the cool winds would blow, t he crickets would begin their song. I hear it now and it takes me back to my kitchen, my window, my home.
It was at that window in October of 2003 that I heard the words, She is gone, I am sorry.” It was in the pre-dawn hours of a Friday morning that I learned my mother had died. I would never again be able to stare out that window again without thinking of my mother.

I stood at that window breathing through the pre-labor pains that would bring my sweet, precious Wyatt into this world. As I watched the sunrise that September morning in 2002, I had no idea how this child inside of me would change our lives. There were moments that he would drive us to our knees in frustration and sadness. Then, just as quickly he would melt our hearts and amaze us with his deep thought and intensity. 

How I Conquered My Very First Speaking Experience

By Aimee Hofmann

The Race for a Cure Gala to benefit the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation took place on June 17, 2017 in Westchester, NY. The idea to hold the event first ignited when my husband, Daniel, decided to take on the 2017 NYC Marathon with his friend, Michael, under “Team Reeve”.  We saw this as a great opportunity to contribute to the Foundation since they provided us with so many resources when I became paralyzed, 11 years ago.  My friend, Karina (Michael’s wife), and I immediately took on the exciting mission to plan a fundraiser for the very first time! 
We knew we wanted to have a guest speaker with a spinal cord injury/condition to share their story at our event.  Little did I know, it would be more challenging than I thought to find a speaker.  Most of the admirable people that I had in mind, were unavailable or had expenses that we couldn’t cover in our event budget. 

As days and weeks passed of planning the event, we still had no speaker.  Wendy Crawford, a co-founder of The Raw Beauty Project and, was one of our potential speakers, but was also unavailable.  Wendy then suggested that I should be the one to think about speaking.  I never really saw myself as a speaker.  I’ve always been more of a writer since its obviously so much easier to type words out, as opposed to actually saying them.  Karina also asked me how I felt about speaking.  To tell you the truth, I was avoiding the situation altogether.  I told her, "I'm just going to thank everyone and wish everyone a great night!"  There I was, trying to make excuses to get out of doing a speech.  Karina looked at me and said, "Thank everyone and then WHAT?!  Don't you want people to go away with a lesson they’ve learned from your story?"  She did have a point.

Wheelchair Falls Resulting in Concussions

By "The Rollin' RN" Patty Kunze, BSN, RNC

My articles are usually written on maintaining health but I wanted to expand on a question asked earlier and further discuss CONCUSSIONS and WHEELCHAIR FALLS.  Concussions, in general, have been in the forefront of Sports Medicine lately, with the increase of head injuries in football and soccer alike.  No longer is this type of injury “accepted” as part of performing sports; experts are looking at this phenomenon from a different angle now.  Sitting in a wheelchair on a daily basis increases our chances of a fall, where we may strike our head, which results in subsequently, a head injury or concussion. It’s a fact of our life - but should not be ignored!  Why else would the rehab team train us how to protect our noggins in case of a fall?  I KNOW it has happened to all of us and if you are one of the lucky ones that hasn’t experienced a fall yet… will.  Being in a wheelchair for eight years now, I have experienced two major falls while seat-belted in my chair.  Once backwards onto a concrete tiled floor, causing a huge goose egg on the back of my head and once on the aggregate driveway of my home resulting in a scraped up face.  You all remember the Looney Tunes cartoons when the character is bopped on his head and stars circle around him, that’s what it feels like... But this topic is no laughing matter.