Don't Get Left Out FROM the Cold - Tips to Stay Warm

By Wendy Crawford

It really didn't seem that far, maybe 40 feet at the most. Recently, we were at a shopping mall but to access a restaurant that we were interested in, we had to go outside. I was in my power chair and could zoom quickly so I skipped putting my hat and mittens back on. “I should be fine”, I told myself. “I've done this many times and it's really not that far.” Within seconds of opening the door, I was regretting my decision! The cutting wind hit my face, taking away my breath. I felt the cold biting into my skull and rushing into the opening of my jacket, penetrating the weave of my sweater.

I'm not sure what's going on but this winter has been absolutely brutal; bringing the term “cold” to a whole other level - record-breaking low temperatures, hurricane force winds, snow thunder and in some places, “feet” not “inches” of snow! Many of us mobileWOMEN, are unable to regulate our temperature and if we aren’t careful, hypothermia can set in quickly. Not to mention the hours it takes to thaw out and warm up. It's easy to stay at home and refuse to go out. But after awhile cabin fever sets in and the desire for a breath of fresh air becomes overwhelming.

We would like to share with you some of our favorite cold combating solutions so that you too can get out and enjoy all that winter has to offer.

5 Disability Friendly U.S. Vacation Spots For The New Year

By Lucy Lawrence

The New Year is here, and while weight loss is still the number one resolution of most Americans, there are other ways that you can enrich your life in 2018. One way to do it is by traveling, which not only improves mental health but also boosts self-confidence, gives you brand-new experiences, allows you to further your education and knowledge, and gives you a chance to de-stress and just enjoy being in the moment. When you use a wheelchair, a walker, a cane, or other gadgets for independence, you may be worried about finding accessible destinations, but there are many disability-friendly vacations that you can take in the U.S. Here are some of the best getaways for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans attracts people all over the world for its culture, food, history, and music. Where else can you find sumptuous food such as beignets and creole food, Mardi Gras, and music joints that play excellent jazz music? The public transport system in the city is highly accessible as it does not have a subway network, and the buses have lowered floors and wheelchair ramps. The attractions and sights such as the iconic Bourbon Street and Jackson are accessible to wheelchair users, and a vast majority of hotels in the area are wheelchair accessible.

Finding Hope in the Unpredictable

By Emily Ann Hupe
Karen Fiera (with PICC line)

I would like to introduce you to my friend and fellow mobileWOMAN, Karen Fiera. Karen and I live in the same town and for a time, attended the same church, however, we met online in 2011.  not in person.  We instantly bonded over the shared journey of living and parenting, through a chronic illness and disability. We have shared the ups and downs of a journey that we never expected to take. We pray for one another when one of us is in the hospital or having a setback, and we praise together when we experience the rare, precious moments of "normal". When those Facebook memory posts appear, clearly showing the "before", we cry together at everything we have lost.  We "get" each other, we have given up so many of the same things and we lessen the hurt they cause through our prayers and friendship. Karen has graciously allowed me to share her story here.
Karen and her husband Anthony, were living a quiet life raising their 2 children and enjoying an active Southern California lifestyle. Life as Karen knew it, changed in 2009. The plans and dreams that she thought she could count on, were much different than the life she felt God had planned for her.  After successfully completing the breast cancer 3 Day Walk in San Diego, in 2008, Karen was eager to participate again in 2009! The first day of the walk, she sustained injuries to her hip, knee and shins. As the walk went on, Karen began experiencing extreme pain. She continued the walk, willing her body to push past the pain. Karen remarked to her husband that she was just injured a little and it wouldn’t kill her. They kept walking, hand in hand for 60 miles, Karen completed the walk.
Following the walk, Karen's injuries did not improve and she began seeing doctors and seeking answers. It would take months to find them. Even when the doctors had an answer, it only seemed to lead to more questions. Karen finally had a muscle biopsy done in August of 2010, the results would change her life forever.