Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | July 8, 2010

What I’m thinking about today

If you live in Missoula, it’s possible you might have caught the local news on KECI on July 7.  Four members of my walking group were showcased on all three evening news segments,  Rolf (one of our coaches), Carolyn, Annamarie (the reporter) and me… and if I do say so myself, it turned out very well.  I am adding a new page at the top of this blog with a link to the segment, so you can check it out for yourself, which I hope you do because it includes a wonderful clip of Bob Heinle.

This week, my thoughts are truly focused on the reasons I started this project.  I will never forget the day Bob Heinle was shot.  It was a tragedy that stunned Missoula. One of my students at the time, a 12-year-old girl, actually witnessed the shooting, and so it was truly brought home to me in a very personal way.  She later had to attend the trial and serve as a witness there as well – an act of bravery in itself.

When Bob died this past winter, my heart broke for Lisa and the rest of Bob’s family. Bob never gave up, though he was dealt a hand that no one should have to play.  His motivation was to keep on trying, keep on improving, keep on working so that eventually research can find answers to help people who live with spinal cord injury. Lisa now is walking a road that no one should have to walk …  she is having to learn how to live without her best friend.  Has that stopped her from continuing Bob’s work? No, my friends, it hasn’t.

I told you last week that I was reading a book which I feel may be the most important book I read this summer.  It was written by Francesco Clark, and is entitled Walking Papers.  Francesco broke his neck when he dove into what ended up being the shallow end of a swimming pool.  Thousands of people each year are injured making that same mistake.  His paralysis was almost complete.  He at first had to breathe with a respirator.  Doctors told Francesco that he would never be able to move a muscle.  His physical therapists told him that he should just get used to life as it was and learn to deal.  This he refused to do.  He became involved with, guess what?  the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation!  And with their help he learned about new studies and new techniques, and now, AND NOW HE HAS MUCH MORE MOBILITY THAN ANYONE EVER THOUGHT HE COULD HAVE!  Research DOES pay off!!!!  Francesco is now an ambassador, along with Chris Reeve’s daughter and son, of the Foundation. This story is powerful and inspirational.  You need to read this book.

I walk.  I have two strong legs and two agile arms and fingers that can grasp my cup of coffee.  This may not always be the case, because life is fragile.  But for right now, these things are true for me.  I am strong.  Sunday, I walk.  I will wear my Team Reeve shirt.  And each step of the way, I will be thinking about Bob Heinle, and about Francesco Clark, and about Christopher Reeve.  And perhaps, if I reach out and grasp Superman’s cape and let him pull me along for a while, it will allow me to finish strong.  Because I have big goals.  I want to make a difference.



  1. you looked & responded BEAUTIFULLY on the telly last night! josh & i were just astounded at how amazing you look and how happy you are! i say it every single time i post (if it’s true than i guess you cannot say it enough!), but we are just so very very proud of you and all that you are accomplishing and have accomplished.

    go team kimberly!
    go team reeve!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Team Reeve. Team Reeve said: Sunday, I walk. I will wear my @ReeveFoundation @TeamReeve shirt. […]

  3. Kimberly: I was thinking about what an incredible help you have been this year for the Missoula Marathon. Thank you so much for participating on so many different levels. I really look forward to seeing you cross the finish line.

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