Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | August 3, 2010

Meet my new friends

As I was pedaling away this morning, I was wondering if it wasn’t time to stop this project ….  after all, my readership has been down a little – down in the dumps to be perfectly frank.  My donations have leveled off.  I was wondering if I had over- stayed my welcome and that people were sending me a big message that it was time for me to get out of their cyberspace so they could not think about SCI.

And then I logged on to my blog, and found two comments, one from my former teaching partner and one of the very first people to comment on this blog, Sheila MacIntosh.  Thank you, Sheila, for being so faithful!  The other comment was from someone I didn’t know.  Her name is Sarah, and she told me about her brother, Bill. Well, of course, since I ALSO have a brother Bill, she had me right off the bat.  Sarah’s brother Bill has a spinal cord injury at the C4 vertebra.  And Sarah and Bill blog.  I have, with Sarah’s permission, added a link to their blog, so that you can meet them, yourselves.  You see, I think it is important for us all to know that there are real people who live with SCI …  real people like you and me.  It MIGHT be you and me tomorrow.

In the mail today I received a letter from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation that held an amazing and very scary statistic.  Do you know that 6 million Americans – 1 in every  50 – live with paralysis?  Heavens.  We are so very fragile.  It takes almost nothing to damage our abilities, sometimes.  In some cases, as in the case of my friend Bernadette, it might be only slipping in the kitchen and falling a few feet.  

As I was pedaling away this morning I was listening to Christopher Reeve reading his book Nothing is Impossible.  In it he describes the miracle, FIVE years after his injury, of developing the ability to move his fingers, of beginning to be able to move his legs in a swimming pool.  I don’t know how the book ends, because I am not there yet, but I do know how the story ends … it ends way too soon, with Chris’s death.  He never gave up the hope, the certainty that he would be able to walk again.

Research, my friends.  Research is what makes a difference.  Research and work and pain and exercise.  And money.  Yes, money.

I have been thinking a great deal recently of my inspiration for this project, Bob Heinle.  I wish I could sit down with him and talk about how research helped his life, helped his spirits.  God bless him and God bless Lisa.  These are rough days for her.

So, I am not going to quit.  I have less than five weeks left to go wearing my boot, and then I can get back to walking, and hopefully running.  New York awaits, and I have started the process of trying to find sponsors to help with expenses while we are there in the Big Apple.  Feel free to send me the names of anyone you know who might help out, and as always, feel free to pass on my blog address to anyone at all.  The more readers, the better.

I want to end today’s post with a quote from my eldest brother.  David has spent the summer dealing with his own type of paralysis … not permanent, but crippling for the time being.  Today, when he and I were visiting ala the Jetsons on Skype, I asked how he was feeling.  And he said, “Oh, I feel great, except for the pain.”  He wasn’t kidding. That is just his great outlook on life.  

Keep on truckin’, my friends.

8/2 – 10 miles on the ol’ Airdyne
8/3 – 12.5 miles, ditto
8/4 – 10 miles
8/5 – weight 167 pounds, down from 211 when I started this project

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Responses

  1. Hey Kim! Don’t give up! My donations have also leveled off…i think it’s the ups and downs of fund raising! You’re doing an amazing thing…keep on going! I am!

  2. I feel GREAT! Except for the pain. Oh poo!

    It’s a good thing I like sleeping on the floor.

    What a wonderful summer this is! At least it feels good from a nice air-conditioned floor.

    The birdies are celebrating out in my parched back yard, competing for sunflower seeds.

  3. Kimberly:
    If you want, I can give you links to remarkable, every day folks living with paralysis. Lots to be learned.
    My son, Sean is 17 and he has cerebral palsy from being born prematurely. His throat muscles were paralysed and it took him years to learn to eat and swallow. He got most of his food thru a tube in his stomach for 8 yrs. In a few weeks he starts his senior yr in high school–he has come such a long way.
    Paralysis takes all shapes and disorders, it would surprise folks if they stopped to think of some of the causes.
    Great to see your miles etching up–keep up the good work. The ration of bike to walking is about 2:1 so 50 miles =25 miles running. That was the formula I used.
    Go Forward!

  4. My Darling Sister

    I have a couple of ideas for some help. I can think of maybe three organizations who might sign on as sponsors. I haven’t approached any one yet and I have only a guess as to what the response might be. I’ll approach them in the next couple of days. I’ll let you know.

    Your Lovin Brother Bill


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