22 years later: My strength may fade, but my hope never will

22 years later: My strength may fade, but my hope never will

It’s that time of year. The month of September always brings around mixed feelings for me. Sept. 12, 2019 marks the 22nd anniversary of the day I became a quadriplegic.

I can’t believe it’s been over two decades since I lost my ability to move my arms and legs. It seems like yesterday when I was in the intensive care unit clinging to life. Looking back year after year, it is amazing to think about how I overcame such insurmountable odds. And while that was 22 years ago, my childhood is even farther away.

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Fried fish, a wheelchair and an impromptu handshake

Fried fish, a wheelchair and an impromptu handshake

This is a thread about an encounter I experience all to often as a person with a disability.

Yesterday, I was eating dinner at a local fish place with my dad when a man came up to the table and asked to shake my dad’s hand.

“I just wanted to shake your hand and say it’s awesome what you do,” he said. “I have a son with a disability too.”

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Knowing (who you are) is half the battle

Knowing (who you are) is half the battle

We are all fighting battles. Some fight on a battlefield. Others fight within themselves. But we are all searching for victories in our own wars. 

But no matter where or what you’re fighting for, it’s important to remember just how strong we can be. 

More than 20 years ago, most of my physical strength left me. My arms and legs weakened by an illness I couldn’t see and condition that seemed insurmountable. As I laid motionless in that hospital bed, surrounded by tubes and cables, I learned the true meaning of "strong."

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