7 Gifts from my Spinal Cord Injury

I know I’m bringing this up at the last possible moment, but September is spinal cord injury awareness month! With that in mind, I wanted to share with you all that I’ve gained from living with a spinal cord injury.

7. Patience and humility

These 2 things have been the toughest to grasp and I still fight with them every day, but I am thankful that I’m much closer than I was pre-injury. Patience has always been a weak spot for me and I’ve never been one to ask for help (I’m still not, but I’m at least much more willing!). I’ve had to be patient with learning new ways to do many things and coming to terms with them not happening overnight. Living with a spinal cord injury, I also often need help with things that I was independent with before, like hanging pictures on my wall or picking heavy things off the floor (I had a watermelon in my living room for days…).

6. Wonderful friendships

I’ve been so lucky to meet a ton of great people who I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with before. I have made many lifelong friendships with nurses, PTs, recreational therapists, volunteers, and so many wheelchair users! I used to have no pals in wheelchairs, which is so sad to say! The wheelchair users I’ve met have all been kind, hilarious, adventurous, and so incredibly genuine!


5. Time

On one hand, being in a wheelchair has taken away time. I saw a blog post reflecting on this concept once, and it really resonated with me. So many things in my day-to-day life take longer than they used to, taking away precious time. On the other hand, I’ve had so much more time for the important things. Before Bike & Build, I was working two jobs, losing sleep, and sacrificing moments with family and friends. I had no time for the important things. I believe that my spinal cord injury was God’s way of telling me to slow down. Relax. Make time for what’s important.

4. Some good laughs!

I have always been one to make light of the situations I’m in and my spinal cord injury has put me in some great situations! I especially love getting together with other wheelchair users, and laughing at situations we’ve been put in and conversations we’ve had. People sometimes don’t know how to react when they see a wheelchair user and that makes them say some really strange things. Let’s laugh about it sometime!

3. New opportunities

I’ve done so many things in the past couple years that I would’ve never done before my injury. Time and money were always limiting factors but so was fear. Fear of not doing well, looking silly, or failing. I’ve come to realize that life is way too short to let those things get in the way. Setting those fears aside allowed me to open myself up to new opportunities. I’ve been skiing, luging, mountain biking, and kayaking, and I discovered that I love them all! The clinics I’ve been to for adaptive sports have had such a positive impact in my life, and wouldn’t have been available to me prior to my injury.

2. New perspective

As you can probably imagine, being in a wheelchair has given me a whole new perspective on life. Before my SCI, I was a nursing assistant. I was no stranger to wheelchairs, accessibility, and the health issues associated with SCIs- or so I thought. When I became a wheelchair user, I realized that I knew nothing. Ramps, doorway width, parking, accessible stores… This was a whole new world I had to figure out! Unsurprisingly, I now see and can predict issues before they arise. The best part though? So can my friends and family! The able bodied people in my life often see issues from my perspective and they tend to get more upset about them than I do. I took one for the team, and we’re all more aware because of it!

1. Appreciation

Surviving the collision that left me paralyzed has given me an immense appreciation for the life God has given to me. Before my injury, I looked at life a little differently. I knew that death was very real and life was very short, but I never appreciated the life I was living. The boring, mundane day-to-day is still life worth living. It’s a gift to be appreciated! God has blessed us with the time we have, and I’m so thankful to be living it on wheels now.

When you see someone living with a spinal cord injury, please remember these things and don’t look down on us with pity. Yeah, sometimes life is hard, but it can also be really good.


Thank You

Here is my last blog post from my trip blog, CollisiontoCoast.com.

Thank you- two words that seem so small and insignificant when you need them most. You say ‘thank you’ when someone holds open a door for you or wishes you ‘good luck’. You say ‘thank you’ when you don’t even mean it, when you don’t know what else to say. What do you say when people you don’t even know donate their time, money, and energy into helping you live out your dream? A simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t feel sufficient enough as you’ve all given me something that I could never repay or reciprocate. You’ve given me my wheel dip back. While I know I could never adequately thank everyone who was invested in Collision to Coast, I can still try! So here it goes!

First, I want to thank my Dad for everything he’s done to make my trip possible. I could not have made it to the coast without him! Besides letting us borrow his truck, he put in so much time and effort into making my camper accessible for me. Because of him, I didn’t have to worry about finding a place to sleep where the beds weren’t too high or the only accessible room wasn’t taken! Dad worried about my trip way more than I ever did, and because of that we were able to problem solve a lot of issues before they arose! He also drove the camper half way out to Idaho Falls to start, and brought it back to Michigan after my trip. My whole family was really supportive of me and it was comforting to know they had my back. Extra thanks to Sarah who also made it out for my kick off ride in Idaho Falls. She continues to be my sounding board and my level headed assurance when I need it.

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Davis for all the love and support you continue to give me and my teammates. You have been such a blessing over the last couple years. Thank you for the encouragement and generosity you’ve shown to us.

Thank you to Lucas for driving my camper out to Denver! You are so generous for taking your days off to help me out!

Thank you to all the bike shops that have helped trick out my bike. Thanks to Quality Home Medical for helping me pick out my handcycle and getting me all set to finish out my ride. Thanks to Sweet Bikes in Canton, MI for the regular maintenance and problem solving you’ve done! Thanks to Ride Designs in Colorado for creating a custom cushion for my hand cycle to make those long ride bearable! Thank you to Mountain View Cyclery in Coeur d’Alene, ID for adjusting my bike to fit my cast!

Thank you to Roger, Becky, and everyone at Idaho Falls Presbyterian Church for hosting us for a meal and conversation when the team arrived in Idaho Falls. Those leftovers lasted us a few days at least! Thank you for those who also joined us on Saturday for the kick off ride.

Thank you to everyone who helped out with the Collision to Coast Kick Off Ride in Idaho Falls! I’ve said it before, but I know there is no way it would’ve gone as well as it did if I was in charge of planning the ride. Davin Napier and the Idaho Mountain Trading crew went out of their way to organize the ride, secure police escorts, provide fuel after the ride, and do all the running around for me in Idaho Falls. They also organized a raffle and fundraiser to help me out with the trip costs. More on that at the end! Thank you to Brian Hobbs who provided the Collision to Coast banner and set up a gathering place at the collision site to send us off on the 10 mile ride. He spoke the kindest words at a small ceremony he organized and has continued to be an advocate for the rights of cyclists in Idaho Falls. It was so good to have the support of the cycling community and have so many of them join me for a ride. I loved seeing lots of familiar faces from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center at the event, too! Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for maintaining the ghost bike and opening up your lawn and driveway to all of us. We are so grateful!

Thank you to my team who literally pushed me to the coast at times. Evie, Catherine, Kate, Morgan, and Suzette were so fantastic with helping me prepare for this summer. Creating websites, fundraising, routing, shopping- they did it all! I wish I could list off everything they’ve done, but that would be a super long list! Morgan and Kate were able to join me for the whole route. What would I have done without their support? I can tell you what I couldn’t have done- tow/park the camper, get in and out of my bike, bike up some really steep gravel sections, gas and grocery runs, and so much more. They came in clutch when it came to figuring out some logistical nightmares and really anything that required me to use my brain after biking 9 hrs. Thank you to them for dealing with ‘1pm-Laura’ and letting me takes lots of roadside naps! Evie was with us for much of the time as well, and she is so great at getting things done! She shared the same responsibilities as Morgan and Evie when she was there and always took off running with whatever task I threw at her. Special thanks for sitting with me in the ER for 8 hours when I broke my ankle and just needed someone to ramble to all night! I also had many other teammates/ bike and builders show up to ride or chill with us on the trip- Celia, Liam, Chloe, Emily, Rob, Catherine, Hao, Beavers, Caresse, Iris, McClain, Amanda, Bern, Carmen, Cob, JR, and Kelsey. They often shared the load of helping me navigate the world of bike touring, which I’m sure was a welcomed break for Kate and Morgan! Special thanks to Rob for joining the team to drive the camper, but also ending up taking over lots of routing and rerouting for me. What a weight off my shoulders! I also want to thank all of my teammates for the little things you helped me with that added up to big things. They are innumerable.

Thank you to Dave at By The Way Campground in Pinehurst, Idaho. I rolled in to camp with a (unbeknownst to anyone) broken ankle, and he welcomed me with open arms and a free latte coupon! We stayed at the campground for 2 nights during my doctor mandated days off, and we felt so welcomed! Dave really stuck out to the whole team because of his generosity during our stay!

Thank you to Emily and her husband Alex who joined us for a few days to ride and help the team out. They took me out to the store to buy a new phone and treated me to dinner! It was SO NICE. They helped out with groceries, and we were so thankful Alex was around with their rental car when the truck battery died. After the trip, Emily flew out to Denver to help me drive back to Michigan and keep me company! I can’t thank these two enough for being such wonderful humans!

Thank you to Nathan for letting my teammates and our bikes crash on your floor/couch/backyard (I have no idea what went down) when we were in Portland! Also, thanks for leading us out of town on our way to the next stop. It would’ve been a very confusing morning without you!

Thank you to Terry Pack Photography for capturing my wheel dip into the Pacific Ocean! I am so grateful I have those pictures and am glad you decided to stop by Haystack Rock that day. Thank you to Irene for capturing the dip on video! You are so kind to livestream the day on Facebook!

Thank you to everyone who donated money to help make Collision to Coast happen! Whether it was through the Go Fund Me, in person, or purchasing glassware or raffle tickets at Idaho Mountain Trading, it made all the difference. You are the reason I made it to the coast! Speaking of Idaho Mountain Trading, they were able to donate $1200 to Collision to Coast with proceeds from the bike raffle and the glassware sales! I am still in awe of their generosity! Congrats to Nancy on the bike she won and thank you for your support.

Thank you to the Challenged Athletes Foundation for the grant to help me finish my ride to the coast! They were able to offset the cost of gas to get my camper across the states, which helped out a lot!

Thank you for all your prayers for a safe and successful ride from Idaho Falls, Idaho to Cannon Beach, Oregon. God has blessed me beyond all measure with an exceptional support group who always believes in me and encourages me to do more. I thank God that I made it to the coast safely and was able to finally celebrate a ride well done with my team.

Because of your generosity, we exceeded our fundraising goal and $1900 will be donated to the Anne Davis Memorial Fund for Environmental Science and Policy at William and Mary. The fund provides support for the most pressing needs of the ENSP program, with a preference for acquiring sustainable materials such as native plants and solar panels. I am elated that we are able to donate such a large amount to Anne’s memorial fund, and I know that Anne would be as well.

I know I sound like a broken record by now, but thank you. Those two words still seem insignificant, but hopefully I’ve gotten my point across. Enough thank yous cannot be said to adequately express how much your support has meant to me this summer. I could not have finished my ride without you.


And I’ve been dreaming of the open road

Collision to Coast blue background

To start, I just want to give a huge shoutout to everyone who has helped me with Collision to Coast so far! I could not have done this without all of the support I’ve been given- emotionally, financially, and logistically. My team and I are so grateful to know that you have our backs. People we don’t yet know personally are helping us to make this happen and that is a great feeling!

With that being said, we are just under two weeks away and I still feel like there is so much to do (probably because there is)! Mostly just packing, making some phone calls, and writing out some cue sheets. Nothing that needs to be worried about (Dad!). I’m just getting excited to make my way to Idaho on Friday and get this thing started! It’s finally sinking in that I actually get to finish my ride this summer.

As you all probably know by now, the collision occurred on our way in to Idaho Falls, ID. We had about 10 miles left in that day. The plan is to bike those final 10 miles to begin Collision to Coast. We will be biking that stretch on Saturday, June 16th at 10 am. Davin, at the local bike shop Idaho Mountain Trading, has been so helpful in planning and coordinating this event. Brian, who donated the bike at Anne’s Memorial, has also been instrumental in the planning of this ride (Read- They’ve been doing all the work for me). In all seriousness though, I am forever indebted to the people of Idaho Falls for putting so much time and effort into making this ride go smoothly. I want to invite the community to ride with us as we begin our trek to the coast. I hope that this ride will bring more awareness to the rights of cyclists on public roads and humanize us so that when people see a bike, they see the person behind it. I want to live in a world where people expect to see bikes on the road and respect the people riding them. Let’s work on that together!

If you’re interested in riding with us or know someone who is, please RSVP on the Facebook event so that we know how many people to expect. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and putting names to faces!



Feeling Like Myself Again

hand controls

A couple weeks ago I needed to pick up a prescription refill, so I drove myself to the drug store. This was the single most freeing event I’ve had since becoming paralyzed. For the first time in nearly two years, I didn’t have to ask someone to do my boring chores. For the first time in nearly two years, I didn’t have to wait until someone wasn’t busy. For the first time in nearly two years, I went somewhere BY MYSELF.

I don’t think I realized quite how much I missed my old self until I could drive again. I used to love driving! I loved making last minute plans or meeting up with friends for lunch. If I needed to go shopping or pick something up, I could just drive myself to get it. I’ve missed that freedom.

Getting hand controls installed in my car was the final piece of the puzzle. I’m still working on getting my chair in and out of my car and some other logistics, but that will come with time. It’s taken longer than I’d hoped, but I’m finally feeling like myself again.


Exciting News!

Last fall, I applied for a grant through the Challenged Athletes Foundation to help offset some of the costs of finishing my cross country route this summer. CAF awards grants every year to help people with disabilities live an active lifestyle. The grants can be used to buy sports equipment, pay for coaching, or to help cover travel/ competition expenses.

I found out a couple weeks ago that my application was accepted! I asked specifically for a grant to help pay for gas money on the trip and am so thankful for that need being met! I cannot thank them enough for helping to make Collision to Coast possible!

Thanks to CAF and all my friends and family for supporting me on this adventure!

Never Stop Riding

This summer, I will be finishing the cross country ride that I started in 2016 but unfortunately wasn’t able to finish. I will be riding my handcycle an average of 40 miles a day and the trip will take about 4 weeks. Some of my teammates will be joining for parts of the route, with many of them riding into Cannon Beach with me on July 13th- the 2 year anniversary of the collision.
I’m anxious to ride the final 1000 or so miles to the coast. I owe it to both myself and Anne. There’s a part of me that thinks I’m crazy and doubts that the feat is doable on a handcycle. The louder part of me says that I’ll never know until I try.

Check out our website and follow along on the journey from Collison to Coast at CollisiontoCoast.com .

Why I Ride

Whenever I ride, I often think about Anne. I think about when I first met her at Bike & Build orientation. She had a giant pack for such a slender person. She had multiple bike gloves, because “Mom just kept buying them”. She accepted the raincoat I bought in the wrong size and was too lazy to return. She had introduced herself as Animated Anne during an ice breaker and after knowing her for a summer, it made sense.

I think about her when I pump my tires, as she really put her whole body into the effort. I think about her when I don’t finish a meal, because she would finish yours even if she didn’t like it. There was no purpose to letting it go to waste.

I think about Anne when I struggle up a hill, and am brought back to our first ride together. It was the second day of the trip and we had to bike over a drawbridge and though a very hilly Virginia. She trekked up every hill much easier than I could, and she wasn’t even using clipless pedals yet. She gave up on them during training.

When I ride I think about Patrick. I think about Christina and Paige. I think about the 5 cyclists that were killed in Kalamazoo when they were hit by a drunk driver. I heard about this news while on my trip, but still naively thought “that wouldn’t happen to us”. I’m reminded of the group of people I now identify with- the survivors. I think about Bridget and Tricia and Rachel and the 4 other cyclists in Kalamazoo.

I was talking to a friend last week after I went public about my plans to complete my cross country route. I was somewhat baffled that my ride drew so much attention. I told her “I’m just biking! Nothing thousands of people before me haven’t done.”

She responded, “Your ride is important because a driver forced you off a road, but you are going back. Every day people in this country drive neglegently and disregard cyclists because they forget we are people. Your ride fights back on both of these things. By all of us who have been victims to cyclist/driver tragedy riding again, we are asserting our places on the road. We are asserting that we are humans who are entitled to safe transit. And every single person we can tell this to will make an infinitesimally small difference in making our roads safer and preventing more crashes.”

Anne Davis is important. Every cyclist is important. My hope and prayer is that you remember these important people when you get behind the wheel and decide that whatever is taking your eyes and mind off the road is more important.

I ride so that we always can.

Our first ride together

From Collision to Coast

On July 31st of 2016, my Bike & Build team dipped their wheels in the Pacific Ocean. On July 31st, I was at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center learning how to live again. I barely remember that day. I remember looking at the white board in my room and seeing the date, and thinking “Oh, my team should be reaching the west coast today”.

When Anne and I dipped our tires in the Atlantic Ocean 2.5 months earlier, we expected to be with our team on July 31st. We had earned it.

The woman who hit us took a lot away from me- She took a wonderful friend; she took my ability to walk; she took the rest of an amazing summer. I won’t let her take my wheel dip.

This summer, I will be finishing my cross country ride and will finally dip my wheel in the Pacific Ocean. Plans are in motion, and we’re just trying to finalize the details. I’m planning on setting off on June 18th and hitting Haystack Rock on July 13th. I hope you’ll join me and my teammates as we head west to the coast. You in?


14 Months

Prior to the collision, I would silently judge when moms referred to their child’s age in months. If they’re less than a year old- I get it. 1-2 years? A stretch. Once they reach 2, it’s just plain unnecessary.

Prior to the collision, I didn’t realize how significant a month can be. In a baby’s life, so much change happens in such a short time. A month can mean learning to eat, sitting up, talking. That’s how my months have been since paralysis- every month a milestone. I’m getting to the point where marking time in months seems superfluous, but every month is still so significant! So, here’s how month 13 and 14 went.

I don’t think I’ve stopped moving in the last 2 months. This summer has been dedicated to travel and figuring it all out. Let me tell you- it’s been a lot of trial and error! Speaking clearly and intentionally has never been a strong suit of mine, but I think I’m starting to learn the lingo.

I spent just under a week in Washington DC over the 1 year anniversary of the collision. I survived my first solo flight as a wheelchair user, and was able to navigate a 5 night hotel stay (albeit with lots of hurdles). It was great to just hang out with Sarah and spend time with a lot of my teammates- most of them I had not seen since our last ride together. They are some of the most genuine people I’ve met and I don’t know how I ever lived without knowing them. When my wheelchair broke, they stepped up to fix it. When my bed was too high, they took the frame off. It was great to have that constant supply of laughter and support. My teammates are what I’m not and everything I need. Alright, that’s enough of that…

We were also able to meet up with Anne’s parents and share lunch with them!

A few weeks after heading back home, I was able to go kayaking, which was much easier than I thought it would be! I’m anxious to go more next summer. I had outriggers on since it was pretty windy out, but other than that it wasn’t super adapted. I loveeeee finding things to do that don’t need to be modified for me! I had a lot of fun!

One of my best friends from college had asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, so we had a week of fun! I love weddings! Everyone was so great and super helpful. Most of the activities were outside, so I feel like I squeezed a good workout in! It’s a miracle, but I was able to keep the floor length dress clean all night! That deserves a medal. It was great to catch up with my college friends and celebrate the bride and groom.

I closed out August with heading to Colorado for Camp Discovery! Camp Discovery is a 3 day camp for women wheelchair users focused on fitness and overall health. It also aims to foster friendships and help build confidence. I had a blast! I had never been exposed to many of the sports and activities that we were encouraged to try. I went sailing, hand cycling, rock climbing, ziplining. We were taught a hip hop dance routine by The Rollettes and had a mock biathlon. I had my hand at aerial yoga, and relaxed in the pool. It was one of the best weeks I’ve had since last summer. My favorite part about the whole experience was just being around other female wheelchair users. Prior to camp, I had met very few women that I could relate to (since the accident). Most spinal cord injuries occur in men, so women with SCIs are hard to find! I had always felt so behind from where I should be and was really struggling with that before I went to camp. It was a sigh of relief when I was at Camp Discovery and didn’t feel out of place. For the first time in the past year, I felt like I fit in. I hadn’t even realized that I felt that way until I was there. I just felt lighter. It was so nice talking to the other participants and learning tips and tricks of the trade.

Photo by Mark Woolcott

When I was in Colorado, I stayed a few extra days and met up with some teammates! We went to The Lumineers concert, saw the Rockies play the Tigers, and climbed a few mountains (okay, we drove up them…).

While I love traveling and was able to figure out a lot of the logistics of doing so, I was so happy to be back in my own bed! It’s great to be back in my routine. I’ve been trying to figure out transfers without my slide board and will soon be working on driving again. I’m anxious to hit these last major milestones and start working towards bigger things. So, while marking time in months still seems so superfluous, it feels justified as I’m so much stronger than I was. A lot can change in a month. Stay tuned!


One Year Down

Hey there! Since the GoFundMe that was graciously created for me has been up and running for exactly one year now, I think it is time to find a new medium to keep you all updated on what I’m up to. I invite you to follow me here on my new blog. I’ve had such a great support system and truly appreciate all the love I’ve been shown, so come along for the ride if you’d like!

As today is the 1 year anniversary of the collision in Idaho Falls, I’d like to reflect upon where I’ve been and how far I’ve come since July 13th, 2016. This past year has been interesting- nothing I could’ve ever prepared for.

In my last GoFundMe update, I had just moved back to Michigan and everything was still so new. I was getting the hang of things, for sure, but it’s SO much better now. Therapy was kicking my butt and I slept 10-12 hrs a night- often with a nap in between. I was still trying to figure out the easy way to do things like rolling over in bed or getting up the ramp into my house. (Side note- ‘ADA compliant’ continues to be a phrase that gets me started. In my opinion, the requirement rarely means wheelchair friendly, and often still requires me to ask for assistance. I don’t want to have to wait for someone to walk by to open a heavy door for me. But I digress…)

The holidays were fun! I was able to pass out candy on Halloween and host Thanksgiving dinner (I let Dad take care of the 14 lb turkey). It was nice to do the ‘normal’ things I loved doing before, and with very little modifications.

December was rough. I was in and out of the hospital a lot and met the floor a couple of times. All of my siblings were in town for Christmas this year and I was supposed to make Christmas Eve dinner. Unfortunately I came home from the hospital 3 pm that day, but everyone did their best to make everything as normal for me as possible. It was a good day, albeit exhausting!

In January, a few of my teammates visited and learned just how terrible having a metal chair in the cold Michigan tundra is! I’m so grateful they’re always up for a challenge and go the extra mile to make me comfortable. I introduced some of them (from Kentucky) to coney islands and Tim Horton’s. I saw The Lumineers again in concert, which was a definite highlight! The venue was indoors and super accessible. I was also able to try out Rewalk- a robotic exoskeleton that allows me to ‘walk’. The machine stands me up and takes the steps for me. I would control it using a watch- deciding when to stand up, walk, and sit down. It was fun, but really hard for me. I was still working on my body tolerating standing at the time, so I was worried about my blood pressure dropping. I had a hard time finding my balance and had to put in a lot of effort to stand up in the machine. I love trying new things in therapy and this made for some great sessions.

In February, I gave adaptive skiing a try. I wasn’t ready to sign up for the lesson, but Michigan Adaptive Sports let me jump on one of their biskis before the session began, and someone skied me down the bunny slope a few times. It gave me a feel for the sport, and I’m so anxious to actually do the lesson this winter! Skiing is something I’ve always wanted to do, but never found the opportunity. I had never realized that paras could still go downhill solo! It looks super difficult, so it’s a good thing I’ve always loved a challenge. February 11th would have been Anne’s 23rd birthday, so my teammates and I decided to do 23 miles in her honor wherever we were at the time. We invited the rest of the Bike & Build community along, and it was awesome to see all the love for Anne and her family. I don’t have a handcycle yet, but I was able to roll 2.3 miles in my chair down the city’s great path system. It was unseasonably warm for February in Michigan, so it was a great day for celebrating Anne! Dad and my dog enjoyed the walk with me!

March and April were slow months for me- just lots of PT and OT to work on getting stronger. At the end of March, all my siblings came up to see my dad get married! It was a fun weekend of expanding the family and seeing my siblings!

May was fun, busy, and overwhelming! I was approved to move into my own apartment as part of a rehab program! I was so excited, but going through all of my stuff was a process. I’ve moved so many times since starting college, but these past couple moves have been hard for me. It’s really difficult relying on everyone else to do all the lifting and moving for me. One of the hardest parts of the first year of being paralyzed is having to constantly need help. I’m doing much better at both not needing lots of extra help, and also not getting myself into situations where I would need extra help. I’m much more aware of what I am able to do, and I’m learning that the list is infinite. I really can do everything I could do when I walked; I just have to do more problem solving than I used to. Living in a place designed for wheelchairs is great! I can cook and bake all I want again, as the kitchen is fully accessible. The difficult parts about being on my own are the same as they were when I left for college years ago. As part of the rehab program I’m in, I’m working with OT to get more independent in my own home. I’m also doing fitness and vocational therapy. I like to keep busy!

20170522_191616 (1)
January loves our new apartment!

June was fun! I started using KAFOs in PT. They’re basically braces that keep all my leg joints locked. I’m learning how to put weight through my legs to hold me upright and balanced. It’s a lot of fun to be at everyone’s height. My body is much more used to standing now than when I tried Rewalk, so it’s great to not have to worry about passing out and such! I’ve started trying to ‘walk’ in the KAFOs by shifting my weight, but I don’t have the logistics completely figured out yet. Baby steps.


I also took my shot at handcycling in June! I didn’t get to do a full ride, but took the bike around the block and was sized for the one I’ll want (I picked a pink one, obviously). I’m super excited to dive into handcycling and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival! It’s no secret anymore that I want to finish out my route from last summer, and this bike is the first step to doing so! I’d like to head out to Idaho now to get started; patience has never been a strongsuit. I did finish out June by heading back to Idaho Falls to support Mr. & Mrs. Davis. It was so good to finally meet them, even though I already felt so connected. We mourned Anne’s death; we celebrated her life. It was a very emotional few days. I was able to reconnect with some of my nurses, therapists,

So, I guess you could say that I’ve been keeping busy! What’s next? Well, my new bike should be coming in soon, so that’ll be exciting. I would also like to get back to driving here. That will be a whole process, and I would like to get started on that as soon as I can. Moving out on my own is also on the horizon. Plenty of things to be excited about!

Thank you so much for all the love and support you’ve shown my family and I over the past year. I cannot begin to express enough gratitude to everyone who’s been in my corner praying, encouraging, listening.  I thank God for bringing all of you in my life, and I know He has a lot in store for me. Bring on year 2!