“Ugh,” I groan as I drop the block from my rather tenuous left-handed grasp. I’ve been struggling for the better part of the hour-long therapy session with a weak hand that won’t cooperate. How long will it take to accomplish such a simple task? How many more repetitions stand between me and and regaining a sense of normalcy?
As a disabled young stroke survivor, I know all too well what it is like to lose almost everything. Waking up unable to speak, swallow, move my arm, walk – is a truly terrible experience I would never wish on anyone. But even despite all the hardship this experience has caused me, I feel grateful and extremely fortunate. Yes I lost a lot, but I gained a lot more. I have been blessed with an incredible support system as well as the rehabilitative resources needed to progress in my recovery journey.
I know am lucky. I am lucky to be alive and to have made the tremendous gains I have in a relatively short amount of time. And I realize that not everyone has access to rehabilitative resources like I have, so I’m trying to do my part to help change and improve the lives of others.
Last year I joined the board of directors of Children of Vietnam, a nonprofit with a mission to lift children and families in Vietnam out of poverty by providing them with education, employment, vocational resources, and financial assistance. I feel very passionately about the mission of Children of Vietnam (COV), and specifically about this year’s fundraiser to support children with disabilities.
This year, my fellow board members and I are cycling to end child poverty. I can’t cycle (yet) so to raise money, I am pledging to walk 1 million steps by my birthday (April 9). The money I raise will go to benefit the COV Hope System of Care for children with disabilities. Access is everything, and I want to help others the way I have been helped and empowered to succeed. I challenge all of you as well to join me in committing to 10,000 steps a day for the month of April. Join my team (Maddi’s team) and let’s cycle, walk, and move to end child poverty. Onward!
Read more about Children of Vietnam here.
Thank you so much for your support!