It is surreal to be writing this first entry. To anyone out there who may be reading along - thank you for stopping by to visit the website! I am new to blogging, and so this is very much a "wing it and see what happens" process for me. It's scary and a bit nerve-wracking to finally go "live" but I couldn't be more excited!
Today feels like a "full-circle moment" when looking back at July 14th, 2017 - the day my world flipped around in the best way possible.
From that day - when I received the letter that I had been quietly hoping for, for nearly 2 years which approved me for life-changing SDR surgery - to now as this dream starts coming true... well...I'm in awe.
I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me to get "Walk with Wish" off the ground. Going live wouldn't have been possible without your support.
This isn't just about fundraising for a surgery though, and I think that's why I feel like a jumbled ball of emotions. I'll touch on this more in the future, but in short, SDR has changed my life already and it hasn't even happened yet. How?
Beautiful people from many corners of the world have been brought into my life because of SDR - they are now dear friends. I've gained a soul sister in New York, a cherished friend and confidante in Dublin Ireland, a spirited and beautiful friend who I wished I'd met so much earlier in life, who lives in Germany. And then there's the support and genuine connections I've made with many other adults who understand what aging with CP really means. A year ago, I knew none of them. And now? My days are brighter, funnier and more doable simply because of the serendipity of discovering SDR... powerful stuff.
And then there was the SDR application process where I was forced to really see my movement and walking on video...and then let others SEE and evaluate that. Truth be told, I put that off for MONTHS. Putting all of your physical struggles on film for a group of individuals to evaluate who hold your fate in their hands...it was SO scary. Yet doing it helped me to begin accepting the challenges of my quirky body in a way that I didn't know I needed to all those months ago. It's been an empowering process of self-discovery that I totally didn't see coming.
Learning about SDR and the phenomenal team behind it in St. Louis has also lit a spark in me to raise awareness to help others discover it too. And I've been filled with joy to see parents and families take a big leap of faith from all over the world - trusting in Dr. Park's care - to give their loved ones the best quality of life possible.
I've been powerfully reminded over and over again about the kindness of others right here in Ontario and the importance of giving back in whatever way we each can. So many local families, (some coincidentally that I grew up with!) are on this same journey thanks to the generosity of people they've never met, and likely never will. Taken together - it's really been something special to witness.
I don't know how this will all unfold and in the end, that's the fun part. All that I know is that SDR has been put on my path for a reason and I am certain it was not at random.
I hope you'll check back often with the blog to see where we go from here!