Injury Anniversary and Disability Awareness Month

It’s not your typical anniversary but it is one I still celebrate. March 2 is not only the anniversary of the on-set of my spinal cord injury but it is also the start of Disability Awareness Month.

On March 2, 2001, I broke my neck in two places and my back in three places. When I celebrate this day, I am celebrating life! I enter this day, like many others, with a heart of thankfulness. Perspective is everything, I choose to look at the things I can still do and not what I lost that day.

I drive a pick-up truck, I golf, and I kayak and really enjoy being outdoors. I am currently training with a coach to be competitive in hand cycling. I continue enjoying all these things simply because I love life! And while I am living the best life I can, I hope that somehow it translates to encourage others.

I’m also a retired dispatcher of the Oconee County Sheriff's Office. I remember one call - in particular. It was a late night call that came into 911 from a young man who had been injured in a diving accident. This young man needed help. He had no idea when he made the call, that the person on the other end of the call was a paraplegic. I talked with him until emergency help could get to him. I often reflect and think how different that call might have gone had I not been able to relate to the young man.

As I celebrate yet another anniversary, one that may not seem worth celebrating, I am reminded of all the things I have to be grateful for. My aspiration is to make my anniversary, which also marks Disability Awareness Month, about living life to the fullest. Reaching your highest and greatest ability...isn’t that something we could all learn, disabled or not?



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