Sometime in August MDA asked me if I would want to go to a fundraiser on behalf of everyone with neuromuscular diseases. They said that all I would have to do is just be there and smile. I agreed to go. I went with one of the ladies (Cecilia) who worked for MDA.
The fundraiser was something that the Jaycees had done, and they were holding a convention about it (and overlooking their whole year) at one of Oklahoma State University's buildings in Stillwater Oklahoma. For those of you who do not know much about the Jaycees it is a nonprofit organization held for men (back in the day) and now women 18-40 to help gain knowledge about business and everyday life. They do a lot of volunteering and service projects.
When we arrived their were about 350 people there. I was thinking that it sure was a good thing all I had to do was smile! Then Cecilia asked me if it would be okay to say a couple of words. I said, “You want me to do what?" She said thank you would be fine. I then go into freak out my mode! So we both when up to the front microphones. Cecilia did most of the talking about MDA and the things they provide. As we were standing up there everything she is saying sounds like an adult figure from the Charlie Brown cartoons! Yes I was standing. I didn't bring the wheelchair along. I knew we wouldn't be walking very far or very much. In my mind I looked more disabled when I was in it. I am sure I was paid more attention to with my drunken self walking instead of rolling! I had so many butterflies in my stomach from looking out over the crowd. Thank you was all I had to say, but I went over and over saying that in my head so I wouldn't forget! It was my turn and she was about to hand it over to me. I was not sure any thing would come out of my mouth as I looked out over at the crowd in fear. I got close to the microphone, and the words came rolling off my tongue like I had done it before. It wasn't that bad and felt kind of good being the center of attention in that way. I remembered what it was like in middle school when I won the Wheel of Fortune contest, and how it felt to be in front of all the other students. Can't remember exactly what I said, but it was more than thank you. When we left the stage I got tons of complements for doing such a good job. It made me feel so good. Cecilia told me that I looked like a pro and seemed so comfortable being up there! It all gave me so much confidence. We went from there to this really good pizza joint, and then stopped by the ever so famous Eskimo Joe's in Stillwater Oklahoma. I had an awesome time.
That day sparked something in me, and have been public speaking, been an ambassador, chairpersom, motivator, and doing volunteer work for the past 17 years for them! I have done some amazing things, and met some of the most amazing people. The list could go on forever. I will continue doing what I can for MDA. For all they have done and are doing still for me I feel that this is the least I can do to pay them back. Due to my FA my speech is effected. I sound like a little girl who got into her parents liquor cabinet! It has gotten worse throughout the years, but has not stopped me from talking! Just ask anyone who knows me!!
Tell me about something you enjoy doing, and the effect it has had on you?
Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S