Sunday, August 26, 2007


For the past several years in August I would volunteer my time with MDA to go to 33 fire stations in three days to speak/motivate firefighters to do the fill the boot campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Labor Day. Each year I enjoyed myself more and more as I really got to know what a bighearted group that they were. A lot of them knew who I was from previous years and would have warm cookies waiting for me. When it was time for lunch at whatever fire station we were at they would fix us lunch, and they can cook let me tell ya! I got rides on a fire trucks, and they always made me feel so welcome. Not to mention a lot of them could burn out my flame at any time, if you know what I am sayin, LOL!! Every year when we would do this one at the firefighters would drive me and one of the people from MDA to each fire station in the Tulsa area. We would get to know that particular firefighter pretty good as they were with us each day. As we were talking in the vehicle I mentioned the fact that since I am now in the wheelchair full-time, and my house had steps I was not able to go outside of my house by myself. Our mailbox was on our fence across the yard, and I was not even able to go get it any more independently. It made me sad, and I was not telling him to figure out a solution to my problem but merely in discussion as he was my friend.

Little did I know, but he had spoken to several firefighters who he knew also did some construction work on the side. They took up a collection of money, bought the lumber, and called me to come over and build a ramp for me at my front door so that I could independently be able to get outside. I was very overwhelmed with emotion when I learned what they did. So six firefighters came over to the house with all of their tools, and the lumber. They sweated in the hot heat for about an hour and a half, and completed a very nice ramp that would gradually slope down. The new station got wind of what they were doing, and came out to tape a segment for the news! Before they left I gave them all big hugs (I did not care that they were sweaty), and begin to cry. None of what they did was to benefit them in anyway. I was so grateful, and would never be able to repay them. About a year and a half later we moved to Ft. Worth Texas (I continued speaking to the firefighters there, and was even flown back to Tulsa to speak to them one year!). The people who bought the house after us left the ramp up for several years as they told us that they had friends in a wheelchair, and the ramp would come in handy. My parents and I often drive by our old house when we go back to visit family and friends. The ramp was taken down about five or six years ago:(

Has anyone ever done something for you that was unexpected and did not benefit them?
I can think of lots of things in my life that people have done for me (even on a daily basis). I shared one of mine, and would love to hear one of yours. It can be big or small, but the meaning behind it all makes it grand! That is why I love volunteering, you get as much when you give as you receive if not more.

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S

Sunday, August 12, 2007

18 AND LEGAL IN 92!!!!!!! [edit*]

A few days before graduation was my 18th birthday! I did not have a big party (Graduating was my party!). My family sang in unison (Lord help us all!) Happy Birthday while handing me a cupcake with a candle in it! A friend of mine who worked for MDA, Christy, came over and we went on to eat then to the Ice Capades!

Turning 18 was a major thing for me because it meant that I could handle more things on my own without parental guidance and/or signatures like buying cigarettes, and making curfew!!! J/K, I had you going there..right? I mean to call the doctor, or sign and fill out paperwork, stuff like that. My mother was (and still is) a wonderful support, but she is a pretty big procrastinator on some things. She was also working during this time which also made it hard to handle it all. Which was another reason I was glad to have more of the monkey on my back. A few months before graduating I was approached by the vocational rehabilitation in Tulsa to talk about my options due to my FA after graduation. They gave me the paperwork to fill out and turn in when I turned 18 to be eligible for Social Security and Medicaid. They would also help with driving school, and getting a car adapted. That was exciting to me for I did not even know it would be possible for me to drive! Not only that but they would also help financially with schooling. What a blessing this was. This was also around the time when I learned the true meaning of the word "red tape.” Forget that you have a disability for several months (or longer) until the government gets around to the paperwork! UGH! A really good friend of mine at the time, Carla, made it her mission to show me the ropes on how to be organized when it came to filing away papers, and in making things look neat. Carla was quite a bit older than me so she had experience. And she would be proud to know that I am still doing some of the things she taught me! She was my camp counselor a couple of years at summer camp when I was in HS. We also spent a lot of time together outside of camp during this time.

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S