SHECHAM   49,218
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An Update from Chris's mom

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Wow! The summer flew by! We've been super wrapped up in a massive home renovation project, and I hadn't realized how long it had been since I last sent an update. I'll try to keep it short:

With the help of several strapping young (and old) men, we tore down the old section of our house in June, and began the long process of rebuilding and renovating. What was a collection of small rooms with uneven floors and several step-ups and step-downs is now a beautiful open and fully accessible floor plan designed by Chris. There's still a lot of finish work, but we hope to be finishing up before the holidays.

In July, Chris spent two weeks on Long Island at the Empower SCI program at Stony Brook University. What an incredible experience he had! Not only did he gain and perfect many self-care and daily living skills, but he also earned the nickname "McGiver" for a few of the innovations he shared with the other participants. This included making bed rails for two of the folks out of PVC piping from the local Home Depot. Chris is very much on the threshold of independence.

In August, Chris had a second driving evaluation, this time with Easter Seals. Besides a vision and PT eval., they also evaluated his response time using a driving simulator, then took him out on the road for nearly two hours of driving time! It was determined that Chris doesn't need some of the assistive "stuff" that the original evaluator thought he would. A new "prescription" was written, and will now go out to bid. MassRehab. will pay for the modifications to a vehicle, but Chris has to buy the vehicle.

Long story short, Chris has begun raising funds on his own through an online site called GoFundMe. He has already raised over 20% of his goal of $25,000 thanks to many of you! To support his efforts, we are also holding a fundraising event in November at Tekoa Country Club in Westfield. A group of wonderful friends (my school family) have offered to organize the event which will be very much like the first one we did almost two years ago. More information will be coming, but here are the particulars so far:

Friday, November 22, 2013, probably starting somewhere around 6:30 pm.
Tekoa Country Club, Rt.20, Westfield, MA.
Cash bar, fingerfoods, desserts
Raffle prizes
Live band - this is the best part - The Cooper Jones Band will be playing for us! They are a very talented local band with quite a following of their own. Please check out their video by cutting and pasting this address:

We went to see them play at Opa Opa's last night, and they were really wonderful! It will be a great time, so mark the date!!!

Once again, our thanks to all of you who continue to cheer us on as we make this journey. Your love and support gives us such strength and determination! We love you all so much!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCAMA 9/9/2013 7:31AM

  Glad he is doing so well.

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PATSYB7 9/9/2013 5:38AM

    Great news! Thanks for sharing! Let's put up an event on Facebook. :O)

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NEW-CAZ 9/9/2013 2:59AM

    Chris is an inspiration Shelia, I wish him luck with his continued improvement and his endeavours. Thanks for the update
Have a good week emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/9/2013 12:21AM

    Wonderful update! Chris is blessed to have such an active army of supporters. He sounds like a really fine young man.

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WALLAHALLA 9/8/2013 9:59PM

    thanks for the update!

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Chris 2 years later: Amazing!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Many of you have prayed for Chris these past two years. His progress has been nothing short of miraculous. Please follow the link and read Chris's own words as he tells his story. Chris has inspired me so much. He has helped us in design of the construction of the porch we are building.

This link does request donations... or monetary gifts to help him with one last hurdle toward independence. Please feel free to donate if you are inspired and able to do so, but prayers are also greatly appreciated. Gifts are not tax deductible...but would be a great pay it forward act of kindness... Even if you cannot donate, go and read his story... and get a first hand look at this amazing young man.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALLAHALLA 8/28/2013 5:25PM

    Absolutely amazing how far he has come! Will continue to pray!

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ANNEMAC5 8/28/2013 2:08PM

    Thanks for the update, amazing that it is 2 years. Wishing him well he has a great attitude

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JOYINKY 8/28/2013 6:43AM

    Thanks for the update. He is pretty amazing!

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PATSYB7 8/28/2013 5:32AM

    What an amazing young man! So glad he's doing well! Thanks for the update!

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REBECCAMA 8/28/2013 5:29AM

  It's been a long journey. Glad he is doing so well.

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ZRIE014 8/28/2013 12:25AM

  wish you the best and prayer are with you

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Chris Update

Saturday, May 25, 2013

After many, many moons, Chris has finally been able to get his Trackchair!
Check out the awesome video clips on YouTube!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCAMA 5/26/2013 7:54AM

  That is great.

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PATSYB7 5/26/2013 5:29AM

    Thanks for the update, Sheila! So happy for Chris! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 5/26/2013 2:55AM

    emoticon FANTASTIC!

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JOYINKY 5/25/2013 11:08PM


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WALLAHALLA 5/25/2013 10:21PM


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EN10011 5/25/2013 10:20PM

  I only hope that some day he will no longer need it!

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SHANNONY84 5/25/2013 9:50PM

    Amazing! Thank you for the update!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Well, many of you know, I have been really struggling with migraines this year. It has greatly interfered with my ability to exercise, which in turn made it harder to eat right and maintain weight. I went to a neurologist last fall when the migraines were really awful... and have been following his care since. It has helped minimally. I requested a referral to another neurologist and met with him Friday. I am now more hopeful. What complicates my care, is that I also have arthritis which has really caused significant neck pain. When in pain, I find I hunch my shoulders to protect myself... this is instinctual... and hard to stop. Well my weight is up and I have gotten pretty discouraged... but am finding myself hopeful after meeting my new doc. He felt my neck and asked me if I could feel a response in the area where the migraines are when he poked various muscles. He is sending me to a PT who works closely with him and can hopefully help me deal with these muscles. It will take brief exercises 10 times a day... I would love to get control of this without pills... What makes me really hopeful is that he was able to describe what I have been thinking is happening to me exactly... so I have made an appointment with my rheumatoid doc and may get a shot in the neck to help ease the pain, will contact the PT to begin therapy... and will hopefully get this under control. Today I started charting my food with greater effort (even though it is St. Patrick's Day!). I am intending to go back to really sparking... because as my page says... for me, at least, sorta sparking is not really effective... I may not get on to post in my groups as often as I would like for a few weeks... but after April 1st work will slow down... so I can become more regular in my groups then... I want to thank the friends who have encouraged me step by step.. these past months. I am more grateful than I have told you... You know who you are... THANK YOU... I do believe that it is amazing how wonderfully helpful it is to have these Spark friends, many of whom I have never met in person, come to mean so much to me. So thank you all for encouraging me, caring about me, praying for me.... it has all been so helpful, that even when I did not comment or appear active, I was receiving your messages and it kept me here... as a Sparker and is making this route back (once again) easier... so thank you all. Spring is coming and with it I find hope and inspiration. I hope you all find the same...
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATGOAL135 4/5/2013 11:18AM sorry about your insurance not wanting to pay for PT. If you can't get it worked out, I will highly recommend "Massage Envy" as a possible alternative. I pay $39.95 per month (and my rate stays the same even if local rates long as I let my contract renew automatically). Rate here in AZ is still $39.95 but MN rate has raised to $49.95. Good and bad news is "you sign a year a contract" for once monthly massage/treatment.

I have found both in MN and in AZ massage therapists who duplicate what has been done by PT therapist for my neck/occipitals, etc and have kept my migraines away. From posts in "50+ Maintainers" you may remember last winter 2011/12 how bad I was with neck/shoulder pain. Now that I am so much better, if I miss going one month, the session is "banked" and I can use it to go whenever I need may go twice in one month.

I realize the $39.95 is a real commitment.....but, my other massage place charged between $60-70 for massage and for the type I get (trigger point) it was $70. So, I was not going until I could hardly move and was desperate....and felt guilty I was spending that much money. Now, I go regularly (which is better for me) and feel I am getting a bargain rate.
Hope you feel better soon, Di

PS: It was trial/error and took trying 3 therapists before I found the perfect one (for me) here in AZ. I received very nice massage from all of them but I know what techniques really help my pain and took into consideration how I felt in the days following my trigger point massages. If my MN therapist is no longer working, I will need to go through that process again when we arrive there. Confident I will find a good person wherever I am....that's another plus, you can be traveling and most larger cities have this chain and will book an appointment for you at your contract rate.

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EDUCGRAD 3/23/2013 4:14PM

    Hoping you can get some help with these.hugs. emoticon

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MNNICE 3/18/2013 10:15PM

    The body can be so complicated, but hopefully the combination of physician and pt will find the answers for you to get relief from the headaches!

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WALLAHALLA 3/18/2013 3:40PM

    Sounds like things may be looking up for you soon!

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NEW-CAZ 3/18/2013 4:13AM

    Shelia I'm glad you've found a doctor you have more faith it, sometimes it takes time to find someone you can connect with and who inspires confidence.
You are such a strong person- hang in there.
Hoping his treatment helps and you get some relief real soon hun emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 3/17/2013 10:46PM

    Shiela, This sounds wonderful! I hope you have success with this battle to restore your health and comfort. The new Dr. sounds like a winner! You will make it because you don't give up! Stay strong. Hugs.

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Distracted Driving...

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Follow this link for a quick but powerful video that shows just how fatal distracted driving can be.... The video was taken with a dashboard camera by a state trooper. Stay safe my friends...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALLAHALLA 1/3/2013 7:56PM

    Whoa...glad I wasn't on that scene

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NEW-CAZ 1/3/2013 3:11AM

    WOW!\ A powerful warning. Stay safe emoticon

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FIT4MEIN2013 1/2/2013 10:59PM

    Have a SAFE new year!

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SHECHAM 1/2/2013 10:50PM

    the cs is part of the link...

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