Thursday, October 13, 2016

Guest Posted for Invacare's SCI blog, Roll Revolution

One of the necessary evils of being a writer is to engage in "shameless self-promotion." But, as someone who survived a spinal cord injury (SCI), and experienced a significant recovery, I've always been forward to sharing my story(ies).

Recently, Invacare, a leader in the medical equipment industry (especially pertinent for people with SCI) started a blog called Roll Revolution. It focuses on helping people deal with SCI.

And, they asked me to write a guest post for the blog. Needless to say, I was stoked. But I am more stoked that they decided to use the post I submitted.

Of course, this is a plug for the post I wrote, but I encourage people to check out the blog. It's still early, but the blog posts so far are really useful, and I think and hope it will mature int a great site.

Please check out my post called "Inspiration as a by product."

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mr. Heavyfeet

Although I walk around pretty normally these days, it feels different. How different?  Being a big fan of the "old" comedy troupe, Kids in the Hall, here is a clip of how my legs feel on a normal day.


My Heavyfeet clip from Kids in the Hall

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Toe Up to 10K wins Gold Medal in 2015 Reader's Favorite Book Awards

My book, Toe Up to 10K, won the Gold medal in the 2015 Reader's Favorite Book Awards in the category: Non-fiction - inspirational.

It's been a busy half year. I will try to start posting regularly again.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Motocross Star Pauly Plewa Spinal Cord Injured Set to Run 10K

Pauly Plewa was a motocross rider who injured his brain and spinal cord in an accident in March, 2012.  His chances of regaining any sensation below the chest was given at 2%.

Now, 3 years later, he is set to run 10K May 10th in the Wings For Life World run, which takes place in several cities at the same time.  If I remember correctly, it is a race that is organized by another motocross racer who also injured his spinal cord resulting from a racing accident.

Regular readers of this blog know that I set a goal of running a 10K myself, and it will also be three years for me in June, 2015.  I cannot yet "run" any distance longer than  the length of an intersection, but I think I can improve enough to do a 5K before the end of the year - who knows, maybe even a 10k.

In any event, this is truly an inspirational story reported by cbcnews.com last week.

Pauly Plewa, SCI motocross rider set to run 10K

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Q Fever - Another Scary Mystery illness

In 2012, I came down with viral meningitis.  Viral meningitis isn't supposed to be as bad as meningitis caused by other agents, but I ended up in ICU with kidney and lungs shutting down, and causing me to fall into a semi-conscious state. When I regained full consciousness (among other things), I found that I could not talk, breathe independently, nor move my legs.

I suffered damage to the spinal cord at the T4 level, and was told I may not walk again.  Fortunately, that prediction did not come true, but I still have issues related to walking, and other issues which go with spinal cord injury.

Doctors were never able to positively determine the cause of the spinal cord damage, but I'm sure it is at least indirectly related to the virus that caused the meningitis.

There are many agents out there, and sometimes it takes years to figure out what caused the illness.

Here is story, about a basketball coach who was diagnosed with Q Fever, something that can be transmitted just by breathing the air around a birthing cow. How scary is that?

This story is from FoxNews.com

Basketball Coach's Mysterious Illness is Q Fever

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sweet Gesture by San Diego Padres Baseball Team

Not a Padres fan per se, but love the city of San Diego, love Petco Park, think Bud Black is a great manager, and I think they have a great team this year.

But what is better than reading about what I think about San Diego and its baseball team?  What the team has done for a player they drafted 22 years ago.  A pitcher by the name of Matt LaChappa.

19 years ago, LaChappa, at the age of 20, and a pitcher at the A level, suffered a heart attack.  He uses a wheelchair, and now, age 39, has signed a minor league contract with the Padres for the 20th straight season.  The contract gives him access to health insurance.

Click on the link for the story on CBSsports.com.

Matt LaChappa, pitcher

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jan Zari, the LA Marathon and the City of Hope

"Because sometimes it's nice to do things for other people." wrote Jan when he announced that he would be participating in the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon, as a relay runner and raising money for the City of Hope.

Disclosure: I know Jan personally, for we had worked together for a few years (I have since exited the workforce), and maintain contact through social media platforms.  I didn't tell Jan of this blogpost beforehand, so, "surprise." Hope you like the write-up, and if you don't, too bad.  I found your story to be inspirational and worth sharing.

On Jan's fundraising page, he tells his story of how much he detested running while in junior high school and high school, and what triggered his decision to take up running. Hint: it was health concerns.

Inspirational point #1.  He made a change to his life.  Changes are really difficult to do.  Many people want to change, say they will change, but never get around to making those changes.  Jan has made those changes and with gusto.  Since taking up running, he wrote that he has lost over 50 pounds and his health has improved dramatically.

Inspirational point #2.  Building on the changes with gusto theme, in the two short years he has been entering races formally he has entered 34 races, distances ranging from 5K to 26.2 miles (a full marathon).  All the more impressive because of how much he hated running as a kid.

Inspirational point #3.  Because it's nice to do things for other people.  Jan wrote that he feels that running has given him a second chance at life.  The City of Hope, he writes, through their research and treatment, provides a second chance for many people with serious and life-threatening diseases.  I know people who have had relatives treated at the City of Hope and know it to be a wonderful organization. This is a very good example of helping others by helping oneself.

Even if Jan wasn't raising money for the City of Hope while participating in this year's Los Angeles Marathon, his story is still worth sharing.  I've written this before and will many times in the future, sharing success stories has a positive impact because it serves as inspiration and motivation for people who want to make a change in his/her life.

So, in summary, Jan Zari: a good guy with a good heart (literally and figuratively) running for a good cause.

Visit Jan's fundraising page .