Tuesday, February 18, 2014

And Now a Word About Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

On my way to Aquatics Therapy Class this morning with Karis, I bumped into Suzanne Showstack Adams. From my soon to be released memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility":

I met Suzanne Showstack, now Adams in the fall of 2007. I told her that I was going to have a book of poetry published and wanted to donate a portion of the proceeds to Spaulding. We met for lunch at Legal Seafood in Chestnut Hill. I was still sporting my short leg brace and bright blue cane but was feeling much better since I had quit my job at the VA and took the summer to begin the healing process. I could experience Suzanne’s warmth and compassion through our email exchanges scheduling our luncheon. She took notes during our lunch intrigued by my healing journey. I told her how important it was for me to give back to Spaulding.

Suzanne shared my story in hospital newsletters. We thought that I was a remarkable recovery back then...Suzanne and I went on to run the 2009 Boston Marathon together as part of the Race for Rehab team

and we were together on 4/15/13 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Suzanne and I hadn't seen each other since Tom and I took a tour of the new facility the week after the bombings. As she greeted Tom and me she said, "I was wondering when I was going to see you. I know you're here all the time." I noticed how we hugged each other just a little bit tighter ...

We reminisced and caught up and then I went off to Aquatics and she off to her work in the Development Office.

Spaulding has been a part of my life since October 2006 when I made that phone call to the International Rehabilitation Center for Polio at Spaulding. Whenever I needed anything related to care and management of being a polio survivor, Dr. Darren Rosenberg and the team of therapists have been available to me.

While taking the tour of the new Charlestown Facility, I saw the Aquatics Therapy Center

and took their flyer about their community classes. Every week, twice a week, since last Fall, I have been finding and building my strength in the healing waters of the beautiful Aquatics Therapy Center. It has been life changing for me as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma and is the perfect complement to my running and my biweekly sessions with Joseph. I can feel for the first time in my 7+ years of my healing odyssey that I am on sure footing climbing to higher and higher ground:

This beautiful plaque on the grounds of Spaulding says:

Rarely does the path to recovery follow a straight line
Like a tidal stream, it bends and twists
It surges and trickles
It ebbs and flows.
That is why rehabilitative care must be fluid too.
Spaulding takes an approach to patient care that is flexible, highly personal and informed by a deep understanding that while every patient strives to reach higher ground, no two rehabilitative journeys are ever alike.

As wonderful as I feel and as well as I am doing, I do live with a spinal cord injury. Karis knows how to guide me and everyone in her classes, to challenge myself yet not over do. She provides me with support, encouragement, reminds me of how strong I am yet listens and is so understanding when I come face to face with my challenges.

Karis was at the Mandarin although we didn't know each other at the time. When I heard she was going to run the Boston Marathon even though she had never run a day in her life, I told her that I would support her run in any way I could. She is running for Spaulding Rehab Hospital to raise money so that patients' lives and the lives of their families can be healed after whatever life throws their way.

I know how Spaulding helps me to find higher and higher ground in my healing journey through the Aquatics Therapy program. It's a comfort to know that there are staff at the ready to support me as I age as a survivor of paralytic polio.

Please join us this Thursday at the Limelight Stage and Studios for Karis' Karaoke for a Kause with all proceeds benefiting Spaulding Rehab Hospital.

With your minimum $20 donation, you'll be entered to win an autographed Tom Brady Jersey and as second prize, a Joy of Sox Movie DVD.

And everyone comes away a winner. The owner of Jacob Wirth Restaurant in Boston has generously donated as many gift certificates as people who come out to Sing Boston Strong. One of the gift certificates is for $50, there are four for $25 and the rest are for $10. If 80 people show up 77 get half their money back, 4 get their donation back and one comes out ahead. And I must say, Jacob Wirth's has the most amazing sweet potato fries I have ever had in my life!

And don't worry if you're too shy to step up to the mic, we'll have plenty of people singing strong.

Cash bar and appetizers.

Silent Auction Items:

Autographed books by Bob and Lee Woodruff

Pair of Celtics Tickets - face value $375 to 3/9 game against Pistons

Gift certificate to Marathon Sports and The Joy of Sox Movie DVD

Gift certificate to Stapleton Floral Design

Cape Getaway package

If you are unable to join us, with a minimum donation of $35, we'll enter you in the drawing for the Tom Brady autographed jersey to be held on 2/20/14.

Read Karis' story on her fund raising page and make your donation today. In the comments section write "Karaoke."

Every day I give thanks for the care I have received and continue to receive at Spaulding. I bless the family that donated money for the Aquatics Therapy Center and all who have donated to support this place of healing. As Karis so eloquently states on her fund raising page:

Please consider making a donation to support my fundraising efforts as I work to raise $5,000 to benefit Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Every dollar counts and will directly benefit the facility that gave 33 bombing survivors, and many others, their lives back. I am running the Boston Marathon to honor those survivors and memorialize those who lost their lives last April.

We ARE Boston Strong and will be Singing Boston Strong on Thursday. Won't you join us?


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