Friday, March 21, 2014


Tuesday March 26th is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.I am re-posting my entry from last year as a reminder to all of you show your support of children and adults  with CP, not just next Tuesday, but everyday. Make green your favorite color too.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


This past Tuesday, I had the privilege of auditioning to be part of a national show celebrating mothers and motherhood in the form of spoken word. The show is called  Listen To Your Mother. It is performed in thirty-two cities across  the country. 
When I submitted my piece for consideration I did not think I'd be chosen to audition. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed when I was selected to be part of this amazing show.  Sadly, I didn't think it through very well. Arranging caregivers and hours would have been too difficult especially on the day of the show, so I declined the offer. I want to thank Ellie, Laura and Naomi for allowing me to audition and for thinking my story was good enough. I wish things could have worked out differently. .I encourage all of you to get tickets for the show on May 10th. You won't be disappointed.
It was suggested to me that I post my submission piece here. Since it will soon be four years since my mother's passing that seemed like a good way to mark the upcoming anniversary of her death. 
My mother was a hard worker.  Raising three sons and a daughter with a disability was no easy task. Along with doing all the things a mother is responsible for, she also worked with my father in our family’s grocery store. My father worked hard to provide for us, but did little around the house. It was a different time. Men weren't as enlightened as they are today. They didn't know it was okay to help with household chores. My grandmother helped as much as she could by babysitting me and doing some of the cooking.  Even with my grandmother’s help, my mother still had a lot on her plate. She never complained.
Once my parents learned I had Cerebral Palsy there were doctor visits and physical therapy sessions. My physical therapy was to be done at home too. I’m sure mom was tired by the end of the day, but she did my limb stretching anyway. She never complained.
When I was seven I joined the Girl Scouts.  Mom would leave the store and meet my bus at a stop along the route so that I wouldn’t be late to the meeting. She never complained.  And, when I was eleven, I was in Shriners Hospital for over three months. Mom only missed one day visiting me and on the day she was unable to visit me in person she sent a card.
In 1970 my father died. It was an unimaginable loss to our family. My two oldest brothers were grown and out of the house. I was twelve and my brother Bob was fifteen. Mom still had to put us through school. I’m sure she was scared and wondered how she’d do it. She never complained. She got a job at my school after having volunteered there. My brother and I both got our degrees.
My mother just did what she had to so that we had what we needed and most of the things we wanted. It didn’t matter if she had to get up before six in the morning so that she could drive me to my college classes and make it to work on time. Or that she had to spend her entire Sunday afternoon typing the final draft of a term paper I’d written. I only type with one finger and it was before the age of computers. She did it and never complained.
Mom broke her hip after falling when she got up because I had to use the bathroom. She managed to get upstairs and get a crutch and try to help me. She couldn't and I had to call 911.  When the paramedics arrived the first thing she said was, “My daughter has to go to the bathroom. Would you help her?" They did. When she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in 2005, she showed the same spirit. Mom did well after surgery and we thought she’d beaten it, but in 2009, the Cancer returned. Even after being placed on Hospice, Mom tried to do as much around house as she could as well as making sure caregivers did everything for us the way she would have done it. When she couldn't do things herself anymore she supervised.
My mother passed away on March 30, 2010. She was almost ninety-two years old. She taught me to work hard and never give up.  
Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I saw this story on our local news this morning.

It's the story of how students at a local area high school organized a twitter campaign  to help a fellow student realize his dream of being on ESPN's SPORTSCENTER with the goal of,one day being a sports broadcaster. What makes this story unique is that their classmate, Andrew Honerkamp, has Cerebral Palsy. He is unable to participate in sports, but loves to watch them 

I am proud of Andrew's classmates for supporting him and trying to make his dream a reality. I have no doubt that it will happen. I am happy that Andrew has such a support system in his classmates and school.

This story illustrates why inclusion and mainstreaming are so important to children and young people with disabilities. Not only for academics, but for socialization and acceptance as well. When I was in high school we were not given many positive messages. We were not encouraged to dream or set goals for ourselves because I doubt our teachers thought we could achieve them. I'm so glad it is not that way today.

I encourage anyone with a twitter account to tweet at #ANDREWONSPORTSCENTER and show your support for Andrew.If you don't have a twitter account, sign up. That's  what a friend of mine did when they heard about this story.  

Come on everyone. Tweet.