Central PA SCI Networking

Bev G
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Was this your first time meeting a person with a spinal cord injury?  When you met this special person with a spinal cord injury, what was your first reaction?  What were some of your questions?  What do you think about your friend over coming obstacles on a daily basis?  What can you pass on to others?


I met my first spinal cord injury friend through my son, Todd.  She lived next door to him in his apartment building.  He would often go over and help her with her dog, Jockey.   This was how I first learned about Shelly.  I remember the first time I actually met her, Todd brought her to dinner at Hoss’s.  I had many questions for her, but wasn’t sure how to talk with her about her situation.  After five minutes of meeting her, I realized that she was the one in control of the conversation and was so easy to talk to.  She was open and practically answered all my questions without me even asking them.  She seemed to be able to read my mind and was open about her injury.  I was surprised at times, like the time she wanted to slide her wheelchair up to the dessert bar where she said she could just eat all the desserts.  When I told her that I didn’t think they would allow that, she replied with, “Don’t worry, they never know how to handle a person in a wheelchair, so every one would just stand around and no one would know what to say.  We could get away with a good half hour before they figured it out.”  She has a great sense of humor.  I was so comfortable and relaxed around her.    


A little over a year later, I have become so accustomed to life with a person in a wheel chair that I often forget about her situation.  She just seems normal to me now, until I ride in her van and she has the temperature controls up front cranked to 80 or above and I’m gasping for air.  Those of you who have ridden in the van know what I’m talking about.  Also, there are some advantages to it.  Her chair has two bars in the back that are very comfortable to stand on for a ride when you don’t feel like walking as fast as she drives.   Yes, Shelly has the kind of personality that everyone would enjoy being around whether or not she is having a good day or a bad day.  The old saying, when you are handed lemons, make lemonade is definitely her life’s motto. 

Thanks Bev!