Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Encouragement: Beauty Queen "walks" the runway, despite having Cerebral Palsy


For those of you who check my updated links, you may have noticed the one that I found about a beauty contestant having a disability. Well, I found more about the contestant in a recent article. For more information, you can view the article at:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grown-up girlfriends, part three.. Chapters 2


So I know it's been awhile since my last "Grown-up Girlfriends" notes. I haven't really had time to read the book, let alone write notes from it. So much so that I'm afraid I have forgotten all of the lessons I have learned from it far. That being said, here are just some of my notes on chapter 2 and 3 of the book.

  • What are characteristics of "Grown-Up Friendships"?

  • People who encourage us to grow in our faith- to be more like Jesus
    I Corinthians 13: 11
    Galatians 5: 22 - 24

  • To do this, we must accept two premises:we must take seriously the goal of becoming stronger and wiser in Christ.second, we must learn to recognize the same characteristics of a growing Christian in other people

  • Some specific characteristics of a grown-up friend
    deep trust, someone who can look at your heart
    someone who can speak the truth in love
    this means that she is able to work through problems, not around them

  • it is important to remember the purpose in every one of your grown-up friendships. On page 29 of the book, the authors quote Christian motivational Speaker, Rick Warren as saying, "focusing on yourself will never reveal your real purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that your life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our orgin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance and our destiny"

  • Recognizing the purpose of every relationship, has its benefits
    1. It takes the focus off you. It's more about what God is doing through you
    2. It can reduce feelings of rejection in the friendship
    3. It can bring hope and meaning into the relationship, this is especially helpful when the hard times roll around.

  • That being said, pay attention and actively listen to your friends, your purpose may be revealed in a conversation. You never know how your presence is being used at that moment to be of encouragement and comfort
  • God is in control- recognizing this makes it easier for us to realize that in everything we see, we should see him. Likewise, our friend should be able to look at us and see Christ.
  • In creating grown-up friendships, it does reduce the possibility of rejection. Why? Because we have to take responsibility for our own well-being and emotional health rather than relying on our friend to provide it for us.
  • Ultimately, our purpose should be to glorify God in everything that we do. If we realize this, every friendship should have a goal. Focusing on God instead of ourselves
  • One last comment on chapter 2 on page 36: the grown-up friend honors God by encouraging her friend to become all He wants her to be

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rolloff family on Oprah


The Rolloff family was on Oprah. I believe I've talked about their show on TLC many times for a previous posts on this blog. In synopsis, the show follows the life of a family affected by dwarfism . This family of five is made up of three average size children (Molly, Jacob and Jeremy) as well as Zach who takes after his parents. They are both little people. Despite their disability, nothing stops this family. During their show, they have taken family vacations to such places as Hawaii and the Grand Canyon.

During its three-year run, "Little People, Big World " has tried to show the American people that people who are different can in fact lead productive lives and can be an inspiration to you if you just take the time to get to know them-starting from the inside and then working your way out. At the family, they have learned to overcome their daily struggles by adapting what they can't do into something that can. One example of this is when Amy was younger-she was able to climb on the grocery shelf to get what she needed. A little adventurous, but it worked. They have learned to adapt to their circumstances instead of just giving up.

The head of the family (Matt) is your average businessman who travels. As well as owning a pumpkin farm, he is also the founder and creator of Direct Access Solutions -a company bent on making hotels more accessible for little people. Amy is your average homemaker and a soccer mom rolled into one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fast paced times in Chicago


I'm back from a whirlwind trip to Chicago. My friends and I had some good times, but unfortunately we brought home with us all colds. I guess that's why they call it the Windy City. Since returning, I thought I would give you an overview of the weekend and how accessible they were. I was going to post a few pictures, but unfortunately, every time I try to it comes up with a "internal error" message. Oh well.

For starters, we arrived in Chicago on Saturday afternoon after four hours on the road. My friend had already made arrangements for us to stay at the Best Western at Grant Park. They were pretty good considering the circumstances. Apparently, there had been a mixup with the reservations; they had us for one night in two rooms instead of the other way around. But the manager was helpful in clearing up the problem. But because of the mixup, we weren't able to get a handicapped accessible room. Anyway, the rest of the day was spent relaxing and dining at the hotel restaurant.

On Sunday, we got up around 11 a.m. and hit the town. Our first stop was the Sears Tower. Originally, this building was the tallest building in America until it was surpassed by some building in China. It was a long ride up in the elevator-about a hundred floors up. Surprisingly, it only took about five minutes to get all the way up to the top. Our ears were popping the whole time.. You could see just about everything from up there-even where Oprah lives. She lives on top of the Hancock building in Chicago. Our next stop was the Shedd Aquarium. That was fun; the place was huge and we ended up getting ourselves lost a couple of times. After that, we needed some energy. So what did we do? We ended up going to the Hershey company. Can we say, "a slice of heaven on earth?"

I could go on and on about the trip, but honestly my voice is getting tired and I should conserve my energy for when I really need it. Those were just some of the activities that occurred during the famous "Road Trip". The trip wasn't really that expensive in the end, considering my friend had gotten us Chicago Go cards . These gave us access to most of Chicago's attractions for a reduced rate or even free.

Friday, April 18, 2008

New treatment for those with spina bifida

Hello everyone,

In a matter of days I will be heading out of town for my birthday. As a result, there will be no Monday post. But I'm sure you can do without me for one day, right?

Anyways, on to today's post. I came across a interesting report last night. Investigated by Lila Lazarus, a new " Health Works " reported on a new treatment for spina bifida. Today, approximately 3000 children are born with this disability. In simple terms, spina bifida happens when the spine never completely develops during birth. As a result, this often creates difficulty when helping with personal care, such as the toileting. That is all about to change however with the help of surgery. During the surgery, nerves are taken from a child 's leg and rerouted to the bladder. Surgeries like these are being done down at the Beaumont Hospital. So far, there is a 90% success rate.

Citation for TV Program: "Health Works" News segment Lila Lazarus reporting Fox2 News. Channel 2 WDIV Detroit, News at 10 pm, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Birthday reflections


It's hard to believe but in less than a week I will be 28 years old. In those 28 years, I have accomplished a lot. Graduating from college, getting a job, and living on my own just to name a
few. For some, this may seem like small little feats. But it's really not. As part of the disabled community, we consider even the simplest hurdles accomplishments.
I have learned to take each day as it comes, often considering it for the lessons they can teach me . These lessons were invaluable to me in so many ways. They have helped me to develop in both a personal (emotionally, and as a individual) and professional level. Professionally, I hope I can have the opportunity to share what I have learned with others in my situation; my way of giving people hope that anything is possible.
It is not without a little fear that I approach the next year of my life. After all, it looks like I will be moving with my family to Virginia. With that, brings obvious changes- a new home, new friends . But it also brings new opportunities. From the beginning, I have told my readers I am not the best when it comes to change. That part of me hasn't changed and I don't think it ever will. I have minor concerns about moving; after all, it was here that I spent a majority of my life. (I don't know about you, but I consider the later years important ones). It is then that you began to figure and what you want in life. At least that's what happened with me. Still, I am believing this will be the best thing for all of us.
Although, fear can be a good thing in the end. It can push you to do things you never expected it you would do and take you to new heights. It just depends on how you look at life. Will the glass be half full or half empty. You can decide. It also can show you where your dependence lies- is it based on faith or security? I will admit, I'm not perfect. I do have personal goals that have yet to be met. And that, in itself, scares me. As humans, we tend to evaluate ourselves. By our own standards and the standards of the world. We forget what really matters. Loving people and passing on the lessons we have learned to them
In the future, I hope to have accomplished most of my personal goals and have a family while continuing my passion for writing.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Hello everyone ~

During the weekend, Bruce Jenner hosted a informative report on dyslexia on PBS. Unfortunately, dyslexia is not often seen as a disability; however, one out of ten Americans are impacted by the reading disorder. Jenner, being just one of the people impacted by the disorder.

This PBS special highlighted dyslexia and the many other issues impacting the education of young children today. According to the program, over 50% of all intercity schools read below their grade. As a result, this has led to a rise in dropouts during high school. In all, approximately 3000 children have been placed in special education classrooms- simply because they can't read. Many of them are later diagnosed with dyslexia.

Simply put, dyslexia can be defined as "difficulty with language. "Discovered by Orten over a century ago, it continues to be seen as a neurological disorder. In other words, language can be seen as a complex code; in order to decipher words, we must connect different combinations of letters to the sounds they make. In most cases, this is done automatically by the brain . For others, though, the process is more difficult.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jampacked post.


So, it has been a long and busy week. As you probably have noticed, I changed the first song to my list. It now is: What Are You Waiting for by Natalie Grant. Surprisingly, I hadn't heard this song up until now. I think it pretty much sums up what people are trying to do these days by changing the world through positive outlets like Idol Gives Back. Like I suspected, the turnout was great. At last count,(Ryan Seacrest reported this tonight on American Idol) donations amounted to over 66 million. You still can make a difference though. Some of the clips from the show are still on sale. Many of them have made the top of the iTunes list.

The song really sums up what I am trying to do with this blog. Change the world one person at a time. If there is one thing, I hope you take from here it's that you never know how far one positive action can reach. So, please don't ever think or doubt your purpose in this world. You are here for something or someone special. Live your purpose out and see where it takes you. You never know what God has planned- and God has a plan for everyone.

Anyway, a lot of interesting shows are coming up during the next couple weeks. The first being a encore of Profoundly Normal. I have featured this movie in a previous post. It's entitled, oddly enough, Profoundly Normal. Starring Kristy Alley, this drama- documentary profiles the life of a disabled couple trying to make their way in this world. To catch this encore showing, watch Lifetime on Friday. Check your listings for time and channel, because it could be different than mine

Next, we have a chilling tale of what happens when a family is forced to deal with a newborn's disability. The movie is called The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Based on the best-selling book by Kim Edwards, you will be surprised how one choice can change the lives of so many others. In both good and bad ways. This movie can also be seen on lifetime, premiering Saturday April 12. Again, check local listings for the exact time.

Finally, Hallmark Hall of Fame has done again. Their newest movie entitled, Sweet Nothings in My Ear attempts to conquer the question of what is a disability and should we fix it if we could. This movie airs on Sunday, April 20 on CBS

I'm not really sure how to end this post. Usually, I just end it and that's that. But as always, I have been affected by everything that has occurred in my life this week. So, I will leave you with this. God loves you. You can make a difference no matter where are.

God bless you.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Giving back..


I'm a little excited about tonight. The second Annual Idol Gives Back show is on tonight. For those of you that are unfamiliar, the show featured artists and celebrities on it in the effort to raise awareness about AIDS/HIV across the globe. The turnout was great last year, as I recall they raised over $1 million for the cause. I'm not a big American Idol fan, but I am planning on watching it. During the show, the home audience will be encouraged to call in and pledge money. If you are not into that, you can still make a difference by going to iTunes that night or a few days after, they will probably have some clips on sale from the show. If they do what they did last year, the proceeds from those clips will go into a fund helping AIDS related causes. Some people scheduled to appear are:

Robin Williams, Celine Dion, Forest Whitaker, Billy Crystal, Dane Cook, Kiefer Sutherland, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Connolly, Elliott Yamin, Fantasia and Amy Adams join previously announced international talent and sports figures Bono, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Fergie, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Annie Lennox, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5, Heart and Gloria Estefan.

The show starts at 730 tonight, so turn on your television early and enjoy this concert of music. You can really make a difference in people's lives.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Blog changes


I'm sure you may have noticed a few changes to the blog, I'm not sure if I'm going to keep them or not. It depends on whether you my readers enjoy them. So please let me know..

The first change is the addition of Project Playlist. This website allows people to add playlists of their favorite songs to any website. In my case, I have tried to make the playlist full of inspirational songs that can help you through your daily struggles. Making the playlist is free with registration.

Although, the playlist is kind of fun and entertaining.. I do find it kind of loud and distracting when you are reading posts. So, again, let me know.

Also, I continue to add more links to the sidebar. So keep an eye out.



Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hope is

Hello everyone,

Hope. When I say this word what do you think of? For many people, hope can mean a variety of things. Such as wishful thinking of dreams they want to come true or goals people expect to accomplish in the defines hope as "the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. "

For me, Hope is a more permanent thing. It doesn't change, but remains constant despite the circumstance. It is a tangible thing meant for people to believe in. I was reminded of this since my mother brought me a farewell poster that my college friends and staff had given me as I began this new stage of my life.Through those comments,I remembered Where my hope comes from. The Maker & Sustainer of life.I may not always feel or act this way. But it's always there.

Hope remains. One college theme verse that comes to mind is, "I have this hope.. firm and secure!" Keep in mind, this is a paraphrase. I don't remember the exact wording.

[Sidenote: I am kind of glad I came across this unfinished draft. I think the picture says it all.]

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lessons Learned from Pet Finder


So I'm not really sure whether today's post has anything remotely valuable on disability, but I thought it was interesting.

You are probably wondering what I am talking about, right?

As you know, I often tape disability related television shows on my TiVo. It makes it easier for me when writing these posts since I rarely have time to sit down and watch TV. Except at night, that is. Anyway, I'm getting off topic here.

On Tuesday, there was a interesting episode of Pet Finder on Animal Planet. For those of you unfamiliar with this show, experts try to place its "contestants "with the appropriate pet. They take into account the person's housing situation, ability to care for a animal and personal needs while making the decision. It's a compelling show. One that hadn't heard of up until this specific episode.

Tuesday's episode featured a young girl with rheumatoid arthritis. Despite living with this disability, star will not give up when it comes to accomplishing her dreams. For example, doctors said she would not be able to walk without a fair amount of difficulty. Well, she is proving them wrong now with her ability to ride horses. Which brings me to her purpose on the show, she wanted pet finder to help in finding the perfect horse. Horseback riding not only not only helps to strengthen her muscles, but gives her the feeling she can do anything she puts her mind to it.

But before receiving her horse, there are some important lessons that needed to be learned. The first of which being, what size was appropriate for her. After riding several horses, they determined that a horse of 15 to 17 hands would work best.

The second lesson was a more difficult one. You see, star really wanted a white horse. But I don't think she really understood the work it took to keep a white horse clean. That is, until the experts brought in a beautiful white horse.. and it rolled in the mud. Star had to give the little horse a bath, leaving her exhausted. The lesson: "what you want is not always the best thing for you".

The next step was examining Star's expertise on a horse. Up until this point, she only knew how to trot and walk a horse. The experts thought it was important for her to learn how to canter a horse, that way she would know how to control her horse in case it ever was to be out of control. Star was able to accomplish this goal.
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