We’ve had two busy days.
Yesterday, we participated in the 5K Walk Against Hate hosted by the Philadelphia ADL (anti-defamation league).
Corey was very upset that she was in her wheelchair and not walking the race on her own. We decided to set short distance goals. We picked a telephone pole along the Ben Franklin Parkway and walked until we hit the next pole. She’d rest, we’d push her a bit further in her chair and then she stood to walk to the next targeted pole. As the crowds passed they were clapping, praising, encouraging and celebrating her walking.
When we approached the finish line, Corey insisted on getting out of her chair. She was going to walk across not roll across! We were about 50 feet away. It was hot, humid and she had already pushed herself along the route but when I asked her if she wanted to get closer to walk a shorter distance, she put the break on the chair and said, “the further back the better…I got this”. Her total distance using her forearm cane (with me as backup support) was 250 feet (we think).
Bystanders were coming up to Corey filming her and cheering for her as she crossed. The chairman of the Walk heard of accomplishment and introduced himself. Corey was smitten (he was very good looking). After hearing her story, he told her she was an inspiration and his new hero. She exemplifies what it means to be courageous, a fighter and a champion. He also told her she touched his life in a very big way and she made his day. During their publicity photo shoot, he spontaneously kissed her cheek. Check out the gallery for her expression…PRICELESS! She couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.
Today we were back at Bryn Mawr. The team loved her interpretation of the walk and Natalie teased her by asking if she had to find a handsome guy to stand at the end of the hallway to be her incentive to continue to walk with her?
On the PT front, we are now seeing Corey wiggling her toes and moving her foot to the left without a verbal que. Her independent movement is a sign of her ankle and toe muscles strengthening.
Anne commented that today she was able to stretch Corey with exercises that were too difficult for her a few months ago. Her range of motion on the left arm and shoulder is improving and strengthening as well.
The tag line for the ADL walk was “Let’s take a step in the right direction”…Their cause and tag line reaches beyond their intended mission for us. Every step, every stretch, every reach, every conversation and especially every smile reminds us we are taking steps toward the right direction…Corey rediscovering her independence and living life, xoxo