Thursday, March 25, 2010

Orange County Mixer

The Ms. Wheelchair California Organization was invited by the Largest Mixer in Orange County to have a booth among many other vendors at the Orange County Fairgrounds on March 24, 2010. At our booth, we showcased each of the lovely ladies who were entered to compete in the next Ms. Wheelchair CA 2010 pageant! It was a wonderful display and I got to talk to a lot of people.

I even ran into a friend from church, Robert Glover, as he was there on behalf of his Chiropractic business. Yay!
And no event would be complete without Michael Jackson, right? Obviously, he does still live among us. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hockey Time!

Hockey is a favorite past time of mine. Not that I ever played hockey, but my dad was a very good hockey player back in the day, and believe it or not, my mom was a hockey cheerleader - on ice skates! Needless to say, I love watching hockey - in person!

I was able to go to what used to be called "The Pond" but now called the "Honda Center" to watch the Anaheim Ducks play the Montreal Canadians. I figured it was going to be a good game because of what happened at the Winter Olympics in Canada and the hockey teams. I was extremely excited for this game!

Like most sporting venues, there are vendors selling paraphernalia everywhere. The Ducks aren't doing that great of a job this season, but I still route for them nonetheless!
The stadium was packed! One of the advantages of being in a wheelchair is that you get pretty good seating if you know how to work it right. I've never been down to sit "on the glass" (which I think would be A-MAZING), but the seats I get are usually really good and I can see everything that's going on - fights and all!

Well, guess who noticed me in attendance at the Stadium? EVERYONE! I was filmed and put on the big jumbo-tron waving to everyone, and immediately the Ducks Girls came over for pictures. This led to me being on camera AGAIN - having to dance with the girls! Oh my goodness - talk about embarrassing! But I did it!

Sadly, the Ducks lost in overtime which then led to a Shoot Out! I love hockey, and even though the Ducks lost, I had a great time representing Ms. Wheelchair California and showing the thousands of people there that those of us in wheelchairs can do everything and have fun just like everyone else!

Go Ducks!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MWCC tries Adaptive Snow Skiing!

I had the amazing opportunity to do something I've always wanted to learn how to do since I've become paralyzed. Before I got hurt, I used to love to snow ski! I would always challenge myself to do bigger and better hills, and eventually worked myself to flying down black diamond hills!

But, I had a chance to mark something off of my to-do list, and it definitely won't be my last time! I learned how to mono-ski!!

Big Bear Mountain in Southern California has a fantastic adaptive program that I've seen on the internet for quite awhile but have never had the guts to actually go up and take advantage of the program. The United States Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC) was founded in 1983 to ensure that access to skiing is available to people with many types of disabilities. The first full-time, on-site adaptive ski school was established in 1989 at Big Bear Mountain Ski Resort in Southern California. It relies on amazing volunteers to help assist each participant, and I was fortunate to have two of the best (in my opinion), Tim and Sara!

There was so much unknown about a sport I've never done since becoming hurt almost 10 years ago, but Sara and Tim were so encouraging, supportive, and confident that I'd master this sport in no time.

They helped me transfer from my wheelchair into a mono-ski, and then Tim taught me how to use the riggers (adapted poles) to help me turn. The most important part of skiing on a mono-ski is balancing, and it's all in your shoulders, upper body, and trunk support. The riggers are only there to help you turn. I didn't quite get the hang of it the first several times down the mountain because I kept reflecting back to how it "used to be." Sara would ski in front of me (backwards at that!), and Tim would ski behind me, holding on to me for support when I needed it (which was a lot at first).
But of course, I fell quite a bit. Ha! I laughed every time, except for the one time where I felt totally out of control and ran over someone and then someone ran over me. I guess that happens, though. Being so low to the ground, I felt like I was going so, so fast, but in reality, I wasn't going that fast at all. It was definitely a very different sensation than before when I was walking. But, I felt safe the entire time.

Hooray! I finally learned how to do it! Granted, I could only stay up by myself for about 10-15 seconds before I'd fall again. But, I was happy! I had such a fun, fun time up there, and I certainly want to make it back up there so I can get even better. Sara and Tim were excellent teachers, and I highly recommend you ask for them to help you!
There really isn't anything in life that you can't do when you're paralyzed. Yes, it may be a little different, but it shouldn't stop your life from being enjoyable, satisfying, and fun. I had a blast learning how to ski and had a smile on my face the entire time. Two thumbs up to the USARC program at Big Bear and to the wonderful volunteers that help make days like this possible for people with disabilities. You make a huge difference in providing confidence and positive self-esteem, so THANK YOU!

Snowball fight, anyone? :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

PacifiCord - You NEED to know about this company!

A friend of mine works at a phenomenal organization called "PacifiCord" and invited me to come for a visit. This company is a valuable life-source by saving baby's umbilical cord blood immediately after the baby is born. By saving this blood and the priceless stem cells that are in that blood, it can change the course of the future when and/or if something were to happen to your child. It is worth every penny.

Once the blood is extracted from the umbilical cord, it is then brought immediately to the lab at PacifiCord as you can see in the picture below. That is life saving blood right there!

Once the nurse manipulates the blood, she puts it in a machine that separates the blood from the stem cells. AMAZING! It is then spun in the machine below and frozen with the patients name on it. From there, it is entered back into the system and stored for your baby!

The day I visited, I had the indescribable opportunity to meet the Founder who happened to be in America from China. Truly an honor to meet him and ask questions about the future of stem cells and what he plans for the future (below). I had the chance to speak to the staff during their staff meeting about the Ms. Wheelchair California program as well as thank them for the work they do.

Below is the me with the President of PacifiCord, and then a group picture with a lot of the fantastic employees, certified nurses, and development department people who help spread the word to pregnant women about this important decision.

Having a spinal cord injury myself, I value this company and what they are doing to help save the lives of future disabilities and sicknesses. Had my parents had this option when I was born, perhaps I wouldn't have to be waiting on medical technology to figure out a way for me to walk again.

If you'd like more information on this life-saving organization for your future child, please visit the PacifiCord's website.

How much would it be worth to you if you had the chance to have a guarantee of a healthy child if anything were to happen to him or her?