tis the season.

Craig Hospital. It was my home away from home for nearly 4 months. Months that looking back were horrible and weakening. It became my safe haven, a place that made me feel like I was the normal one and all the walking people were outnumbered.

The therapists, counselors, doctors, patients and their families all became a part of my family. They supported me at a time when I don’t think I could have handled things by myself. I thought I was so tough back then ( and to a certain point, I was), but I realize now that without their friendship and encouragement to be as independent as possible, I would probably be a very different person today. Probably less outgoing, less independent, less happy and definitely less driven.

And I want to “give back.”

I want anyone who has to go through anything close to what I did to have that same support and encouragement. The same opportunities and care. I want them to be pushed and held up and loved and hugged, just like I was.

I have given to charities before. I walked for the March of Dimes the very night I was injured in fact, so it’s not just something that being paralyzed has opened me up to. Children’s Miracle Network was the organization that used funds to fly me to Craig in the first place. There are so many that need donations, but I keep mine close to home I guess you could say.

Sending money directly to Craig, knowing that it is helping someone in a situation that I unfortunately know all too well, makes my heart melt with love and empathy. There is a selfishness in charities I suppose. That feeling that you are helping someone else is intoxicating.

I plan on feeling it quite often from now on.

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