Thank you + Update

Hi, everyone! I hope you are all having a nice fall so far and are staying healthy. It’s been a while since I’ve written a little update. First, thank you so much to everyone who donated to my team for Shriners Walk for Love 5K Fundraiser! With your generosity, we were able to raise $2,000 that will help children with disabilities and injuries receive the care they need at this wonderful hospital.

Last week, I actually had my last appointment at Shriners. Even though I’ve technically ‘graduated’ from Dr. Kozin’s care, I’ll always have a special connection to Shriners. So, as my friend Terry Diamond said, ‘It’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later.’ I met so many wonderful people there the last couple of years and I know they’ll be cheering me on for years to come. Being at Shriners as an overage patient was a rewarding and eye-opening experience. I met children from all over the world with SCIs and other conditions and your generosity is helping all of them. Thank you again.

Also, I just finished my first graduate class back at Temple. It’s been an adjustment getting back into writing papers and doing homework, especially with Willow barking every five minutes, but I’m feeling more confident starting my second class this week. It feels good to be doing something productive.

Additionally, I’ve been helping out the United Spinal Association of Philadelphia with their social media these past couple of months. We post a lot of great educational and SCI advocacy information. It’s been a lot of fun — and I’m really looking forward to getting past this pandemic so we can have in-person events again. Here are links to our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Check us out or give us a follow if you wish!

Last but not least, I’m getting a power attachment for my manual chair this week! This is something I’ve had on my radar for a couple of years now and I’m excited it’s finally happening. My power chair weighs over 300 pounds and is just not practical for every situation. I use my manual chair often when I’m visiting family because it’s light enough to lift up stairs and when I’m out with friends because it fits under tables at restaurants. However, because my right arm is still too weak, I have to rely on others to push me everywhere — unless I want to go around in circles, and that does not get you very far. Trust me, I’ve tried. The power attachment and joystick will give me so much freedom and independence while I’m using my smaller, more portable manual chair. I can’t wait.

Before I go, here’s a picture of me doing the Lokomat at Magee last week. It always feels great to be up and getting weight through my feet, mask and all. As always, thank you for reading. Talk soon.

5 thoughts on “Thank you + Update”

  1. I’m so happy everything is going well for you. Good luck in your next class and take it slow with the new power for your chair !! 🤣. ❤️. Love you, Aunt Jaki


  2. Mary, Kathy told me you were taking classes, and that’s why we missed your September update. Somehow i missed the Shriner’s walk. Can i still contribute?
    I can only imagine what it feels like to stand again – getting weight through your feet. A power surge?
    Good luck with school and everything else. Please say hi to your Mom.


  3. Thanks for sharing, Mary. Always good to hear from you. Great picture of you at therapy! My husband and I ran into your Mom and Dad while hiking through Cheslen Preserve. It was so great to see your Mom and catch up a bit. I have so many fond memories of working with your Mom at Unionville. You hit the jackpot when it comes to Moms!!
    Looking forward to your next chapter!
    Take care,
    Mrs. O’Connor


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