It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Book Jacket to my Memoir (written in 2003)

For some odd reason I felt compelled to visit my geocities site that I started in the 7th grade and hasn't been touched in years. Good thing I did because it turns out that Yahoo is shutting geocities down in Oct and deleating everybody's stuff. There's stuff on there that I want (like below) and will have to put on my laptop.

I signed into my account to look at my extensive clipart collection and saw a file essay.html What's that??? Something I don't ever remember writing, but I apparently posted the admissions essay I wrote to get into the MC Scholars program (I didn't get in). You had to write the book jacket from your memoir you just finished in 2025, when I am 40. On my website I wrote "this is the fakest thing that I have ever written in my life. Wouldn't it be great if this happened in the real world?"

Triumphs Over Struggles: The Ups and Downs of Life with Cerebral Palsy is an ordinary book about an ordinary person who fought for ordinary things. It is the autobiography of Cheryl *censored*, a wife, mother, and social worker at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, a hospital that services pediatric orthopedic and brain disorders exclusively. She has spent her whole life fighting. Although most people associate segregation with the 1950’s and 60’s, the 1980’s and 90’s were filled with just as many battles for Cheryl. It was the age of the Americans With Disabilities Act, but Cheryl was still continuously denied access to life. She fought for both the right to attend a local preschool as well as her neighborhood elementary school, which contained 32 steps down to the playground. An avid horseback rider, Cheryl was also almost refused the right to attend a local horseback riding day camp.

Besides all of the adversity Cheryl has faced in her life she has been able to triumph over it all. Cheryl endured eight reconstructive operations on her legs during her childhood which resulted in her having to relearn how to walk four times. Through all of this, Cheryl, whose parents were told would never amount to anything, remained an honor student in school. She attained her associates degree in psychology through Montgomery College’s Scholars Program and then finished her bachelor’s degree through Hofstra University’s Program for the Higher Education of the Disabled (P.H.E.D). Cheryl later received a master’s degree in social work at The University of California, Berkeley.

Through her advocacy for people with disabilities, Cheryl has made a significant impact on the education of mainstreamed disabled students. Cheryl started lobbying local disabled rights organizations in college. Since then she has been interviewed by many media giants, such as NBC’s Today Show, Good Morning America, and The New York Times. The Cheryl *Censored* Education Act is a Federal education bill aimed at setting a national standard for the education of students like her. It is currently being reviewed by the House Education Committee.

Cheryl lives in the suburbs of St. Paul, MN, with her husband Matt of twelve years and three adopted special needs children, April, May, and June, ages 9, 8, and 6, whom she has had since infancy. She has two dogs, Eloise, and Puck; a cat, Mizzy; and a horse, Apple Blossom. Cheryl and Apple Blossom are in training for the 2028 summer Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy. They have won many ribbons for dressage in both local and national disabled riding shows. When not in training, working in the hospital, or lobbying Congress, Cheryl enjoys shopping, running 5ks for charity, and working as her synagogue's high school youth group advisor.

This is so bizzare. Bizzare in the fact that I found this during the time I am taking memoir writing class, and bizzare in the fact that I must have always known myself so well. It turns out this was not as far fetched as it seemed to me when I posted it on my site 6+ years ago. My goal still is to write "an ordinary book about an ordinary person who [struggles with] ordinary things." That's what I'm trying to do right now in fact.

It turns out that I went to Hofstra 1st, flunked out, and then went to MC 2nd. Going to social work school is still in the master plan, although not all the way in Berkley (I picked that b/c I was under the misguided assumption that Berkley was the mecca of disability rights, turns out Chicago is). I'd be more then exstatic if I got a job at Gillette some day. I'm never going to be a paralympic athlete, but it's interesting to note how prominate a role pets play in this essay. I guess I've always known how integral pets are to my mental health (what other term can I use? I hate that one). And running. Somebody at OOO mentioned Friday about getting a group together to start walking and signing up for a 5K. So I may do one. Dunno if I'm up for it or not. I don't know why I put down 8 surgeries, the count is 7, it was 6 then, still haven't done the last 2...

The part I thought was most unfathomable when I wrote it is "Cheryl started lobbying local disabled rights organizations in college." Me get involved in politics? Yeah right... Turns out that I did get involved in politics in college (see the CCA tracker to the right). Within the last year I've lobbied on both the state and national level. Who woulda thunk it? Get involved with ADAPT? Not me. They're too weird :D No one's ever going to attach my name to a bill, but I am going to work to finally get the Disability History and Awareness Month bill passed which will change the way all children, teens, & young adults are educated, both disabled and not. I am going to have an impact like I never thought I would. How cool.


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