Are You Ready?
Its been a long time since I wrote you a note, so I figured it was time to get you up to speed on what I’ve been up to. Before I do that I want to share a little something with you.
Last night I got a text from Gabe, as per usual when he’s ready to hit the sack right around midnight. That’s when I ride my bike over and help him get to bed. He always texts simply: ‘Ready’ or sometimes ‘Ready whenever’.
The other night that word ‘ready’ struck me for the first time with all of its open ended existential possibility. Ready. Sure, ‘Ready’ for whatever he needs from me in that moment. But I looked back through my texts and stopped counting at about 250 times since late November when my texts get automatically dumped. As I scrolled through all of the 250 times Gabe told me he was ready, it struck me how truly ready he has been and has had to be ‘Ready’ over these past 8 years.
For those of you who know him its that ‘Ready’ness that has enabled him to work out 6 days a week for almost 8 years, readiness to recently cross over 1,000 rides on his FES bike averaging about 8 miles a ride, record 3 CD’s with Treading North, play all over Minnesota’s many music venues, go on tour through the Midwest, put his writing out there about living with a disability (here), and then some. And that goes beyond the readiness box that all the people I know with a SCI have to check every morning. For some that means dealing with constant pain, the inability to lift a finger, be plugged into a machine in order to breathe, or not so simply waiting in bed for a PCA who’s late that morning.
Its that ‘Ready’ness that drives the effort to find Cures for paralysis. And this is where you come in. Earlier this year I was hired to be the Advocacy Director at Unite 2 Fight Paralysis (I’m still with GUSU2Cure here in MN too…watch for the 4th annual Run2Walk on Sept. 17th) to help build a network of advocates around the US. we’ve been working on some cool stuff…Working 2 Walk is here in the Twin Cities this year, and we’re working on a podcast called SCI CureCast soon to be on the interwebs. I’ll let you know when its up and running so you can tune in.
As a result of this more recent work I’ll be heading out to Pennsylvania in early August to meet with some state legislators there, along with a few ‘Ready’ advocates who hope to replicate the legislation we put forward here in MN. We’ll also be meeting with a number of ‘Ready’ SCI researchers who are joining the effort. And soon after PA, we’ll be starting the same initiative in Washington state.
So, I’m hoping you’ll be ‘Ready’ to join us, cause we’re gonna need you again. We’re gonna need you again to write to legislators and connect us with anybody you know in PA and WA to join the effort.
We’re going to get the innovations the SCI community needs when we’re all Ready to join the fight.
So, tell me you’re Ready