My NS friends,
I'm just getting home from a amazing trip to Canada in which I got to experience my first ever IF3 and see two of my very dear friends tie the knot. Congratulations to Felix, JF and the whole IF3 crew for pulling off yet another amazing event and to Rory and Sarah Bushfield!
I wanted to check back in with the NS crew and thank you for your continued support during my recovery! I am constantly amazed that so many people that I do and do not know are pulling for me and finding inspiration in my situation. I'm glad I can be an inspiration to those of you who have found that in me but I need all of you to know that MY inspiration throughout the last 21 months has been the constant support of the ski community (a large amount from NS). I don't know where I would be without that constant support and I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for being there for my family and myself.
When I woke up in the ICU and realized that I was paralyzed from the neck down and not breathing on my own I knew that there was a rocky road ahead. Even though at that point I could not speak, I could listen as my parents and Katrina read to me the notes of support pouring in from all of you. As news of my injury spread so did the blanket of support I was receiving and to be honest I'm just now able to really start to dig back through all of the messages and the vastness of the blanket puts tears in my eyes. It blows me away that somehow, someway I have been blessed enough to have the support of all of you without necessarily knowing you personally or even knowing how you know of me. I think it speaks to how lucky we all are to have each other in this community and I want all of you to know that if I can be here for you in any way I will be here.
In a long time since I've been able to write in my blog so I wanted to share with all of you what my current situation is... after finishing 'Transitions' I moved to Portland Oregon with my fiancée Katrina to take a job at Nike 6.0, I am blessed to have such an amazing woman in my life and a passionate group of people to work with. About the time of this move I was hitting my physical “plateau” meaning I was not making much physical progress through my therapy or day-to-day activities. They say that two years is the time frame in which you will know what you stand to gain back from the rehabilitation of your initial injury. So my current prognosis is C-5/6 quadriplegic meaning I am paralyzed from the chest down and in all four limbs. I have zero motor function below my waist but I'm lucky enough that I have been able to still have some use of my arms (deltoids and biceps), very little use of my hands (no individual finger movements) and a small amount of core control (I can bend over and pick myself up without having to push with my arms). Life is obviously not impossible living with these handicaps but it leaves a lot to relearn before I can call myself independent again. Currently I cannot prepare food, get in or out of bed, go to the bathroom, shower, get dressed or drive to work without assistance so there is a lot of learning ahead. Luckily I did not lose my work ethic so the learning will be done and once I'm at work I'm able to stay productive keeping my mind in motion and sanity intact.
Possibly the most promising gains I've made after my injury is the slight sensation that I have below my level of injury and the core control meaning my injury is incomplete! This is a great thing because there is still hope for me to regain function with the advancements in modern medicine specifically stem cell transplants. I have been planning on having a stem cell surgery done in the next year, as it is my greatest chance at regaining any more of my lost function (read about the procedure here… http://www.xcell-center.com/treatments/overview/treatment-process.aspx).
As news of my plans spread throughout my friends I was contacted by JF DuRocher who offered to help me raise funds for the surgery during IF3. I want to say a thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of those who took a moment to introduce yourselves to me at the event and donated to the next step in my rehabilitation. I promise I will keep all of you apprised of my progress. I will try to write in my blog more often as I know many of you follow my progress there.
I cannot say thank you enough from both my family and myself you guys have been and continue to be amazing and I hope that you can be as positive and supportive of each other as you have been for me.