My life has been irrevocably changed by the irresponsibility of a driver who refused to pull over when she knew she was uncontrollably drowsy -- and that stays with me every day. Still, unlike four years ago, I no longer feel there is no future.
When my paralyzed son Roman Reed told me, he was going on a little trip, I said, "Oh, that's nice!," and went on with my chores. I figured he meant a couple-hour jaunt from Fremont to Sacramento, something like that, no big deal.
Luckily, there are vaccines that prevent these viruses, and many others, from destroying our children. Vaccines that keep our families safe and intact. So no parent has to worry about whether their child will die, or worse, be permanently disabled by a preventable disease.
People are drawn to and support organizations and businesses that have shared values. Here's another novel thought: really good people and really good businesses become great when they create and maintain purposeful, meaningful work.
I have known Augie Nieto for over 25 years as the founder and owner of Life Fitness, one of the world's largest manufacturer's of Cardio & Strength equipment. When I first met Augie he was driving around in a Slugo Motor Home trying to sell his LifeCycles to Nautilus clubs.
For those of us who were spared by fate and vaccine, Philip Roth's Nemesis charts polio's course and brings to mind the friends and neighbors who suffered the withering and the life-long incarceration of limbs.
I think the disabled community is just fed up with hearing the old "I was only parking there for a minute" line on a fairly regular basis. We're annoyed with people assuming that there is a slim chance someone will need the spot while they're inside.
Similar to many others I've met in this situation, I am neither sad nor angry. And as more time passes, it has become increasingly apparent that what I want most in life might not be evident from where I am sitting.
The main question I think many people have is: "Can someone with paralysis have sex, conceive, and have a healthy pregnancy?" The answer is yes to all of the above. But, over the past four years, I have come to learn more about my unique circumstances as a result of my injury.
I'm not just a "paralyzed bride." I'm Rachelle, a regular girl who had everything going for her when it all came crashing down. And my dear friend, who had only innocent intentions, is not just the girl who pushed me.
As soon as a catastrophic injury like mine happens, people look to you for strength when they see that your life altering event didn't totally break you. But I'm not your typical motivator. And I don't spew your typical cliché advice.