Tag: handicapped

Rugby’s Friend Has Cerebral Palsy

My friend Glenda has Cerebral Palsy and she is way cool! She is very funny and very smart and I like her a lot. She wrote a book called I’ll Do It Myself. My mom has been reading it to me and we laugh during parts of it and cry during other parts. Do you know why? Well I’ll tell you. It’s because Glenda’s story and mine have things in common and we are both very smart, determined, very funny and we overcome hurdles in our lives because of our courage and tenacity…whatever that is!  Well, except that I am a dog and she is a person but you already knew that, right?

I’ll tell you more about Glenda later but here’s one very cool part of her story. When she was little and in the hospital, she had gone through a lot because of the Cerebral Palsy and her parents knew that if she could see her little dog Bonnie, she would feel better. Guess what? They made it happen. Glenda got a visit from Bonnie while she was in the very clean and sterile hospital! How cool is that?

I wish I could have been allowed to see my human mom when she was in the hospital but I wasn’t because nobody pushed the issue. Glenda’s mom and dad must be so awesome to have accomplished what they did.  They must be very remarkable, just like I am. Well, except that I am “Remarkable Rugby Jones” and they are remarkable Glenda’s Mom and Dad. Don’t you agree?”

Don’t Go Near Him…Something Is Wrong With Him

don't be afraidDon’t Go Near Him

One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. It was a rainy day and there were very few people in the store. As always, Rugby was scoping out everything at his eye level. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard people talking.

I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice saying, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.

It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.”

At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”

The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?”  I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?”

I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It’s okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.

She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis.

As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget.

“Emily and Alex, don’t ever be afraid of anyone who is different from you. Try to understand what they are going through and be kind because that is how you want to be treated.”

What a lesson those children learned on that day. What lessons are you teaching your children?

Lazylegz Patuelli Lives “No Excuses, No Limits.”

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli was born with Arthrogryposis (multiplex congenita) which is a rare disorder that causes limited joint movement and poor muscle growth. In addition, Luca was diagnosed with scoliosis at eight years of age and had a 70˚ spine curvature at thirteen. He had surgery that involved fusing eight vertebrae and the insertion of a titanium rod. He has had sixteen surgeries.

This young man grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and never has allowed his disability to slow him down. He has enjoyed participating in swimming, diving, skiing, horseback riding, sailing and skateboarding.

When Luca was fifteen, he became interested in breakdancing. Because of his disability, Luca learned breakdancing moves and modified them to create his own unique style. Luca has powerful upper body strength and he utilizes that strength along with his crutches to do his breakdancing.

In 2007, Lazylegz Patuelli created ILL-Abilities™, which is an international crew that is made up of the world’s best “ill-abled” dancers from Canada, USA, Chile and Holland. The goal of this amazing team is to spread the message that being creative, positive, and able to adapt to adversity opens many possibilities. Their words of wisdom resonate with all who see them and hear their message. “No Excuses, No Limits.”

Lazylegz Patuelli

You are our hero because you embody everything that it takes to be a hero at a time when kids need heroes so very much. Please visit my Wall of Heroes to see some amazing people!

Just an Innocent and Loving Child: Adalia Rose

Our newest hero is Adalia Rose Williams. She is a bright, funny, talented, loving and courageous little girl. Her life would be perfect except that one thing makes a perfect life out of reach for her. Amelia suffers from a premature aging condition called Progeria.

The condition is called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome and it occurs in about one in eight million live births. The symptoms are similar to those of the elderly except that they occur more rapidly; in this case seven times faster.

People who have this condition experience limited growth and alopecia. (Baldness) Often they have small noses and jaws and heads that are large for their bodies. The health issues that they suffer are similar to those of the elderly and include kidney failure, loss of sight and heart problems. In addition, their skin can be wrinkled and extremely delicate. There are many other symptoms.

Sadly, there is no cure or treatment for Progeria. Children rarely live past 13 years of age.

This wonderful child has been the target of bullies on FaceBook and I think this may be one of the most mean spirited bullying attacks that I have ever heard. There are so many ways that people can support those with differences and many have supported Adalia Rose. Then there are the ones who have maliciously attacked this child and her parents. In my humble opinion, adults who are low enough to attack a child with differences are the bottom feeders in the sea of life. At some point, it’s too late for sorry.

Please share your thoughts.

Our Hero: Eli Reimer (and His Dad)

Elisha “Eli” Reimer is our newest hero. He is fifteen years old and the first person with Down syndrome to reach the base station of Mount Everest.

This amazing young man has a passion for sports and his enthusiasm for “life” is contagious.

Eli gave the world yet another reason to come to the realization that with the right attitude, special needs kids can do just about anything that other kids can do. Eli trained for over a year before he began his unique climb. He and his dad and six others hiked with purpose. They climbed 17,600 feet in frigid temperatures to benefit the Elisha Foundation.

The Elisha Foundation, named after the ninth grader, was established in 2005 with the goal of helping families of children with disabilities by offering “practical and emotional support” through free retreat programs. These programs are funded totally from donations. In addition, the Elisha Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for orphans with disabilities.

Those of you, who are regulars here, know that we share stories about people who have all kinds of differences. We are so very impressed by the parents who do not allow their “dif-abled” children to feel sorry for themselves.

This is indeed the story of believing and achieving. As Eli’s father  Justin Reimer says, his son’s Down syndrome is a “uniqueness.”  As with other “dif-abilities,” there are  sometimes prejudices among people who don’t understand.

So far, Eli’s hike to the base station of Mount Everest has generated over $85,000.

Eli’s father, Justin Reimer was quoted as saying, “I would say over 90 percent of the world’s cultures don’t accept disability and wouldn’t think that somebody like my son would be able to attempt let alone complete something like this. So it was an amazing experience to do it with him. And like I said he actually led the way. We were dragging. We were experiencing our own sense of disability as we went up into the mountains and he led us all the way to base camp.”

What a father son relationship and what an example for all of us to emulate as we face our own life’s trials and tribulations.

Photo: ralky

Enjoy Rugby Jones? Please spread the word :)

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)