Charitable

You’ve inherited $5 million, with instructions that you must give it all away — but you can choose any organizations you like to be the beneficiaries. Where does the money go?

This was an easy Daily Prompt for me. There are several different causes that are important to me. One such cause is literacy. I have had a lifelong love of books and reading. It saddens me to read statistics on how many people cannot read. But the main cause that comes to mind is the Spina Bifida Association ( http://www.spinabifidaassociation.org.) I’m sure this is no surprise to a lot of you who know/have read about my physical disability. I want to be the best ambassador/spokesman I can be for Spina Bifida.

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Spina Bifida

I thought I would devote my second blog post ever to a subject that is near and dear to me. Many of you might have sensed that I had some sort of physical issue and been curious, but never asked. I have a birth defect called Spina Bifida (SB). In my case, it is a malformation of the spinal cord where the nerves around the spinal cord fail to connect to the right places. This results in muscle and nerve damage to the spine and spreads throughout the body. I am able to walk as a result of a couple of surgeries and by wearing short leg braces.

I use the words, in my case, because there are several different forms that SB can take; each differing in characteristics and severity. Along with the physical issues there are other things I have to deal with as well. SB patients, at least at the time I was born, typically have some sort of learning disability. For me, this made studying and school in general difficult, but not impossible. Having a teacher as a mom helped a lot as she was able to help me learn study habits that have helped me work all the way to a Masters degree.

An important part of this whole experience is the role of family and friends. I have been blessed with tremendously supportive family and friends who have helped me get to where I am by moral and financial support, thoughts and prayers. I am also fortunate to live an hour away from one of the best hospitals in the world for treating SB (Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital).

Part of writing this post was for it to be a kind of public service announcement. One of my goals is to spread the word about SB to make more people aware of it. I typically have not talked all that much about it. I’m trying to change that, but hopefully not in an obnoxious way. Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have about SB in general or my specific experience with it. As always, thanks for reading.