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> Beating The Odds, overcoming life's obstacles
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gettin-away 
Posted: 23-Jan-2004, 11:36 PM
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Have you ever been driving done the ole highway of life and as you come around a bend in the road you find a crack the size of the Grand Canyon?

I have.

Twenty-five years ago I met the most beautiful person. We fell in love and in May of 1980 we were married. Our dreams included a family full of children, but my bride was diabetic. As we looked for ways to fulfill our dreams her doctors thought she might be strong enough to try for one child. In early January of 1981 we found out Dianna was pregnant, but it might also come with a cost. Knowing the obstacles and the possible outcomes we still anticipated the day when our family would be three.

My daughter was born on June 4th, three months early and weighing just two pounds. For the first several weeks they were both in ICU units in the hospital. My wife got stronger and came home, but it was a full three months before my daughter was able to join us. Just two and a half weeks later my wife died in her sleep. At twenty-one I became a single father of a premature child.

Test were run and my daughter was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy and possible mental impairments. When she was three I was told she would never finish school. She started classes at a school for children with severe disabilities. She stayed here one year before I pulled her out and mainstreamed her in the public schools... Now fast forward to the fall of 1999. She has starting her senior year of high school and is in the top ten percent of her class academically. She was also crowned homecoming queen by her peers. The first time a girl with a disability is given this honor at her school. She has also competed in our local Miss Hibernia competition two times, the first time she was the first runner up. In 2001, her second attempt, she won the honor of wearing the crown for a year. On that St. Patrick?s Day she rode in a green limousine in our local parade and she ruled over the days celebration, she even made the front page of the newspaper. She is now in college and she will soon graduate as a special education teacher near the top of her college class.

In our attempts to make it to the next day my daughter and I have become an inspiration to those around us. Facing life?s little obstacles often does that to you and many times you don?t even realize it. When I told this story in another thread it was answered by one who has also faced and overcome great obstacles. Sharing these stories gives hope to others who feel they are all alone in what they face.

Does anyone else have a story they would like to share about ?beating the odds? and the lives your decisions have changed?



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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 06:05 PM
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well, mine isn't as impressive but my english teacher told me I had no grasp for languages... the next test I wrote I finished off as best out of my whole class biggrin.gif


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gettin-away 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 06:40 PM
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Aon_Daonna wrote
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well, mine isn't as impressive but my english teacher told me I had no grasp for languages... the next test I wrote I finished off as best out of my whole class  biggrin.gif 


One of the hardest obstacles to overcome is when someone of authority (like a teacher, doctor, etc.) tells you what you can't do. For years I was told I couldn't raise my daughter because I was a man. It made me feel like I was some kind of a terrible monster taz.gif .

Congratulations on being able to rise above that type of a comment and show your true worth thumbs_up.gif . It can sometimes be a struggle to get over this kind of roadblock and still what to continue on.


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Annabelle 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 06:44 PM
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Gettin-away I don't have a story to tell but I just wanted to commend you for not giving up and how inspiring your story is to me. God has blessed you both and I'm glad you shared your story with all of us. Thank you!

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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 06:50 PM
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a friend of mine has a younger sister who when she was born had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and had a severe lack of oxigen being transported to her brain. She is now severely mentally disabled and apart from that she suffers from epilepsia.
She is 8 now and has the mental state of a 2 year old, but she is very much loved by her family and one of the nicest human beings I know.
Even those children deserve a chance in life and I am sure she will keep her happiness.
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peckery 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 09:08 PM
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I have been an insulin dependant diabetic for 30 years. In the past 8 years, I have had 16 eye surgeries, three surgeries to my hands for complications, have had a detached retina (was repaired back to 20/40 vision smile.gif ) and my stomach has related nerve damage, so I have to eat many small meals, instead of three large ones. I play drums professionally, have my own contracting company. With me it has been "OK, now there is this to figure out or deal with. I can do that!" Being diabetic is so much of who I am that I never feel sorry for myself. I still do about everything I want to, and there is always someone else who is in worse shape than I am. Working for myself has been very important. It gives me the flexibiliy to take an hour or a day off when I am not feeling well.. Take care.... king.gif
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peckery 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 09:11 PM
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P.S. Sounds like you have done one hell of a job. clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif
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gettin-away 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 10:02 PM
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When my daughter was in second grade she came to me concerned about how "different" she was then everyone else. She couldn't run good or jump so her feet left the ground. I sat her down and told her to start watching the people around her.

After a few days we talked again about it. I asked her if any of these people had glasses, she answered "yes." I asked if any of them struggled with certain subjects in school like math or english, she answered "yes." I asked her if any of them had trouble in gym class, again she answered "yes." She soon realized that she wasn't alone. Everyone has something in their lives that is an obstacle and she soon began to look at everyone as if they were on the same playing field. I finished it by using myself as an example. I were glasses and I'm bald. I told her it doesn't get any worse then that. down.gif

As she entered junior high school there wasn't one of her peers who wouldn't stop to help her. Even the bullies of the school would open doors and carry her books for her. It was because she treated everyone the same. They were all her friends.

Many fathers have told me they could never have done what I have done. I never thought my life would be what its been and you really don't know what you are capable of until you face it. My goal in my younger life was to blend into the background as much as possible. Because of my daughter I now get up and talk in front of groups of people. It's still not easy, but just too have one person come to me and tell me I've helped them, it's worth it. I only wish that when my daughter was small more people had given me hope then took it away. The loss of hope was always one of the biggest battles for me. When I'm inside looking out I can except just about anything life throws my way. But, too often when I'm on the outside looking into someone elses life society tells me if they aren't perfect their not a complete person. It's everywhere you look books, magazines, TV, movies and so a lot of incredible stories go unnoticed because we hide them rather then share them. Its good to see people telling about themselves here. Even though we are all different we are all the same. That's cool.

peckery my daughters boss (who grew up with my wife) is also diabetic. Just before Christmas 2002 her kidneys shut down. Just days before her mother was going to give her a kidney she was called to the hospital. There was a donor kidney and pancreas available. One year later and she still shows no sigh of diabetes. She can even enjoy an occasional piece of candy. She also owns the local Celtic Shop.

I want to thank everyone who has kept this thread growing. You never know when someone will read this at a low point in their lives and receive the strength to keep going.
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DesertRose 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 10:08 PM
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Gettin-away! Thank you for starting this thread. What an awesome inspiration you and your daughter are. It is like you say, everyone has obstacles. Some people are able to hide it easier than others, but we all have something. I still think you should write that book! wink.gif smile.gif


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gettin-away 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 10:18 PM
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Thank you and yes the book is in the works. I have the main story down and I have been fortunate enough to find someone here in these forums to do some editing on it for me. I haven't done any writing since high school and that was a few years ago.

Now.....when it's made into a movie who will play me??? wink2.gif

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kevsen 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 10:23 PM
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Yours is a very inspiring story gettin-away. I'm glad you shared it and that I came on to read it.

Probably one of the best things you did for your daughter was to get her out of the special needs school where they probably would have trained her to become dependent.

Well-done sir, I tip my cyberhat to you.


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kevsen 
Posted: 24-Jan-2004, 10:26 PM
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QUOTE (gettin-away @ Jan 24 2004, 10:18 PM)
Now.....when it's made into a movie who will play me??? wink2.gif

gettin-away

Well, Mel Gibson may be available since he'll most likely get ostracized from Hollywood after the release of The Passion of the Christ.
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peckery 
Posted: 25-Jan-2004, 02:41 PM
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peckery my daughters boss (who grew up with my wife) is also diabetic. Just before Christmas 2002 her kidneys shut down. Just days before her mother was going to give her a kidney she was called to the hospital. There was a donor kidney and pancreas available. One year later and she still shows no sigh of diabetes. She can even enjoy an occasional piece of candy. She also owns the local Celtic Shop.

[/QUOTE]
That is great news. My goal has always been to live long enough and stay healthy for when a cure is found. smile.gif
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 25-Jan-2004, 02:43 PM
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my grandma is diabetic and she has spent the whole last week in hospital because her kidneys stopped working...
And it's even worse when you get it at young age like the daughter of our neighbours. She's had diabetes since I can remember and that pen was't invented by then so she actually always had to use syringes to get the insulin into her...
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maisky 
Posted: 25-Jan-2004, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (gettin-away @ Jan 24 2004, 10:18 PM)
Thank you and yes the book is in the works. I have the main story down and I have been fortunate enough to find someone here in these forums to do some editing on it for me. I haven't done any writing since high school and that was a few years ago.

Now.....when it's made into a movie who will play me??? wink2.gif

gettin-away

Brad Pitt! biggrin.gif


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