After over a year of headaches, frustration and multiple people’s hard work, my books finally became available in e-book format a couple of weeks ago. The whole process was a complete nightmare! I’d like to share with you the reason I pushed through to get them as e-books.
This cutie, Edgar, communicates nonverbally using an Ipad. He is learning to use his head to select different phrases and options on the iPad. Like many of my fans, Edgar’s hands cannot turn the pages of a paper book. Having Wendy on Wheels on his iPad allows him to read Wendy’s adventures or have them read to him. This brings Wendy’s adventures to a whole group of children who may not have had access to them before.
When I see this picture of Edgar, I am reminded of my cousin, AJ, who passed away about 10 years ago. AJ had a severe form of cerebral palsy. Edgar looks so much like AJ it’s scary.
My favorite memory of AJ is this one. My dog, Cleo, loved (and still does) to lick people’s faces. She would put her paws up on his wheelchair and lick him all over his face and mouth. AJ would laugh with delight and open his mouth more.
I will have big news regarding “Wendy on Wheels Moves On” at the end of the week!!!
The month of October has been busy for Wendy on Wheels! October 7th, my sister and I visited Kellison Elementary in Fenton, Missouri. We presented in an all school assembly for their Ability Awareness Day. What a wonderful group of students! Mandy and I talked about what it was like growing up. Then, we opened it up to questions and answers. There were a lot of good questions for Mandy. They were really imagining Mandy when she was in elementary school. They asked questions like, “What is your favorite color?” And “What is your biggest struggle in life?” It was awesome!!! Now, they can say they’ve met someone who uses a wheelchair.
This morning, we went to the two and three year old room at St. Micheal and St. George School. We read Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Beach. Afterwards, each child was allowed to touch Mandy’s wheelchair. Their teacher, Lisa has been teaching them about differences. They’ve been learning about difference in skin color and hair color. Today, the focus was differences in abilities.
School visits are my passion!!!! I love raising awareness especially with my sister!!!!
A few weeks ago, I went on a short vacation with my family to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s such a beautiful place! When I was in Old San Juan, we saw a little hut with a fountain on the outside dedicated to a woman named George Wally Chavin.
The words on the plaque tell a sweet story. The plaque reads, “George Wally Chavin 1910-1966 Almost totally paralyzed, she excelled academically, performed athletically and in her prime swam 40 pool laps daily. During W.W.II, she met her love in this hut, then a military canteen. Serving as a volunteer Red Cross Hostess from her wheelchair. They were married and he neccessarily became her lifelong lifeguard, protector and lover. May Chavin’s beauty, intelligence and courage be an inspirational to all. Donated by Chavin’s Widower”
I love good, romantic stories!!! It’s especially cool for me to see a memorial set up for a person who used a wheelchair. So sweet!!!
In other news, I’m getting ready to work on book 5. My creativity is flowing again!
A couple weeks ago, my sister, Mandy and I were on our way out the door to get a coffee at a local coffee shop, Kaldi’s. There’s a small step coming out of the kitchen at my house. I forgot to tilt her wheels up when I helped her down the step. I wasn’t thinking. I guess I was used to my son’s stroller, which doesn’t need to be tilted back, the wheels just go straight down. She fell out of her chair and broke both of her legs. To top it off, she had a fatty embolism that punctured her lungs and was in the hospital and ICU all last week. It was very serious. Everyone was so worried. I couldn’t imagine life without my sister. I felt like I was going to choke on my heart.
Last Monday, she got to go home. I am so relieved.
Anyway, here is an interesting story about my sister and the accident. When she got back in her wheelchair right after it happened, she said she was fine. Since Mandy has spina bifida, she wouldn’t feel it if her legs were broken. Her one leg had a bump under it right under her knee. She insisted that it wasn’t broken because she touched it and didn’t turn white right away. (I think that was what she said.) So we went to meet my friend, Nichole at the Kaldi’s. We stayed for about an hour and a half. Then walked home.
On the way back, Mandy started to feel short of breath. She couldn’t push herself up my driveway. I pushed my son’s stroller up then helped her up. The bump on her leg started to look worse and worse. An hour later, my dad left work to take her to the hospital. That night, they took x-rays and found out one leg was broken. I felt terrible. How did I not know I was supposed to tilt her chair back? How many years have I been taking her around?
She sent me a text that night that said, “Yeah it’s broken.” I responded a few times. One of the next texts really says a lot about my sister read, “I forgot to say thanks for a great day!” I thought she was being sarcastic at first. No, she was serious. Despite 2 broken legs, she still had a great day. Wow!!!
So back to the injury, they didn’t find out the other leg was broken until Sunday. She couldn’t breath. The doctors originally thought she had pneumonia. Her breathing and pain had gotten worse, so Monday night they moved her to the ICU. They had her in a coma. She improved a few days later. They removed the ventilator and feeding tubes. On Thursday, the home nurse discharged her. She is going places again and transferring in to her bed and the couch from her wheelchair. YAY!!!
Now, she has a whole new outlook on life. I will have to have her tell you about it. Thank you everyone for all your prayers and wishes!!! We greatly appreciate it. It so great to have the real Wendy (Mandy) back on wheels!!