Monday, February 21, 2011

Imagine not being able to feel your feet and how scared you would be that you would fall over with every step.  That is how Alysia feels everyday.   At 11:45 am today, Embraced gave her equipment so she can simply take a step with confidence.  

Meet Alysia.  This is her story.

Alysia has drop-foot.  Drop foot is a condition in which nerve dysfunction hinders the ability to lift one's foot off the ground while walking.  Today, Embraced gave her two AFO's, which is a splint that keeps her foot in a flexed position, so she can move her legs without her feet falling under her, potentially causing her to fall and sustain other injuries.  She has already broken her toes as a result of not having the proper medical equipment she needed- AFO's.  

Why does she not have this equipment?  Like many Georgians, she is uninsured.  1 in 3 in Georgia are uninsured. 

 "I applied for Medicaid, but that takes 45 days and I'm still waiting on my case worker to return my call.  I can't take a step without being terrified I will fall.  What can I do?  I called and got a $500 quote for the equipment I needed- which was not helpful because I can't afford it.  Then, thats when a friend of mine heard about Embraced and I contacted you and here I am".  

 In the course of getting her the equipment that she need, Alysia told me this was the first time in 34 days that she left her house.  After she stated this she told me she thought she was going to cry.  I told her that I thought I would too.

After the sentimental "Oprah" moment, we went back to joking around and I learned a little more about Alysia.  She too was a "joke-ster" and we cracked jokes and laughed.  For being in such a hard situation, it was so inspiring to see her in such high spirits.  

She told me how happy she was that Embraced existed because it was a solution for her.  She just wanted to walk and to move without being scared that her foot would turn under her.  She just needed a simple piece of equipment to do so and Embraced made it possible.

But, as always, it was more than equipment that was given.  Alysia was embraced.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I was pleasantly surprised to receive a very special gift recently.  It was a necklace that had a message in Sanskrit- "Shanti"- Peace.  I loved the design, but more importantly the message.  I thought how appropriate because weeks earlier, unknown to the gift giver, I had make a new years resolution, centered around peace.
So, I wore it with more depth and meaning, it was more than just an accessory- but rather a reminder of my life mission.  It became very sacred to me.

And then, in the hustle and bustle of an early morning flight, almost missing my plane and several pat downs from security, my necklace broke.  My peace broke.  

Immediately I launched into the script in my head that immediately plays.  You know, the one that say, "gosh Laur- why can't you be careful.  Why do you break everything?  Why cant you just have something nice for a bit?".

Then, I chuckled.  I grabbed the necklace and started fixing it on the escalators down.   I ignored the fact that I have no nails and huge hands (think :man hands" from Seinfeld, well, not really, but thats what it felt like trying to fix this delicate necklace).

I realized that this (fixing it) now meant more to me than just having a pretty necklace to adorn my collar.  It meant learning to remain calm when an unfavorable situation arises.  It meant learning a new dialogue to put into my head- one that doesn't take away but rather adds positivity to myself.

Calmly, with a couple deep breathes, patience and a knowing that nothing would break my peace, the necklace was mended.

Lesson:  Aim for peace.  Surround yourself with peace.  At times it will get interrupted, get broken, but when it does, have trust in yourself that you possess every capability of restoring it.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Admission: I have fallen in love.

Admission: I have fallen in love. Her name is Dollie and she is the best thing that has happened to me.  She is always there,behind me, carrying my load with such grace, such ease.  At times, when I need extra room, she just folds down and takes the back seat.  She is amazing.

What is even more amazing is how people want to steal her away (Raul, watch out, Dollie is mine!)- they see how special she is, how supportive and how strong she is- she is amazing.

Not only is she amazing, but she is also very philanthropic and ends up carrying most...okay, all, of the collected equipment at Embraced.

Dollie- you are amazing, shiny, strong and yet, filled with such fluid grace as you move.  You have changed my life and I am forever grateful for you.  You are the wheels beneath my load.