I think this will be the last post of writing from the start of my blog. What I had written about is really the sort of things that help me through the rough moments in my own life. I'm not sure if I realized that when I originally wrote about them in 2011. Just like the challenges I've been faced with have made me who I am, the positive experiences along the way have influenced me as well.
I don't think that I would be the person I am today if I had not been through what I have been through. It has really opened my eyes to what some people have to go through and has made me want to help in changing the lives of others.
While going through my surgeries in grade two and afterwards, I raised over $2000 for the Canadian Orthopedic Foundation and went to the Hip Hip Hooray walk. This was the first time that I had ever raised money and it made me feel really good to know that I was helping people. To raise the money, I went door to door to ask people if they wanted to sponsor me for the walk. My elementary school also held a walk for it.
After all of the surgeries on my leg, I have started talking to parents and children about to go through limb lengthening or thinking about it. I share my experience, help them prepare, and tell them what they can expect. I actually created a website about it all while going through my second round of lengthening. It can be found at http://www.theillizarov.yolasite.com/.
Last year I heard about CURE International, a non-profit organization that provides life changing surgeries to children with physical disabilities in developing countries. After reading more about what they do, I really wanted to help out. I had been able to get the surgeries that I needed and I want to help insure that other children have the same chance no matter where they live. At first I got some friends together and we held a 'Dance 4 Kids Who Can't' at my old elementary school and then I mentioned it to a group I am in called the District Student Advisory Council. We decided to use CURE International in our COR Project (celebration of respect). The event turned out quite big and extremely amazing. We had events throughout the day to teach the students about what it is like to grow up with a disability, we had a keynote from CURE, and we finished the day with a flash mob in the local mall. To read about the children we are helping in Malawi, to see how much we've raised, and to donate you can go to www.cure.org/dsac42.
When I was in the hospital, my mom took time off work to stay with me. So she wasn't making money but having to spend a while lot. All of the extra costs really added up. A social worker gave us some money to help out with gas and parking and gave my mom some coupons for food. I was so thankful to have had this help because it allowed my mom to stay with me. I realized that my family is probably not the only family going through something like this so I decided to Pay It Forward and help those other families by raising over $5000 for the Pay It Forward Fund at the Royal Columbian Hospital. It started out small but has grown quite big. I have lots of friends who have helped with bottle drives, bake sales, and face painting. I have also gotten many donations from people.