As a child, I had never heard or knew anyone who had a disability. Growing up in a rural area, I didn’t recognize the term from anyone I knew, but in the “old days” it was called “crippled”. In fact, Seattle’s Children Hospital was called the Crippled Children’s Hospital. As time, nomenclature and knowledge have changed so have we at Mission Possible.
Words have changed from crippled, to handicapped, to disabled too differently abled. My sister and I laughed as her condition never changed even when the words describing her condition did. My sister was permanently injured when a train hit our car, fracturing her spine, one leg and one arm. Becky spent the next 7 months in a body cast, having to be turned every two hours. She then spent much of the next 5 years at the children’s hospital having surgeries and rehabilitation.
Becky was my inspiration. She never complained or whined about her condition and was up for almost any challenge. She moved from the body cast to a wheelchair, to braces and crutches. She never was able to rid herself of the crutches, but she could walk with those aids.
Never looking at her disability as a limitation, Becky went to summer camp for kids with disabilities and there decided to become an interpreter for the deaf. She never looked back from that goal. She went to college, met a nice man, married, and had two children. She always looked at what she could do and not what she could not do, then she did it.
In the accident, Becky and I were lying on the back seat asleep when the train hit our car. Why did she sustain injuries that would last her entire life and I just had cuts and bruises? Lots of cuts and lots of bruises, but they all healed in two weeks. I can’t answer the question of “Why her and not me?”, but as a result I’ve dedicated my life to my sister and others with disabilities. As children, we found ways to share activities. She was a part of almost every activity I did but, she did it differently. She became a proficient seamstress; I cut out the fabric while she sewed. I swept the floor, while she dusted. She stirred things on the stove while I got the ingredients. We learned to share almost every job, with her doing what she could do and me doing the rest. Adapting, accommodating, and adjusting were the keys to her success and participation.
We adapted her wheelchair by putting a board on the arms to lift her. I bumped her down the stairs so she could fill buckets with feed and water for our animals. We adjusted how we played games like baseball, with the entire neighborhood crawling to bases instead of running. Where I went, she came also, sitting in the back seat to accommodate her two full leg casts.
In much the same way, we at Mission Possible are dedicated to you. We will help you achieve your goals through adaptation, accommodations and adjusting. We will help you look at what is possible and help you achieve your mission!
Let’s work together as you seek Social Security Disability benefits, a job to become financially independent and secure, or a partnership in bringing these services to your clients! We want you to be able to say, “Mission Accomplished!”