Lend a Hand: Blog: Melissa’s Smile

302580_4695977568211_669871097_n (400 x 267)So in this past week during my aquatic therapy at Kennedy Krieger, I was able to lift my legs up by basically pulling my knees up towards my chest and starting a walking motion! It was so crazy and so weird to see my legs pulling up when I was just thinking about it and could not feel it. It would be amazing to do this on land, but the fact that I’m doing it in water gives me some much needed hope that I haven’t had in a while.

We walked all around the pool with help from two therapists and it totally exhausted me, but it felt great to be moving around. We used a water walker which was made of PVC pipe and foam, a pretty awesome invention. I need one for home when I am discharged… which is coming soon. I’ll be discharged and will be working on my home workout plan for a couple of months before I go back for reevaluation at KKI and start therapy again. I really wish I had my own pool and a water wheel chair to use because I really think the water is a great form of therapy. I could go to my community pool, but I still don’t have a safe way in and out of the pool so I will really miss this on my break. However, I’m going to look into some possible clinical trials dealing with the pool to possibly keep myself swimming safely at KKI even while on my break.

I am still working out so hard and trying to stay positive! Thankfully I have this support system around me that keeps me going. This week, Bobby Wooley had his lacrosse captains are wearing my cancer colors (purple for Hodgkins.) Bobby and Brittany Boehm are planning some fun events to help me with finances and are part of an amazing support group that is always thinking of me even when I feel like I’m forgotten. Hearing from them last week really gave me an extra boost of happiness which makes me work even harder and feel better about where I am now.

I will be having a test soon to evaluate my Transverse Myelitis and to see if I have gained any sensation or if anything has changed. I will also have a MRI of my entire spinal cord to make sure there isn’t another flare up or any more inflammation… and I will definitely let you all know how I am doing.

I ask for your thoughts and prayers in the meantime, even though I feel that I don’t really have to ask and am so thankful and grateful for that. One more thing.. go for a run or a walk and take advantage of your legs and the weather for me!

For more updates or to make donations, my new web site is www.gofundme.com/2hoztw.

Thanks and all my love,

Editor’s Note: Melissa Smith, a very special person in need, was paying her way through Towson University (she graduated with a BA in Spanish) when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – twice. She battled and beat cancer twice while maintaining full-time employment. Then Melissa was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a rare neurological disease that attacks the spinal cord. She was left paralyzed just months after the diagnosis, but continued working until the day she lost the use of her legs. Melissa was our gracious recipient of the STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE fundraising event and is a contributor to the Shore Update.