Thursday, March 31, 2011

Traveling In Style

The last time Becky went on a long trip was about 10 years ago or so.  We went to visit her grandparents in Oswego, Kansas...about 900+ miles from our home in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  We had a car with plenty of leg room for Becky and could lay the seat way back so she could lie down for most of the trip.
Going to Kansas wasn't bad at all.  She was pretty comfortable and very happy to be out on the road.  Becky has always enjoyed going for short road trips with her family. Of course, it was much easier when she was smaller and used a folding wheelchair.  The trip back from Kansas was much harder on Becky's body because her skin was just not able to tolerate sitting for so many hours at a time.  Even though we stopped and changed her position every few hours, even though we shifted her weight in the car seat every few minutes, Becky developed a pressure sore.  
Pressure sores are very very painful.  And what shows up as  pin-point sore on her skin is much much bigger under the surface.  Becky cried all the way from Amarillo, TX to Las Cruces, NM.  Poor girl was in so much pain and unable to find a position where she didn't hurt.
When we got home, we got her in bed and kept her off her back...but, it took weeks for her sore to heal. That was when we decided it was simply not possible for her family to take her on any more road trips.  
As time passed, Becky's mother developed Lupus and was no longer able to lift Becky in order to provide her personal care or get her in/out of a car/van.  Becky's family is very grateful to the staff of Lessons of Life who provide for her care and take Becky out and about in her community.

A few weeks ago, Angel Care of Las Cruces sent Becky's family an e-mail telling them about a company that specializes in taking people with special need on destination vacations.

Hammer Travel company will provide Becky with transportation on her trip to NYC.  She will fly to Minnesota and meet up with other disabled individuals who will be joining her on her trip. Then they will all fly to NYC.  While in NYC, the company will be responsible for all transportation, using the paratransit system, taxicabs, etc.   She'll be able to get out of her wheelchair and rest as much as she needs in order to stay healthy.  As her family, it puts our minds at rest knowing that she'll be able to enjoy a trip and not have to suffer any health consequences.  Because of all the help she'll receive, Becky will be able to take her electric wheelchair on her trip.  She'll be more comfortable and independent using her own chair.  
The Hammer Travel staff use a 1:4 ratio so Becky will get plenty of attention to her needs...and they have promised that if her needs are for more attention, they will make those arrangements too!

Of course, using the services of Hammer Travel is not cheap.  It will cost quite a bit of money for Becky to be able to go on vacation.  Becky is a very determined young lady and has said she will work for the money.  But her ability to do fundraising is pretty limited by her physical challenges.  So, her family is working with her...for make her dreams come true.   We sure could use your help, though!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Special Olympics

Becky is "in training" for Special Olympics again!  

Becky is going to be in the wheelchair races again this year.  The regional games are in Anthony, New Mexico April 16 and the state games in Albuquerque are the weekend of May 21. 

For now, Becky goes to the track two times a week and practices staying between the lines as she runs her wheelchair on high speed.  She loves being with her friends as they practice for their events.  Becky is the only person in a wheelchair at practice so she has to be very independent and highly motivated to keep at it.  But she never complains about anything.  She works through the bright sun, the heat and gets the job done!

Here are some pics of her at Special Olympics last year.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Today Show

When Becky was a little girl, she LOVED watching the Today Show.  While we were busy getting ready for school or work, Becky would watch the news.  She was a big fan of Katie Couric and Willard Scott. When Al Roker replaced Willard, she would talk about missing Willard, but eventually Al won her heart as well.  Becky's favorite part was watching the weather.

Becky watched intently as they discussed whether it would be rainy, sunny or if there would be any storm warnings that day.  Then as we went out the door to start our day, she would give me the weather update:  "Looks like:  sunny, warm" or "Looks like: rainy".

She would often tell me how she wanted to go to New York City so she could be with all the people standing outside in that weather, waiting to talk with Katie or Willard/Al.  She wanted to see the tall buildings, see how television shows were made, go shopping.

These days, Becky still enjoys watching the Today Show and has become just as attached to Meredith, Matt & Natalie.  I can just picture her in her chair, holding a sign saying hello to her friends at Angel Care, braving a cold, crisp morning with a huge grin on her face! Maybe she could even meet an actor or two!

Monday, March 28, 2011

What is Becky's Dream?

This blog is dedicated to helping my daughter, Becky, fulfill her dream of going to New York City for her first real vacation.  I will be posting information about what she is planning, how she is hoping to pay for the trip and of course, what adventures she has while in NYC.

Becky was born with Cerebral Palsy and Arthrogryposis.  As a result, she cannot move her legs and has full function of only one arm/hand.  Becky uses an electric wheelchair for her mobility.  This makes her have challenges and obstacles when she wants to do things other people take for granted.

Becky has always wanted to go to NYC to do the typical shopping, sight-seeing and Broadway experience that most young people want to have.  She especially wants to go to 30 Rockefeller to watch the Today Show.  More about that later!

Fortunately, we have located a company that specializes in providing personal care, transportation, and serve as assistants as they help her through every step of her dream vacation to NYC!   Of course, this is a very expensive service.  So I am actively working very hard to help Becky raise money for her trip.