Making the Press…
Being one who is fully immersed in the world of orthotics and prosthetics, by virtue of life, pleasure and vocation, I am ALWAYS willing to share my experiences. And with that, I am so excited about the good that will come from the results of a recently-released study. Check it out!
My Top Travel Tips
Read my recent guest blog post on Momentum, the blog written for and by people living with limb loss. As many of you know I travel the world for work and play and I share my top 5 tips for making your travels as smooth as possible.
Driving to the film studio early yesterday, I saw this image on a rundown building. I drove past it, backed up, and took this picture. And as I sat there, studying the message, digesting its meaning: I started to cry. Not because of sadness but rather, that I finally realized there are no coincidences. There are no random meetings. There are no happenstance occurrences. These are all part of a bigger plan. And so, instead of trying to control things so much, I’m letting go. I’m stepping back and watching the Universe unfold.
And so I’d reply that now is the last time I’ve done something to better myself.
Would it be too forthright to just say that I love the reporter who wrote this piece? Shortly after a local news station ran a story about me being a fashion guru to women with limb loss, I got a call from a reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
He said: “So, I see that Fox 9 News did a nice piece on you”.
I replied: “Why yes, thank you, they did”. (All the while recalling how awkward the interview had been).
He said: “We want to know you. And we want to tell more of your story. Are you interested?”
To which I said: “Yes. Hell yes!” Okay, maybe I refrained from the latter.
Days later, we sat in my living room on a sunny Friday morning. Me on the sofa. He on the beige chair across from me. And with the steno pad in hand, he said, “We all felt like we wanted to help when we heard about Boston and the people who were hurt from the bombings. We didn’t know how to help but you did. How did you do that?”
Laughing I said, “I’m persistent. I don’t take no for answers and when the doors started to open, I diplomatically got in the doors. Not for the notoriety but rather, because I’ve been the one in the headlines. I’ve been the news story and I know what it’s like to have everyone asking me questions the answers to which I am clueless.”
The interview was easy. The tone was light. And within moments, the reporter saw that my message is real and my
Motive is altruistic. He saw me. And that’s what he wrote.
So here it is: I’m in a documentary film. A documentary film about my life and my life with limb loss.
Friday’s filming took me back to my accident scene. Back to a memory that stops with me leaving my friend’s house; looking down the driveway slope; looking both ways; and crossing the street. Then nothingness.
I looked at the blacktop and saw my six year old self with my mom at my side, surrounded by our neighbors and friends.
My mom was in Friday’s filming. Her recollection is now my recollection. I never knew that someone put a blue blanket on my legs. I never knew that I was so close to home. And I never knew that the truck driver stood behind the truck – throwing up.
As I stood there, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude for my brother who ran home yelling that “some dumb truck hurt Leslie”. Gratitude that my dad followed my ambulance as we went to three different hospitals that was equipped to save my life. And gratitude for my mom’s encouraging persistence that I sing “Jesus Loves Me” to remain conscious, to stay alive.
When asked why I’m doing the film, I said “it’s time”. It’s time to toss aside this mask of stoicism behind which I hide. It’s time to hide no more and to show the world one face that has a story worth sharing.
I’m one in million but how selfish would I be to keep my story inside? It’s about sharing this gift so other similarly situated people can live a better life. Be the good.