And a huge THANK YOU TO MY FAMILY FOR PUTTING TOGETHER A GRAND EVENT-NO PUN INTENDED. It was a smash hit and I want to also thank everyone that came. I knew the support was there but on the level it is at-I never dreamed.
I made it home and I am adjusting. I had the most wonderful time in China! I can't tell what the emails and voice mails did for me. The support that I received was truly AMAZING!
I am going to write to this blog at least twice a week till I go back to China in late November or December 7th. See my dilemma is if I go December-I miss Christmas! I have to think ahead on this. Realistically, I will not have many of them left-I am basing that on the facts of my challenge-that is all. So, if I go in the third week in November I could be back!
My cousin Sally sent me a link to a website. http://www.mattieonline.com/ In the email she sent me there was a poem. I would like to share this with you!
On Being a Champion:
"A champion is a winner, A hero. Someone who never gives up Even when the going gets rough. A champion is a member of A winning team. Someone who overcomes challenges Even when it requires creative solutions
A champion is an optimist, A hopeful spirit. Someone who plays the game, Even when the game is called life. Especially when the game is called life.
There can be a champion in each of us, If we live as a winner, If we live as a member of the team, If we live with a hopeful spirit, For life"
Man, I am emotional this morning. I was up at 6am for some reason. Andra is still vast asleep! I read this kids website and just was awestruck! I come home Monday afternoon. I am excited to see everyone. And I am coming back to China for a month from December 6th to the second week in January. I need to kick my challenge(ALS) while it is down. I am excited to put into motion a plan on how to keep my challenge at bay. Looking forward to working with people to accomplish that! It is weird-I know some of you are saying,"what happened to Drew-the guy never wears his emotions on his sleeve-let alone anywhere". Well that has changed for the better. I feel relieved when I write down how I am feeling about myself, my situation, you guys, the day and just about anything. Through words, I am better able to express what I'm feeling-rather than talking about it-don't get me wrong I could talk a dog off a meat truck-but I could not convey my feelings as well as I write them. Mom-your loving this!! And it is a huge weight off my shoulders talking/writing instead of keeping my fears and feelings bottled up-I was great at that!
What I am trying to say is-Thanks for letting me ramble on. And feel free to vent-I am a great ear!
I have been asked a lot through emails, how I am and is it working. I must say I am over joyed with the amount of emails- They are great. Everyday I hear from someone new or a stranger that has heard about my challenge. I will return everyone of them. I am surprised how many people have been affected by ALS-by knowing someone that has it. I have gotten at least ten emails of people that know someone. And I welcome them because I am curious of there story and where they are in there challenge(my new word for ALS). I want to be able to tell them stem cells are a viable treatment option. Far too many people know about them but do not the how's and the where's. Meaning how do they work for the challenge (ALS) ahead and where are the best places to go. Well, I was approached to do a story about me and my challenge. I thought long and hard about not doing it-because of my family. I have discussed it with them and although some disagree, I am going to do it. I think with emphasis on why I am here and the treatments options, I can get the word out that there is hope! I have seen first hand the people that have waited too long to do anything or they just don't know. I look at it this way, if I can reach one person and have them get the treatment I have received, then the story was well worth it. And 18 out of 20 people at the hospital did not have the challenge(ALS). They had MS, Ataxia, SPI-Spinal Cord Injuries, Stroke. So if people get the word out, there is HOPE!
As for me-I could not have gotten through this without my sister Andra. She was my crutch while I was here. When I was scared she comforted me, when I was sick as a dog, she was right there holding my head. We have gotten so much closer because of my challenge. So there is some good that comes out of this-And one other thing-Andra-Love you!
All the re-connections I have made are wonderful. People I do not even know have emailed. People I have not talked in 20 years now email three times a week. The support has far surpassed anything I can dream of! And my family of course, have come to the forefront and stepped up big time. I love you all!
My spirits have never been better! I have the most positive outlook on my future. There are still mountains climb and oceans to swim-but I am much more prepared than I have ever been. Yeah, I still think about my challenge and the "what ifs" but this month has taught me to live and live well. I have always been a positive person but when I first got wind of the challenge ahead, I saw the glass as half empty. Who wouldn't!! But as time came and went and the support poured in and the treatment options broadened-I started to think, "I can beat this and beat it good".
So I end this post saying there will be many more in the coming days. Enjoy the pics. Best, Drew "If He(God) brings you to it, He will bring you through it".
Olivia-Wee is her real name-they all have American names-she is my acupuncturist-she was the best and gentle. She would ask questions about America and what it was like. Because of her I will continue acupuncture at home-it helped tremendously. I will miss her. The Occupational staff-they helped me with my throat muscles and speaking. They loved my IPOD and listening to American music-the ladies loved the group u2. The physical therapy room USA and Australia
My doctor-Dr. Yuang Hazel-Australia and Me with the nurses Jared-from Illinois-he was caring for someone-great guy we hung out a lot Jared, Mustaffa-my little man Jody(left) and her mom Hazel-Australia-Andra and Jody bonded. Hazel has upper motor neuron disease-basically the same as me
Andra and I We purchased a banner-that is way to say thank you we were told. So we and Australians bought one. I wrote it. That is one of my physical therapists-Bing Bing. He was great and taught me how to speak a little Chinese. And gave the best massages-he worked me over-especially my hands. the acupuncture room Claudio and me yesterday. He has ALS-4 years. From Switzerland-great inspiration and a great human.
My Man Mustaffa- He is the one that was shot in Iraq-The kid is my inspiration here. All he does is smile everyday and he comes by my room and checks up on me. He is the most courageous person I know! Me, Andra and Sorin-the champion wrestler from Romania. Steve and Erica from Romania. Steve is a funny man. Erica breathes life into everyone. After her last injection she started to walk a little without help down in rehab-I had to hold back my tears. The strides we make here are barley noticable to the naked eye but we know. And that is truly a miracle!
Greta from Romania getting her toes done My guy doing the do-it's short for the first in two years me Mom this is a question to you-read the the computer screen This one better for you to read mom-let me know you think-the haircut was 50RMB=US 7.25$
My stemcell injection went extremely well-no side affects what so ever. And I have a spring in my step! I tell you the acupuncture is really working. I am in the midst of finding a doctor in the states. Being in a new world sort of makes me wonder-the people are really not so different than us in there morals. The Chinese are so interested in westerners. As I am in them. Well I must go and take pictures-my buddy Sorin and Greta are leaving for Romania tonight-they are like family. Andra and Greta really bonded. You know the only thing that stinks is saying goodbye-because you will probably never see them again-although I am definitely heading to Moldova to see Boris. I want to see him play soccer!
Bye for now-as I say every post, the support you guys have sent my way touches my heart every time I get an email-without the emails and texts I do not know what I would do!
"There is no impossibility to him who stands prepared to conquer every hazard. The fearful are the failing"