This is an email I sent to virtually every person I know .... please read and consider posting on Cameron's carepage's site and of course, if you live nearby please consider coming to the event. If you remotely know me, you probably got this from me in your email, so for the redundancy. Just want to hit all the bases.

If you are reading this, you may be one of our closest friends, our next door neighbor, or a friend I haven’t seen in months …but I’ve pulled my contacts network wide open for this. Apologies if you receive this email twice, sometimes my contact lists overlap a bit.

Ever seen Chad is in power massive wheelchair and wonder why he is strapped into it – feet, legs, arms, chest? It’s because most people who are paralyzed have body wrenching spasms that can throw them either out of their chairs or into positions where they cannot drive their chair … or worse… in a position such that their chair drives but they cannot stop it. So, I strap his ankles in, seatbelt him in, strap down his wrists, and pull a tight strap across his chest. So that “wheelchair bound” thing is both literal and metaphorical.

Ever seen Chad and wondered how he broke his neck? It’s ok, you can ask. It was 19 years ago, he was 19 years old – carefree and horsing around with his college buddies in a warm May day. Then in a fateful moment, he dove off a dock into water that turned out to be shallow. As a result, he can’t move at all nor does he have sensation whatsoever from about 5 inches below the shoulders. His injury is called C4/5 complete, meaning he completely severed his spinal cord between the 4th and 5th vertebrae. There is no hope of any further functional recovery for him. (see my sig file though for ways to fight for help for those with newer injuries!!!)

Ever wondered how Chad gets about in life? A $42,000 wheelchair (yes, you read that correctly – and insurance paid $9,000 … and we have “good” insurance). He uses a mouthstick to type on the computer. Has his wife (that would be me) or a friend or paid-out-of-pocket attendant do what he needs: shower, dress, brush his teeth, feed, open doors, scratch his head, move crapola out of the way of his wheelchair (which I’m great at leaving a trail of crapola everywhere), has an “ECU”, environmental control unit that he speaks to and it does things like change the channel, controls the volume on the TV, etc. That is, IF the thing works ‘cause its 15 years old and awfully expensive to replace.

Ever wonder what we had to do to our house to modify it when we moved in just over a year ago? Widen all doorways to 4 feet. Demolish the master bathroom and start over again to have a roll in shower. Install an overhead lift in the bedroom which runs through to the bedroom, which also involved removing the doorframe between the bedroom and bathroom. Install a hydraulic lift in the garage. Put portable ramps on the outside of the house in case of a fire and the hydraulic lift is not functional or is too far away. Now try and imagine how much all of that cost. Now, minimally double whatever number you thought of. And oh yeah, add in the stuff like voice activated controls – like ours that is 15 years old and on its last leg. And the list of medical-type things one needs when paralyzed is mind bogglingly long, and that you cannot even imagine what they would be, much less cost unless you’re in the situation.

Why are you telling us this Ami?

Ever wonder how a 14 year old boy from Cary who broke his neck in December must feel, facing all of the above? Ever wonder how a working family feels facing the enormity of their son’s injury and all of the massive financial implications? And do you wonder if the family feels guilty for worrying about money when they want their son to fight fight fight and recover?

If any or all of these questions piqued your curiosity, please consider attending or supporting the IRONCAM event in Apex, NC on March 24th to help Cameron Wall, a 14 year old boy from Cary who broke his neck at the same level Chad, receive the best care, know that his community supports him and help a family who will surely be (likely already are) financially in crisis. We have never met Cameron Wall, his family does not know us, we learned of him via a friend of a friend of a friend type of thing. While we don’t know Cameron, WE KNOW SPINAL CORD INJURY. It is a very small (thankfully) community, but we unfailingly support “our own”. Which is why I’m sending this email.

Please consider attending the event or donating or offering a supportive email to him or his family. And heck you can meet us if you don’t know us! He’ll the one in a powerchair … oh wait, this will be one of those great times when Chad’s not the only guy in a wheelchair! (those are nice moments by the way). So I guess you’ll just recognize Chad from his stunningly beautiful wife and gorgeous little boy with him. (Chad’s wife, whoever she is, is very humble, lol!) On a serious note, we’d like to ask that however it is that you pray/think/meditate, send up a good thought for Cameron if you would please. Info on the event and Cam below:, create a login and then search for Cameron Wall.

Ami & Chad
(address / phone redacted, PM me for it)

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