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Monday, November 14, 2011

Sometimes dreams really do come true

Last week at my Cleveland Clinic presentation, I was talking
about the impact my disabilities had on my career aspirations. I
explained that I dreamed of teaching children with profound
developmental disabilities. I didn't have much time for a career
before I got sick and became severely disabled, myself.
Eventually I gave up on the teaching goals, and decided I want to
be a writer instead.

Later in the presentation, I was explaining to the med students
about how they need to look past the disabilities and find the
real person within. I used myself as an example. "I'm a mother
and writer... A student... a volunteer at Hattie Larlham..."

The connection hit me like a lightening bolt. I sat there
going on with my speech, but in truth, my mind was reeling. I
felt both shocked and electrified.

I dreamed of teaching children with profound developmental
disabilities. I am a volunteer at Hattie Larlham, working with
individuals with profound developmental disabilities. I may not
be teaching, and I may not be working with children. I'm not
getting paid for my time and effort. None of that matters. I
dreamed of working with people with profound developmental
disabilities, and t's exactly what I'm doing now. Sometimes
dreams really do come true.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you came to this realization. From what it seems like, your volunteering at Hattie Larlham definitely counts toward your dream of working with children with disabilities.

    What I don't think you realize, is that by meeting with us (the med students at the Cleveland Clinic) last Tuesday, you were also teaching. We learned so much from you. It was truly a remarkable class that I know will leave a lasting impression on all of us. You gave us a perspective that many of us would not have otherwise thought of, and we will be better doctors for having been there. Learning how to listen and understand our patients will allow us to work more effectively with them in the ultimate pursuit of providing the best care. This is such a crucial part of medical education, and one that we don't often get. Thank you so much for coming in to talk with us!