Encouragement: Another Special Extreme Makeover

Hey Guys~

Okay, so today is the first day of my physical therapy. I have already made some amazing strides even without therapy; I can’t wait to see what happens next. Granted, somewhat straight wrists don’t seem like much to most people. But it is for me. I’ll admit I’m not quite sure what I’m capable of in regards to range of motion and such. I kind of lowered my standards when it came to that area of my life.. I don’t know why. I guess other things were more important in my life back then. That’s all about to change. I don’t know what I’m capable of, but I am willing and going to find out.

A nagging question still still remains, “When will I be satisfied with where I am in my life?” I know what people are thinking, “Life is always about improvement.” I know that-that life is always about growth and improving oneself. I just want things to settle down for me. I want to be able to look at my life and say “I’m happy with where I am .” Not only for myself, but for my parents as well. I know they don’t say it, but I know they are concerned about what will happen to me when they’re gone. How much will I be able to do on my own? Who will take care of me? Questions like that haunt me as well. But I just hold out hope that friends and family will come through for me. Otherwise, fear like this could stop me from living my life without worry.

I apologize for these personal musings. It’s just something I had to get off my chest. In reality, they kind of fit with today’s post. How do we learn to live life to the fullest despite the barriers placed in front of us? That’s a tough question-the answer varies from person to person. Take this week’s family on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for example. The Riojas family has overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives. Growing up, Mary was born with a rare genetic mutation that left her with one arm and no legs. But that hasn’t stopped her from living a full life raising 4 wonderful children. Today, she also gives back to Easter Seals-the organization that once showed her that anything is possible.

“I really believe that we ourselves inside know what our own boundaries are and whether/ how far we can push ourselves,” said Mary Ann.

After being the first one in her family to graduate, she had high hopes for giving her family and things she didn’t have growing up. But it didn’t come easy. With the help of the Fresno Housing Authority, she was able to put a down payment on a house. Despite accomplishing one of her dreams, that house is not really adaptable to her needs. That counters and cupboards are too high and there is barely enough room for wheelchair to move.

“Two words to describe my house are ‘limits’ and ‘dangers’-once I had to get up on the kitchen counter and slipped and fell, where I broke my pelvis bone in half ,” she said.

While the family vacations in Colorado skiing, Ty Pennington and his crew made it their goal build a home without barriers.

In the end, Ty Pennington not only build her a home, but thanks to extra funding from several companies, they were able to pay off Mary Ann’s student loans as well as donate money to buy more wheelchairs for the Easter Seals program.

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Citation for TV program: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” ABC Channel 7 WJLA, 8 March 2009

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