Daily Archives: March 19, 2006
Usually, Santa Claus arrives Dec. 25. This year, “Santa” took a little extra time to bring a special gift to a deserving young Edmond girl. Stephanie Mundell, 13, wished for a computer for Christmas, but she can’t type on a keyboard in the traditional way. When she was 3 years old, she was hit by a car and suffered a C-2 spinal cord injury, which left her without movement of her arms and legs and unable to breathe without a respirator.
Stephanie needed a computer she could operate with a mouthpiece, equipped with special word-recognition software. And with the help of some Edmond friends, “Santa” came through with a Hewlitt-Packard laptop computer, a printer and wireless Internet service.
This morning, for the second year in a row, Castaic resident and Web site designer Marc Richards, paralyzed from the middle of his chest to the tips of his toes due to a freak medical accident in early 1998, will walk the last 400 feet across the finish line at the 21st Los Angeles Marathon.
Cheering him on will be his clinical exercise physiologist and trainer Taylor-Kevin Isaacs, wife Nancy, 11-year-old daughter Sami, 14-year-old son Jacob and a gang of friends from Castaic and the Santa Clarita Valley.
As he did last March, Richards will cross the finish line under his own power, wearing a specially designed brace for his hips and legs, a pair of forearm crutches, a slick-looking running outfit, sweat on his brow, and the determination of a champion.
Life Rolls On is a non-profit 501(c)3 Foundation that exists to be a grassroots resource and an advocate on behalf of young people who have sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI).
In layman’s terms, what happened next was that my white blood cells overreacted to the poison and in their zealousness to get rid of the chemo, ‘ate’ the myelin sheath* coating around my spinal cord at my T-4 vertebrae. By May I was paralyzed at that level. Sometimes my condition is referred to as Transverse or Diffuse Myelitis. The tumor led to seizures every couple of months through May 1999. Since then, except for two most unusual occasions, I haven’t had any seizures. The doctors say my condition is permanent. What do doctors know about the future? I rehabilitated in hospitals until my return home in October 1998.
Within these pages I will attempt to give you a taste of what has happened to me in the last seven tumultuous, challenging and interesting years.