On the first day of 2017, I wanted to take the time to reflect on 2016. 2016 has been a year of growth and development. I have learned a great deal this year as a blogger, advocate and person. I was taken out of my comfort zone and really appreciate the lessons and growth that resulted.
Along the way, I have met some incredible people. Rebeca and Seth, my DWD counselors, helped create a team of individuals to take my blog to the next level. I never expected all the time and support I have received. This year the Fox Valley Foodie joined the team and became my mentor. With his guidance and knowledge, I have learned so much and my blog has evolved and continues to evolve. I am amazed at how my blog grew and developed with all this support.
Through my blog, I have met some very inspirational people. Jerry and Tyler Borth met with me to tell an incredible story of a hunting trip with Jerry’s son and Tyler’s brother, Wayne, who had Muscular Dystrophy. I visited Stable Hands and witnessed firsthand the incredible work that Diane Abitz does for individuals with disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding. I visited Little Lakes Ranch and talked with Dick Busha about the hunting and lodging opportunities that Little Lakes Memories Inc. provides at no cost to individuals with disabilities and their families. I befriended and interviewed, Indi Sugar, an inspirational singer, vlogger and blogger from Indonesia. I met with Patrick and Destiny Hoerter, who are raising funds to build Jo-Jo’s Jungle, an inclusive playground to honor their late son, Josiah. I am so touched and inspired by these incredible people.
I also had the opportunity to visit amazing places in my city of Wausau. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum was a definite highlight of my year. I visited several times and met the amazing staff and even members of the Woodson-Yawkey family. Meeting Alice Woodson Smith is a memory I will cherish for years to come. When Max Rea invited me to check out the accessibility at ReMax Excel, I was so touched by his dedication to making his building accessible for all clients and employees. He and others joined together to provide a wonderful holiday meal for my neighbors at my apartment building.
I was able to use my blog to advocate for others with disabilities. My blog on Braille menus brought awareness to the lack of braille menus in many restaurants. Recently, I published a blog on the snow and ice covered sidewalks and corners in Wausau. I expressed my concern of the dangers this creates for individuals like myself through an email to Mayor Robert Mielke. Mayor Mielke immediately responded and shared my concern. I hope through my typed words and awareness, changes are made to increase accessibility, not just in my community but abroad as well.
This year friends and family gathered to raise funds for me to purchase a newer and safer van. There are far too many people to list who joined in these efforts. I am very close to having a newer and safer van in my parking spot for 2017! My ability to travel safely is crucial for the success of my blog. I can’t ever thank you all enough for your time, efforts and love.
Most importantly, I want to thank my readers for all your support. Without my readers, Come Roll with Me, would not exist and my voice would not be heard. I am so grateful for your feedback and comments. This support only motivates me to be a better blogger and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
Looking ahead into 2017, I hope to continue to grow as a blogger and writer. I am excited to continue to meet amazing people who make this world a better place. I am dedicated to continue to advocate for others with disabilities and to empower them to fight for what is right. I will continue to work with local and state businesses to make positive changes in accessibility. I am motivated to continue to research and share recent developments that make the lives of individuals with disabilities easier and improve their quality of life. Most of all, I will continue to Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’!
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