Paws 4 Power

 

 

I enjoy life in Kingston after a somewhat nomadic life as an "armed forces brat". Even after there was no need to follow a posting I continued to travel and find my own way and place in the world. When I was 40 and working in Vancouver at a job I loved, I was diagnosed with spinal bulbar muscular atrophy - A.K.A. Kennedy's Disease. It arrived so silently I thought I was just a bit out of shape, when I kept falling over in my Tai Chi class (cue leg weakness). I soon discovered I have a genetic, progressive neuromuscular disease. Kennedy's Disease is an adult-onset disease with symptoms usually appearing between the ages of 30 and 50, so I was right on schedule. Over the years I have moved from limping, to a cane, to a walker, to a motorized wheelchair as my muscles weaken. As the diagnosing doctor assured me it won’t kill me, but continues to present life challenges every morning as my muscles weaken. 

Kennedy's Disease is a rare disease with no identified treatment or cure. It affects all voluntary muscles in my body and causing muscle weakness and wasting (atrophy) throughout my body - most noticeable in the legs and arms, it causes speech and swallowing difficulties, major muscle cramps, hand tremors, numbness, twitching of small muscles, and overall wasting and shrinkage of muscles. 

However, I remain youthful in spirit, optimistic, relentless and living positively, for the most part. Still working and playing because thankfully that back in the day I was attracted to work which continues to inspire me and to which I remain committed. I work in the counselling and health care field, seeking opportunities to support and advocate for people living with challenges life has tossed their way often related to drug use, mental illness and disability. 

I have been approved to receive a service dog to support my mobility needs. Just don’t know who yet. My dog will help with stability and balance when I stand in order to prevent a fall. The dog can also assist me to straighten up when off balance in chair (danger of falling forward out of my chair). The dog can also help when I drop things or can’t pick up things, door opening/closing, tugging off clothing, bringing things from around the house or helping with daily house tasks. I’m very excited!

 

Thank you for your generous support. Please provide the requested information so that Kingston 4 Paws can process your donation.

 

                                                              
          

 

                                                                

 

 

 

 

 


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