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I Was Diagnosed With Cervical Spinal Stenosis

By | C.S.S. | No Comments

This has already been an interesting journey.
Back in July 2021 I had an appointment with a neurosurgeon. He was vague about my diagnosis but after a few more visits and second opinions, I was diagnosed with Cervical Stenosis. I learned that as people with cerebral palsy age, they need to be aware of this particular issue, as it is more common at an earlier age. I’m currently heading down this path.

Since announcing my diagnosis on my social media accounts, I am so very grateful for all the offers to help and hearing from all of the people (friends) who I have crossed path with in my life.

There are somethings I have had to come to terms with post diagnosis. At this point there are several things I have learned I can no longer do, such as driving. I’m going to miss driving. I always joked that Cerebral Palsy is making me age faster, similar to dog years. I’m aging at 1.5 years to the average human. At least my mind is aging normally. I hope everyone learns what aging signs might be in store for themselves. I guess my point is somewhat cliché but don’t let life pass. I’m not dying yet or hopefully not anytime soon but I thought I’d be physically active for another 10-20 years.

I’ll share my personal symptoms and journey in later posts and an upcoming podcast with my friend Carrie Asby.


Cervical Spinal Stenosis and Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Call for Earlier Detection and Treatment

Empathy Essays

Crippled Wisdom Empathy Essays at Harrisburg MS

By | Empathy, Junction City Police, Press | No Comments

The following essays were written after the students attended an assembly held at Harrisburg Middle School by Kevin Chong, developer of ‘Crippled Wisdom’ and Junction City Police Chief Bob Morris. Morris had seen the potential of Chong’s program; they adapted and redesigned the program to be universally applicable for youth through senior citizens, and may be applied globally.

After attending the assembly, students placed temporary “Crippled Wisdom” tattoos on their faces, visited area businesses to experience the reactions of other people, and then wrote essays about their experiences. These essays were chosen as the top five for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, with the first one listed being ‘Best’ in it class. The first eighth grade essay was also chosen as ‘Best Harrisburg Middle School Essay.’

Empathy Essay1
Empathy Essay
Empathy Essay
Empathy Essay

Learning Empathy at Christie School

By | Empathy, Press | No Comments

By Janet Goetze, The Oregonian
March 14, 2002
The Christie School’s students discover how people with disabilities complete daily tasks

Putting his arms into his sleeves of a shirt while one hand was taped into a fist, depriving him of a thumb and extra fingers to hold the garment, was frustrating enough for Josh.
Then the wiry 11-year-old had to button the shirt.
“Oohhhhh,” he said after successfully fastening three buttons then encountering a fourth that slipped away from his free thumb and fingers.
Josh was one of nearly 50 youths at The Christie School who gained an idea Wednesday of how people with physical disabilities do such everyday tasks as getting dressed, pouring water from a bottle and writing legibly.

The students, ranging in age from 8 to 18, attended workshops led by Kevin Chong, 35, of Vancouver, Wash., who was born with cerebral palsy. The condition means his brain has difficulty telling the muscles on his left side what he wants them to do, he explained to the students.

He has conducted workshops at schools in the region for eight years. His goal, he said, is to help students understand how disabilities affect people, and how students can develop empathy—not sympathy—for people who may walk or talk differently from themselves.
The staff at Christie, the state’s largest residential treatment center for children between the ages of 8 and 18, invited him to bring his workshops to the campus in Lake Oswego.

Four out of five of Christie’s 80 students have experienced neglect or abuse, spokeswoman Drina Simons said. Their treatment plan includes ways to help them regain a sense of self-worth and empathy for others, she said, as well as providing them with emotional security and appropriate ways to express distress.
In the workshops, students wore blind-folds to pour water from a bottle into a cup, gaining a sense of how blind people do the task without spilling. They lifted up their feet while maneuvering a wheelchair through a doorway, using only their arms to push the big wheels. Then they reached back to close the door after themselves.

Earl Strickland Tours NW For Bud Light League

By | Press
By Ron Cable, Cue Ball Gazette, May 1995, Vol 3, Num5

WOW! This was the most commonly heard statement at any one of the fourteen establishments Mr. Strickland performed at during his eleven day whirlwind tour of the northwest which began in Salem, OR at The Cue Ball and concluded at the Yakima Pub in Tacoma, WA. This may seem like a lot of places, but we were only about half of his scheduled appearances. When his tour is completed, he will have played at over thirty five establishments in Arizona, California, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho. This tour was officially sponsored by R.J. Reynolds Corp. MPBTA (Men’s Professional Billiard Tournament Association), American Poolplayers Association, Bud Light and your individual establishment owners who brought Mr. Strickland to their players and customers alike. This tour is officially known as the Camel Pro Exhibition Tour and will come to our areas every year featuring the best of the professional players in the world today. The goal of these exhibitions is to highlight the successful relationship between the professional billiard organizations in America and the American Poolplayers Association, the governing body of amateur pool.

The tour also helps to bring the exciting sport of billiards, and the professionals who play it, into our local establishments at a rate that all owners can afford. According to all of the owners that I interviewed, they were all very happy and impressed at the amazing trick and skill shots Mr. Strickland performed. He took time to offer tips and advice to players to help improve their game, and players were given the opportunity to play someone of Mr. Strickland’s caliber. The time he took to talk to players, sign autographs of photos he provided, not to mention signing everything from 9-balls to cues cases, exemplifies the level of professionalism that exist in the upper levels of our sport today. We thank him very much.

I would like to take the opportunity to recognize an individual who had the chance to play Mr. Strickland in one of his player games. When Kevin Chong, who plays out of Sidewinders in Vancouver, WA stepped up to the table to play Mr. Strickland, I’m sure no one in the room thought he could hit a ball, let alone pocket one, but when he started to play, I was left dumbstruck and slightly ashamed. Kevin could not only made balls, he developed excellent shape on shots and continued to make balls.

This may not seem to be a great accomplishment to most of us, but Kevin is not like most of us. He has Cerebral Palsy, a very crippling disease to most who have it. To accomplish shots of this manner was nothing less than a monumental feat. The amount of concentration and drive it takes for him to play this sport is more than any of us could ever conceive. Mr. Strickland personally said that in all his years of playing billiards, he has never played an individual who possessed as much heart and determination as Kevin displayed. Mr. Strickland, who is known for his ego in this sport, was humbled. Hats off to you Kevin, I wish I had a who league of players like you. You truly show us all what it means to try and achieve a goal in life.

In conclusion, the Camel Pro Exhibition Tour was a great success and we all look forward to many years of watching the greats of our sport, playing in our own hometowns and showing us the heights anyone can achieve if we really try.