Archive for November, 2012

A Crusader’s Hero

Written by on November 28th, 2012 – 2 Comments

Do you have a hero? A person you would like to emulate? Someone you look up to? A person who inspires you? This person doesn’t have to be famous or known world wide; they don’t have to be an executive of a fortune 500 company either. This person is just whoever you want to be or who inspires you. I have a person like that. I have someone that has many characteristics I would love to posses. Her name is Barb and she is my mother.

I am very close to my mother or mama, as I call her. I see her at least once a week and usually speak with her multiple times a week on the phone. She is my mother, my friend, my confidant and always in my corner. I feel extremely blessed to have this relationship with my mother. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Now that you know the person who inspires me and is this crusader’s hero, I will tell you why. (more…)

The Paralympics: A Personal Legacy

Written by on November 20th, 2012 – No Comments

 

Carrying the Paralympic Torch in Vancouver, BC

Back in the summer just before the London 2012 Paralympics kicked off, my friend Andrea Bundon, who has competed in the Paralympics as a guide for a visually impaired skier and has a blog about disability sport Athletes First as part of her graduate student research project at UBC asked me to write an article for her about how my experience with the Paralympics in 2010 affected my life. I was only too happy to do it-I’ve learned so much about disability and sport through the thought-provoking posts and discussions that happen on her blog.

Here’s what I had to say:

I have been a diehard fan of the Olympics for years. The first time I became aware that there was another elite sporting event happening in the world called the Paralympics was during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. I was intrigued, but unfortunately, the Paralympics hardly merited a mention on the evening news. From that point on, I always wondered what went on there and if it was anything like the Olympics. Did they have Opening and Closing ceremonies? How many countries participated? What sports programs were there for people with disabilities and which ones would be included in Paralympic competition? And most importantly, who were these people and what were their stories? The best part about living in the host city of the 2010 Games was that I was finally be able to unravel the mystery.

 I was lucky enough to be given tickets to attend the Opening Ceremonies which turned out to be the highlight of the Paralympics for me. When I arrived at the stadium, the crowd of spectators was still riding the high of a fantastic Olympic Games and after a two week break, ready to show their national pride once again.

 What happened in that building that night was unforgettable. From the moment the very first team marched and rolled onto the field of play for the Parade of Athletes, a roar went up and everyone was on their feet clapping, cheering and waving their pompoms. This incredible level of enthusiasm was sustained until the very last team had made its way onto the field. It did not matter what country the athletes were from. From the second we welcomed them into the stadium, they were ours, each and every one of them. The outpouring of acceptance and goodwill that I witnessed moved me deeply.

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Harbour Haven… Home

Written by on November 13th, 2012 – No Comments

I am a west coast girl through and through. I have lived my whole life on one of the most beautiful islands in the world- go on google Vancouver Island, you know you want to. Growing up I was a mere 10 minute walk away from a quaint lagoon that was like a personal haven. I have frolicked in the ocean, seen dolphins, whales and seals – oh my!  I have been boogie boarding and surfing in Tofino; walked on Long Beach and the trails. I have camped on the ocean front and in some of the most amazing Pacific campgrounds. I have been so spoiled that I don’t think I could ever live somewhere that isn’t close to an ocean.

The city I currently live in is aptly named “The Harbour City.” There is an amazing sea walk that spans several kilometres and showcases just what life in this city is like. I won’t say that living on an island is perfect. Trust me – it’s not. Yet, I wouldn’t change it for a second. Inevitably there are times when I have to leave the island and go to the mainland for medical appointments, which means at minimum an hour and a half ferry ride. One could take a more expensive option and take a sea plane and treat oneself to some amazing scenery. However, I don’t like such confined travelling so I stick to the ferry. (more…)

MS: You are an unwanted, cruel and cunning companion

Written by on November 6th, 2012 – 7 Comments

I have MS and it still sounds odd to say. I believe it missed the memo on me. The one that said, “Himani is in the prime of her life. Stay away.”  MS didn’t stay away. I’m a Toronto journalist, who despite a few setbacks, is determined to pen my perfect future.

In November 2004 I woke fully blind in my left eye. The night before, I had signed off on a cover feature with one of the top international news magazines and was at an all-time high. I also believed myself to be indestructible and wouldn’t let anything slow me down. So, I continued on with my day and drove to my job as a reporter with a daily paper in the city. I was healthy and strong and certain this vision loss was minor. But apparently it wasn’t. I was diagnosed with MS four months later.

Aside from having to deal with how wrong I was about being all right, I had to deal with frequent blindness and gradual numbing in my limbs. I was destroyed in having to live with the shameless dictatorship it had over my body and grappled with its unpredictable nature. The only thing predictable about it is that it forever makes unreasonable demands of me. But, I don’t give in to anything.

It took me almost seven years and now, I’ve recovered control. I’m more conscious of its wants and needs and cognizant of what makes me vulnerable to its attacks.  Understanding MS, and understanding myself, I finally found the courage to fight.

“Anyone who excels in defeating his enemies triumphs before his enemy’s threat become real,” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Adversity, to me, is a triumph in waiting.
I don’t live with MS, I live.