Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Unforgettable Birthday: Meeting Ms. Anonymous

Thirty-Five! Yes today is my special day and I am super excited to be alive and well and smiling through the highs and lows that each day brings!

My birthday has been fun and special in many ways ~ from morning coffee with a dear friend, to tossing around ideas for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and ending with a delicious strawberry cake made by my sweet children.

 
 
 
These are the precious moments that I cherish and hope to remember for many years to come.

I also had the privilege of meeting an amazing woman today who is known as "Ms. Anonymous" here at Head in the Clouds.

On August 15th, "Ms. Anonymous" left a heartfelt comment on my blogpost "We're Moving!" 

She wrote: "I am so glad that one of my Facebook friends sent me the information about your blog!!! Birmingham, will be happy to have you, and I, would love love love, to meet you. I am a 46 year old, wife and mother. I am also a paraplegic of 29 years, due to an automobile accident in 1983!! Please, if you can fit me in to your schedule, I would love to meet you and chat. I can be reached at xxx-xxxx. I live in Warrior, which is about 15 miles north of Birmingham. Good luck with this new adventure!"

Since receiving her comment in August, I dialed her phone number at least a dozen times but was unsuccessful each time. But on Tuesday, I tried again, and was thrilled to hear a voice on the other end! 

So without further adieu, please let me introduce you to the incredible Melissa Bayles~Fendley, also known as "Ms. Anonymous!"
Melissa is no stranger to UAB or to the Spain Rehabilitation Center. From 1994 - 1998, she served as the spokesperson for the "Think First" Program at UAB and even represented our great state as Ms. Wheelchair Alabama.  To learn more about Melissa please click here. 

For nearly two hours we discussed our hopes, dreams, and visions for what the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Program can do to help our friends and loved ones living with SCI / Paralysis in Alabama and across the country. "Researchers have made incredible strides since my accident 29-years-ago," Melissa said. "I am excited to see what will come from Dr. Floyd and her research lab at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation!"
 
 

As I blow out my bazillion candles tonight ('-'), my wish is that of paralysis cure for TJ, Roman, Bonnie, Katy, Katie, Melissa and for the millions of others who make this same wish each and every day!  

Goodnight, everyone! I hope you all have a great rest of the week, and thanks again Melissa for making this birthday truly unforgettable!  Much love, Tory

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