Challenged Athletes Foundation - San Diego Triathlon

On Sunday, October 23 the La Jolla Cove was transformed as it hosted the best day in triathlon for  The Challenged Athletes Foundation. More than 200 challenged athletes, kids and permanently injured military personnel participating alongside 500+ able-bodied athletes, celebrities, sports legends and professional athletes  took on the new “challenge distance” triathlon with a 1 mile swim, 44 mile bike, and 10 mile run.  All told, the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge raised more than $1.2 million to fund adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses for individuals with physical challenges so they can live full and active lifestyles.

Jamie raced with a relay team representing The National Meningitis Association.  Mike LaForgia a meningitis survivor from New York did the 1 mile swim, Anna who represented her boyfriend who is a meningitis survivor did the 10 mile run and Jamie did the 44 mile cycling course. It was clearly a challenged course for Jamie - 44 miles - ugh!!  I complain if I have to drive 44 miles.  But Jamie cycled the course and of course I was truly amazed.  The course was an array of obstacles, beginning with fog and cold riding up to California coast to hills and I mean steep hills through the east side of La Jolla.  KC, Jackie Levy and I were driving the pace car - we drove next to her, in front of her and behind her - cheering her on and of course we were there if and when she needed to stop and take a break.  Take a moment a look at TJG facebook for all our pics - we had a ball.  Again - thanks Lynn Bozof and the National Meningitis Association to allow us to participate in such an amazing event and to once again bring attention to meningitis and to this vaccine preventable disease.

Well now to our next adventure - Jamie will be in Los Angeles with the US Paralympic Cycling Team.  Jamie and the team are at track cycling camp at the LA velodrome.  If you're not aware of this amazing and I must say scary sport check it out at La Velodrome. When we returned from our Meningitis conference in Paris Jamie was informed that she will be adding this sport on top of her road race cycling.  So just another exciting event as Jamie gears up -HA! no pun intended - for the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara Mexico.  We will keep you posted

december time!

Hey everyone its Jamie, writing you another blog post. Well its December and I can't believe how fast it came. It's silly to think that this summer, i was hoping for it to be December because thats how long I was told, that it would take to independent. I now go and study at coffee shops by myself, I am also driving on 35(watch out), and I also walked into my class for the first time last week. Everything is stupendous when it comes to taking notice at my progress. But I also do something new everyday. All thanks to St. David's rehab, who helped me get my back on my feet-pun intended. A year ago from today, my family were looking for doctors anywhere that would help me save as much as they could for my limbs. Because in Austin, we were told that we were looking at amputating above the knee, and at my forearm. Pretty insain, which makes me grateful that we found the connection to Doctor Linn, who put me in multiple hyperbaric treatments to save more than we were told. And another thanks to him because Doctor Linn was always saying to wait last minute (more like 2 days) until we amputate because, by doing so, we were able to add in more hyperbaric time to give more oxygen to my limbs, which evidently saved as much as it did. Thank you, Doctor Linn!

With it being december and xmas time, my family are going to Brownsville for some family time. We're even going to make tamales! yumm... but its also going to be the first time to celebrate xmas with the Silvas because it has been a loooonnngg time since we have all celebrated xmas together, and the first to make tamales together. "December time" also means school final's to study for, then old fiends come back in town for the break. Im in the moment of studying, but I know soon enough I will be with all of my friends from the A group-Michelle, Sarah, Andy, Cris, Claire, Molly, and Julie. I call them the A group because they were there for me 100% of the time when I was in the hospital and i am eternally grateful to have them in my life. And I haven't been with everyone since the summer, and back then I was in the wheelchair, but now i think they'll all be excited to see me on my legs. "December time," is a good time.

Thanks. Jamie.

Thank you!

So, on Saturday, November 7, we had our first fundraiser and it was a huge success. We don’t know exactly how much we raised, but it was a lot. Maybe I’ll post the final amount, when we finally compile the numbers…. It’s not that it’s a complicated calculus, its that now that we’re done with the event in Dallas, we’re onto planning for the “big” event in Austin on February 27. But, before we (mentally) leave the Dallas event, we have someone we need to thank. Regan Wagh came through for us in a big way, “helping” arrange the venue for us at Liar’s Den, which, by the way, was a fantastic place to have the fundraiser. She’s wonderful! I’d also like to thank the amazing turnout from Jaime’s Dallas-based supporters. I got to see lots of our friends and their families (who, of course, are also our friends) that showed up. Jamie had a great time, and there wasn’t a walker to be seen. Jamie walked around the event meeting all of her fans. She’s really getting quite good at working a crowded room. Really, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that helped make the fundraiser a huge success. So, thank you… and no, I didn’t win in beer pong. I’m a bit embarrassed.

One Year Later

One year has passed since Roni rushed Jamie to the hospital because she was having a severe asthma attack. It has been a long, arduous, inspiring, exhausting, heart-wrenching and difficult year for Jamie. Still, knowing how close we got to losing Jamie, we can’t be anything other than happy with where we are. Jamie wasn’t able to get out of bed from November until May (more or less) and now she is walking on prosthetics without any assistance. Remember how many posts were almost entirely dedicated to things like protein levels? Crazy, right? In December of 2008, we sent pictures to Houston in a last-ditch effort to get someone (anyone!) to give Jamie a second opinion about amputating her hands at the wrist and legs above the knee. No one would take her except for Dr. Lin in Houston. Then, in February, after Jamie took about 50 drives in the hyperbaric chamber under Dr. Lin’s supervision, we compared those December 2008 pictures with those taken in February and we saw the miracles that took place in the hyperbaric chamber. Now, Jamie is speaking about her experiences in front of large audiences and telling them about how far she’s come, and those same 2008 pictures are included in the video that plays before she speaks. Jamie has made so much progress, it’s amazing. After thinking that we were going to lose her whole hands, Jamie is writing and drawing better than I ever could.

We have a long way to go before we’re done – in fact I’ll be posting soon about the recommendations we got from Advanced Arm Dynamics about hand-prosthetics and the amazing fundraiser we had for Jamie in Dallas last weekend. She spoke at Shelton and at St. Michael’s. She’s been busy, and I don’t think she would want it any other way. She (and the rest of us) owe a big debt to everyone out there who helped Jamie get back to her life. This is our way of making sure that Jamie has the opportunities to return the favors. Thank you all so much for following Jamie’s journey. It has been… interesting, to say the least. Dramatic? Fun? I hope that, no matter how dark things got, we were able to handle things with a bit of levity and humor. That’s Jamie in a nutshell. She’s got grit but also has a great aura about her. She has embraced her new role and her new life and is really working it. She’s absolutely killing it at her speaking engagements and is making major strides (literally) with her physical recovery on a weekly basis it seems. Jamie is amazing and we’re so lucky to have her with us still. Thank you to everyone who helped us get here.

Speaking of, here is a picture of Jamie and Jen Griffin, who has been a major inspiration for Jamie:

Jamie drives my car! (but first, some info about Saturday's fundraiser)

I really want to tell you this awesome story about Jamie, but first, we need to talk about the fundraising event we’re having for Jamie on Saturday. At Liar’s Den, which, of course, is located at 2710 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204. It’s going to be awesome, and you’re going to wish you were there… unless you were there… then you’ll be cool. It’s on Saturday, November 7. It starts at 12 and goes until 6 pm, but most of the fun will happen early. We are planning three attraction/events on Saturday. All it costs is 20$. Here is what the 20$ gets you: you’re entered into a beer pong or flip cup tournament and you get all the beer you can drink. If you want to be entered into both of the tournaments, you just need to throw down another $20. Also, there are $3 wells during the event too. Oh, and there’s food too, but that’s from Liar’s Den. I’ve got a few details to add, below…

(1) Silent Auction – holy crap. There are so many items that have been donated for the event. A small sampling of items includes a slew of sporting event tickets (Stars, Mavs, Byron Nelson), hotel stays (Joule Hotel, for example), bottle service (Wish Lounge, PM Lounge), lots of gift cards to stores (Tootsie’s, Castle Gap), restaurants (Sullivan’s, Craft, Pappadeaux and more) and other things (iPod shuffle, wine basket… ). Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is! And that is why you want to come, obviously!

(2) Beer Pong and Flip Cup tournaments – Not that I condone drinking games (I do), but we’re having a few tourneys set up, just for fun. The Beer Pong Tournament will start at 1 and we’re planning for a bunch of teams, so let me know asap if you and a partner want to play, so I can reserve you a spot! Only 32 spots in the beer pong tourney, max… we may break it down to a 16 team tournament if we don’t fill it up 32, so get in soon! As for the flip cup tournament, it will be 6 people a team and will start, more or less, after the beer pong tournament ends. That’ll be fun too. And the winners of the tournament each get a brunch at Blue Mesa Grill, which, as most people know , is an amazing restaurant in Dallas (and soon, Austin!). Like I said, above, we’ve received some amazing items!

So, yeah, that’s about it for the event, email me if you want to sign up for a beer pong team. My email is “my last name” at (you should be able to figure out how to email me, I just don’t want any spambots to get my email…). So, email me with questions or with your beer pong or flip cup teams!

And now, a cute story… So, on Monday, Jamie drove again at occupational therapy with Bob. Later that day, mom told me that Bob told her that Jamie is cleared to drive on her own! This is wonderful and frightening news for everyone! Anyway, Jamie and I were at a calculus review session on campus (which, was an interesting experience on its own) and drove there. Afterwards, I mentioned to Jamie that I was really proud of her for being cleared to drive…

Jamie: What do you mean?

Nick: You’re cleared to drive? Bob said that you can drive on your own now.

Jamie: He didn’t tell me…

Nick: Oh, well he must have told mom then, and she told me… so, do you want to drive?

Jamie: Now?

Nick: Yeah, right now. Sound good?

Jamie: Sure!

Nick: You ever driven at night?

Jamie: No…

Nick: Whatever, drive anyway….

So, the drive went really well! Jamie is still relatively bad driver, so that’s great! We drove from campus to home in my car, not a long drive, but it was dark and student-filled, and she did a solid job! She drove in my car, used her prosthetics to push the pedals, and drove like normal. It reminded me of when she was first learning to drive… so, that’s scary. But, it’s a big hurdle for Jamie, and one of the more fun hurdles to overcome. Anyway… back to the party planning… hope to see you on Saturday!!! We’ll all be there… waiting for you! For now... more pics!

Jamie (as Charlie Chaplin), John Michael (as himself)

Jamie making the ugly-sad face at her reunion tour to Houston last week:

Jamie looking fierce for her birthday dinner..

See you Saturday!

Walking into Houston and more

Yesterday, Jamie, mom and I went back to St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, where we lived from December to the beginning of May. This was our first visit back to the hospital since we left to come to outpatient rehab at St. David’s in Austin. At the time, Jamie was more or less bedridden. She was able to get in her wheelchair with great effort, and she really couldn’t sit up straight for longer than a few minutes without getting sore or winded. She still had wounds that hadn’t closed, some MRSA on her right knee, and was still in isolation (meaning everyone needed to wear plastic suits and facemasks while in contact with her… well, we were supposed to…) It’s been a few months since that time, and, especially to the folks that hadn’t seen Jamie in months, everything has changed for Jamie. She left in a wheelchair and, yesterday, she walked on her own back into the hospital. She left with open wounds, and returned with barely a bandage on her. In May, Jamie had a few tufts of hair and nothing more, now, she has a cute little mini-fro. We’d worked to pass the Jamie Schanbaum Act (requiring incoming freshman and transfer students at all Texas colleges to prove they’ve been immunized from meningococcal disease) and attended a signing ceremony with Governor Perry. Jamie’s hung out with Ghostland Observatory, her favorite band, not once, not twice, but a few times… even getting an impromptu acoustic set in St. David’s by Aaron Behrens, Ghostland’s lead singers. She was on stage at ACL on the day before her 21st birthday. Jamie has reenrolled in UT-Austin and is back attending classes… you know what? You get the point. A lot has changed for Jamie and her fan club since we left Houston in May. The only thing that didn’t change? The weather in Houston: Still sucks.

So, the three of us woke up at the crack of dawn and drove to Houston yesterday to see all of our old friends. Ostensibly, we were there to see Dr. Smith, Jamie’s plastic surgeon who performed the skin graft surgeries for Jamie. We were really there to say hi and show off. Oh, and Uncle Dean came to film some interviews with Jamie’s team of medical folks. We didn’t get everyone on film that we wanted, but we’re planning on coming back to Houston to get the rest of the interviews. Anyway, there were a lot of tears shed by Jamie, mom and all the ladies we saw at St. Joe’s… not being sexist here, it’s just that I, Dr. Lin, Dr. Thai, Dr. Smith, Michael, Anthony, Cody, Luke and the other guys are really tough… and cry on the inside. Everyone was blown away by Jamie’s luxurious locks of hair and how well her skin has healed. The biggest treat was seeing Jamie stand - remember, no one in Houston had seen her stand before…. In fact, no one had seen her stand from November 13, 2008 to May something. Jamie took pride in walking up and down the halls of the hospital, and when she wasn’t walking, we pushed her around on her walker, which has wheels. Jamie probably gave 40 hugs while she was there… everyone was so happy to see her. It was like old times. Dr. Lin was the cutest. Apparently, he had spent the week before our arrival spoiling our surprise visit… though I think mom forgot to tell him it was a surprise. Anyway, there are a bunch of pictures at the bottom of the post, so check them out. Thank you to all of our friends in Houston for taking such good care of our Jamie while she was in your… care. Also, thanks for letting us barge in and own St. Joe’s for another day. It felt good to be back.

On another note, Jamie’s spoke at the Blanco United Methodist Church last weekend and rocked it. She wrote about this already, and no, I wasn’t in attendance, but I wanted to give some impressions that I’ve soaked in from everyone else. Jamie did amazing… I don’t think Jamie wrote that, but she did. Uncle Dean produced a video that played to the congregation prior to her walking/speaking on stage. This was the first time anyone had seen this video and it was very good… very intense, as most videos of Jamie tend to be. [Something I’ve said several times in the past couple of days is, “I can’t believe how normal we thought this was… this was pretty intense.” … we looked over some old pictures of Jamie’s legs prior to her surgeries… it was … graphic]. This was her first time to address a crowd of strangers and talk to them about her story. According to all accounts of the story, Jamie knocked it out of the park! She got a standing ovation from the congregation and then there was a reception in her honor afterwards, as well.

Finally, we’re getting close to our first big fundraising event! I’ll have a separate post for this, with all of the details and whatnot, but it’s looking to be a rousing success! It will be held on November 7, from 12p to 6p (duh), at Liar’s Den (2710 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204). We’ve received commitments for a lot of big time auction items, some of which I’d like to be on the winning end of (for example, we’ll have some amazing tickets to the Mavericks, Stars and Byron Nelson). We’ll also be having beer pong and flip cup tournaments, with the tourney winners getting some actual prizes that they’ll want to compete for. More on this soon, but just mark this on your calendars and spread the word!!

OH! And, be sure to check out this amazing post, written in the Texas Jewish Post this past week and then, mom wrote a piece that was published today in the Dallas Morning News' mom's blog... you know, because she's a mom. Wow, that's a lot of links in one post... now for some more pictures!

Jamie and part of the Hyperbaric team:
Jamie and Mom hugging Allison and Michael:

Jamie and Dr. Lin:
Jamie and Waddell:
Jamie and Luke:
That's all for now!!

Thanks Blanco

Hello again! It’s Jamie with another blog post. I’m writing to you now, to report my trip that I had when I visited the Blanco United Methodist Church this past Sunday. I went to Blanco to give my first speech about myself and how my life is going today. When I arrived my Papa Gene and Aunt Betty greeted me. When we walked in I met Ken and Margo who were running congregation. The Sunday ceremony ran like any other ceremony and about halfway I took up about fifteen minutes to speak. I didn’t however, prepare a speech, but at the same time, I wasn’t nervous. I don’t know why I wasn’t nervous; after all it was my first speech. I guess I just knew that everything was going to go smoothly. So the halfway marker came up, and Ken introduced me with a video, that my uncle Dean made, and then I got up in front of everyone to tell my story. Let me add, that it was my fourth day or so, to be walking on my own without a walker. So I stood up and walked by myself up to the front. I definitely feel as if I did touch those that were listening, and I felt a whole great deal of satisfaction after I gave my speech, as if this is my new calling. Standing in front of a microphone was pretty easy, and I did love it. People even did come up to me and told me that I had good public speaking skills and that I spoke very well in front of everybody. It was definitely another good day in my life, and I do know that there will be more speeches in my future.

10/6 - Jamie's Birthday and ACL, wrap-up

Happy Birthday to Jamie! Jamie turned 21 on Sunday, and she really started her 21st year with a bang! I guess it would be more accurate to say she ended her 20th year with a bang, because, as promised by the boys from Ghostland Observatory – Aaron and Thomas – Jamie was dancing on stage at Austin City Limits (ACL) with Ghostland. OK, so she wasn’t, like, front and center, on the stage, but she was only a little to the side, where the band’s family hangs out. It was an amazing show!! Me, Jamie, Roni, mom, Becca and Cris got to go backstage, then on stage, at the AMD stage on Saturday night. That was the second largest stage at ACL, after the Livestrong stage, and the amount of people watching Ghostland blew me away. However, the real surprise came at the end of the show… up until the finale, it was your usual Ghostland Observatory concert (meaning, it was an awesome, frenetic, non-stop electronic rock, light show…), but, unbeknownst to the crowd, the University of Texas Marching Band was sitting backstage, right next to Jamie and her crew. When Ghostland started one of my favorite songs – And The Band Marches On – the UT band assembled on the stage and started to rock along with Thomas’ beats and Aaron’s vocals. It was pretty great and the crowd was really into it. Afterwards, Jamie got some quality time with Aaron and Thomas, and then said so long. We’ll see them again in Dallas on Halloween. All in all, Jamie had a fantastic birthday weekend. We are so happy we got to share it with so many of Jamie’s friends… frankly, we’re just happy that Jamie is still with us, enjoying life.

You may have wondered how in the world Jamie could be getting around at ACL. Ordinarily, Austin City Limits is very difficult to traverse. There are thousands upon thousands of people, trying to get from stage to stage to see their favorite performers (I think there were a total of eight stages), and everyone traverses the same routes, more or less, across Zilker Park. Well, ordinarily, it would be tough for Jamie to see her favorite performers, and it was made even worse by the much-complained-about rainstorm that hit ACL this weekend. So, it was muddy. Very muddy. So, presented with all of these challenges, how did Jamie fare? Pretty well! Jamie drove around the park on a motorized scooter provided to her by a friend of Jamie’s and Cris’ family, Tommie. This scooter was awesome. Jamie got through the crowds and the mud with ease…. And if that doesn’t sound awesome enough, Jamie was able to take advantage of the “special access” section at each of the stages. These sections were immediately in front of the crowds, in a sectioned-off area that gave Jamie access to some of her favorite acts. She’d have to tell you more about who she was able to see. I’m not cool anymore, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you half of their names. I mean, she saw Grizzly Bear and Michael Fonti (I think that’s how it spelled)

Anyway, that’s all for now. Mom and I are off to Brownsville for a few days to retrieve some of her old belongings from the Valley that we haven’t been able to retrieve since November. See you in a few days!

9/30 - Jamie is driving; New hand prosthetic company; ACL; Jamie's Birthday!

I can’t believe that its almost October. So much to do in the coming months.

First, we’re planning two benefits for Jamie in the next few months. The first one will be on November 7th at Liar’s Den, on McKinney Ave in Dallas. It’ll be during the day and a more casual affair than the one in February in Austin. Think kegs of beer, some fun music and general carousing. There will be a silent auction, beer pong/flip cup… all-in-all, it’ll be a wonderful time. $20 suggested donation, but I’ll have more instructions on the buy-ins for the competition in the near future. The other, bigger event (more of a gala) will be on February 27th at St. Michael’s in Austin. Think emcee, sport coats and good food.

So, onto the updates you’re looking for... but before that, a magic trick from Jamie:

... Nice...

1) Jamie’s back on the road! Bob, Jamie’s OT, got her back into a car for the first time since November 2008. Jamie and Bob drove from St. David’s to our old house on 48 1/2 street to the Hancock Center parking lot, and back to our current house in Austin. For those of you not familiar with Austin, that’s about 2 miles, total. She drove using hand pedals/brakes that are located next to the steering wheel. According to Bob, it wasn’t too hard for her to drive. This was a week or so ago, and Jamie hasn’t driven since, but it’s good to know that Jamie can still drive well… or as well as she could drive before… which really wasn’t that well, but you get the point. We’ve been discussing what kind of car to get Jamie when she’s fully able to drive again. Something economical, with good trunk space for the assistive technology she’ll be reliant on. I’m not good with cars or else I would start listing… I remember that the Honda Element was one of the cars discussed, but that’s about all I can think of for now. Here's a video (with bad sound) of everyone talking about Jamie driving... Sake is there too:

2) One of the biggest developments in the last few weeks is our new relationship with Advanced Arm Dynamics. We were introduced to Advanced Arm Dynamics (AAD) through one of our new doctors, Dr. Sharma. Dr. Sharma is a hand doctor, like Dr. Boutros. (Interesting note, Dr. Sharma was partnered with the plastic surgeon who, on December 6, recommended that we amputate Jamie’s arms at the wrist and her legs above or at the knee… he isn’t partnered with that doctor anymore). Dr. Sharma is wonderful and is happy with the work performed by Dr. Boutros. He isn’t planning on too many more surgical procedures on Jamie, if any, in the future. OK, there will be some, but nothing too extensive. Also, we’re glad to be with him because he is so close and has this good relationship with AAD. So, I missed all of the early appointments with Dr. Sharma, so I can’t tell you too much about what went on there, but at one of those meetings, he recommended that we look at AAD… then he set up a meeting with one of AAD’s reps, who was driving down from Dallas. Well, we were BLOWN AWAY by the things we were shown by Bernie, the rep for AAD. Bernie, as you can tell in the videos, is an amputee; he became an amputee after being a victim of a random drive-by shooting. His hand was messed up badly… he showed us pictures of it. Here's some video from that meeting:

As you’ll see on the video, the technology that AAD is developing is amazing. AAD is the only company in the country (world?) that works exclusively on upper extremity prosthetics , and they have the results to prove it. The demo model that he showed to me, mom, Jamie and two other amputees that were in the same meeting is representative of the kind of prosthetic Jamie will be outfitted with. The prosthetic will consist of a glove or a socket that Jamie’s hand will fit into. On the inside of the glove will be electronic sensors. These sensors will sense when Jamie’s arm/hand muscles move and will move individual fingers according to those motions. There are two sensors per finger – one contracts the finger, the other releases it. It is pretty damn amazing. Because Jamie’s hands aren’t uniformly shaped, there may be some fingers that this doesn’t apply to (Note: last Monday, at the AAD mothership in Irving, they told Jamie exactly that. So, on some of her fingers, she will have the sensors/individual fingers and then, on the fingers were there is less available bone, there is an extremely new technology that is in place that would require some pins to be inserted where the finger would be, and then a prosthetic is put on that finger, and then you rely on electronic sensors to move the finger… as you can see, I barely know what is going on with this yet,… but I will…. Sometime soon. (Btw, that picture is from Jamie's PTOT session following our meeting with Bernie.... he came to St. David's and talked with Bob and Kerry about what they could offer for Jamie. Getting advice from our trainers has proven invaluable, because they know the right questions to ask and they can tell help nudge us in the right direction).

3) On Saturday, we will all be going to Austin City Limits (along with the rest of civilized society, apparently), but we’ll be going in style! (for a few reasons) First, Aaron Behrens, the lead singer in Ghostland Observatory that came to visit Jamie in the hospital at St. Davids, offered to give Jamie the same side-stage treatment that we received in July at the New Braunsfels show. Aaron and Thomas, the other member of the band who also visited, have been so great to Jamie… really, some of the best moments we have had following Jamie’s illness have been brought by these two guys (and by Cater and Becky, who really connected us with the Ghostland boys). So, we’ll also be cruising in style because Jamie will be driving a scooter that was originally gifted to us by Tommie Leon, a friend of Jamie’s from high school. That will be pretty cool. Also joining us backstage will be Roni, because she was given all-access passes because the group behind ACL selected Roni’s T-Shrit design as one of the official ACL shirts this year!!! Very exciting news, and very cool that she got backstage passes for her work. Good job Roni!

4) It is Jamie’s 21st birthday on Sunday! We are so grateful that Jamie is still around to celebrate this landmark occasion. It was almost a year ago that we very nearly lost her. Things could have been much worse for her and for us, so considering all of the things that didn’t happen to Jamie, I’m very happy. We love her so much and she continues to make such amazing progress. :)

Finally, we had a great weekend in Dallas to celebrate Yom Kippur (the Jewish day of atonement) with the family. It was Jamie’s first road trip since she, Michelle and I drove from Houston to Austin in May. It was great to see everyone. Jamie visited Shelton, her old school, and some of her old friends, including the Applebaums. There were some people that Jamie wasn’t able to visit (Prescott’s, we’re looking at you!) but Jamie is planning on several more trips in the near future, with Halloween looking to be the next trip. Thanks for all of your support and we’ll talk to you soon!

9/25 - Tailgating with the Happy Hook-ers

Last week, most of the Silva family – that’s mom’s maiden name, of course – went to tailgate together before the Texas vs. Texas Tech football game with our tailgating group, The Happy Hook-ers. Cute name, right? Mom has been tailgating with these guys for a while now, and I’ve only joined up as of this year. They’re a big group of around 80 people (without guests), but that number was wildly inflated for the Tech game. So, the two founding members of the Hookers – Kim and Diane– approached mom with an idea: they wanted to donate the proceeds from the Texas Tech tailgate to Jamie, and they’d also set up some donation buckets at the tailgate as well. Then, Orlando, the owner of Taco Shack, got in on the action and offered to have some donation buckets stationed at the local Taco Shacks here in town. (There are a lot of Taco Shacks, and, in all seriousness, they are awesome… maybe the best in Austin and DEFINITELY the best place to get good tacos quickly)… Anyway, so, they set up the donation bins for Jamie, and I was expecting some money, sure, but not what we ended up getting… we were absolutely blown away by the generosity of the Happy Hookers and their guests.

Jamie had a good time at the tailgate too. This, I think, was the first major public event that Jamie had attended with her prosthetics on and while she was walking around. She didn’t have her wheelchair at all. Definitely the first time for that! What’s neat was that once the tailgate got going, she lost some inhibitions and she started to walk a few steps here or there without support from the walker or from anyone! That was amazing to see. And it was seen by a lot of her Silva brethren – Nicole (nee Silva) and Stephen Lahti; Zeke and Marc Silva (they’re brothers, FYI); Cindy, Joe and Chris Martinez; Letty and Ramon Fernandez (mom’s/our cousins), and we, the Schanbaums… so, when you think about it, I guess there weren’t too many “Silvas” there… but still it was a good time. And we can't forget about Jamie's friends that showed up, like Molly and Michelle and Jeff... also some of my friends showed up too, which is nice... thanks.

There was also a reporter from ABC there… I think he may have been a journalism student from UT who was working with ABC… I don’t remember, you should ask mom… but Jamie interviewed and her story was on the news on Sunday morning… mom says that it is on the internet, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. When it pops up, I’ll post it. Anyway, that’s all for now… gotta get some stuff done before I leave for Dallas – time to go to the fair and celebrate Yom Kippur with the family in Dallas!

It's Jamie

Hey everyone! Jamie - checking in to keep you posted. Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Rayna DuBose. Rayna is another survivor of meningococcal meningitis who lost her legs below the knee and up to her mid forearm. I met Rayna and was amazed at how well she was able to move around. Let me add that she was wearing high-wedged heels with her prosthetic legs! We met because she was giving a speech in San Marcus at Texas State. I didn’t know what to except, but maybe an auditorium? But instead they had a huge room with round tables with about 2-300 people, who all were fed food. Rayna was a huge inspiration. She had an amazing way to capture the audience’s attention. They were all laughing and were all moved by her story. She was such a huge inspiration to me, and showed me that this is something that I could do. I met so many people and had a great time at Texas State. Who knows what the future holds for me.
The other day in PT/OT Bob took me out driving! Yeah, that’s right! Bob and I hit the road. We started off in the Hancock center, first just getting used to driving with my hands. But once I got used to it, we went through the Hyde Park neighborhood. Not quite like old times, but it will be later down the road. No pun intended. On another note, in my last PT/OT session, we met a prosthetist that specializes in hands. He brought down this new hand that is so new, that there is no news press on it yet. It was basically the opening of the iphone for hands. They’re luckily located in Irving, Texas. I say luckily because they are literally the only ones with this prosthetic. We’re having our evaluation two Mondays from now, and I think that I might get them in maybe two months from now. I’m so excited!!
I know it might be a little late but it was recently my mom’s birthday on September 4th, and I just wanted to mention how grateful I am to have her in my life. Life can get pretty challenging, but this year was especially difficult on everyone. But my mom was there for me, just as much as the sun was there for earth. And I am, needless to say, thankful for what she has done for me. And I love YOU mom!

This is Jamie, checking out!

9/10 - Videos and pictures from Jamie's past week!

Hi everyone! It's been a little while since I've posted (why do I feel like that is my customary introduction, now), but to make up for it, I'm going to post some pics and videos... I figure that everyone will like this more than reading, anyway. (For those of you reading on facebook, now would be a good time to click the link I pasted above so you can see the videos/pics). So, without further ado:

This is Jamie riding a tricycle yesterday. Mom is taking the video and that's Bob, her OT helping her along. Pretty neat stuff, huh!

Here's a video that everyone on facebook liked from last week. This is Jamie walking without supporting herself on the parallel bars:

I intended on posting some more videos today (like of her doing leg presses or of Jamie doing some more balancing exercises) but DAMN, these videos take forever to upload and now Jamie's PT session is over... so tomorrow, I'll post some more... promise :)

september 1, 2009-can't believe its september

Hey viewers, this is Jamie again with another blog post on what has been going on recently. In PT/OT I have been making huge progress! I have gotten to the point where I can walk with one hand on the parallel bars, and onto to walking with only placing my hands in someone else’s in front of me! With no walker or anything. Kerry, my PT, and I have been discussing how I should move onto a 4-wheeled walker. It’s the walker that looks like an upside down “y,” and has a little basket with a seat on top of it. With this 4-wheeled walker, it will completely eliminate the wheelchair. Thank goodness. But besides that, I have become mobile while standing, with Bob (my OT), by bending, turning, shifting weight, reaching, grabbing, etc. It is really exciting to see what new things I can do each day.
On Sunday the family and I went to Fonda San Miguel, to have a nice Mexican brunch on the day of wicked, the musical(which was awesome). I bring this up because I went in with no wheelchair. I even walked around the buffet line. My family was really proud of me…I could tell.
The other week I also revisited my high school, St. Michaels. It was truly amazing to see some of my former teachers, especially Mrs. Prior! I have always loved her and her spirit, and reuniting for only a minute’s worth, really did highlight my week. At St. Michael’s we discussed the gala that would take place in November that would be in honor of my name. I am really excited for that to happen. This event will also be a whole year after being admitted to the hospital. Crazy how much can happen in a year.

Alright viewers, I’ll keep you posted on what happens next.
Tah tah

8/25 - Governor Perry signs the Jamie Schanbaum Act into law

Welcome to the 100th Post on the Jamie Blog!!! Thank you all for following Jamie's (and our) story over these past few months. We are lucky to have been joined on this journey by all of our friends and family, both new and old. We've been through a lot and there's a long road ahead of us, so I hope you all don't go anywhere!

Now that that's said, there are many things that we'll need to cover in the next few posts (Jamie's new prosthetic legs; creating The Jamie Group, Inc. and our application for 501(c)(3) status; fundraising events in Austin (11/12) and in Dallas (11/7); Jamie getting back into school; the Happy Hookers tailgaters donating the proceeds from the Texas Tech game to Jamie; Jamie generally being awesome...) and I'm happy to say that Jamie will be helping me write blog posts in the future. However, this post is all about our latest trip to the state capitol for the (honorary) signing of the Jamie Schanbaum Act by Governor Rick Perry.

At 4:45, Gov. Perry came into his public reception room, where Jamie, me, KC, Roni, mom and Papa Gene were waiting. Before going forward, I should list some of the other attendees that helped make the law a reality, including: (1) Maureen Moore, who, along with Anna Dragsbaeck are part of the Houston Immunization Group that helped and pushed us to get this bill passed. Sometimes, I feel like Anna/Maureen and Mom/me are in a competition to see who can thank the other ones the most. (2) Joan Vasbinder, who also testified before the higher education committee along with mom, me and Anna Dragsbaeck; she lost her son to meningitis three years ago. (3) Sen. Wendy Davis, who authored Senate Bill 819, which is the original version of the law before it stalled in the house before being attached to a related house bill. (4) Louie Sanchez, who will soon be Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.'s chief of staff. Sen. Lucio is the man who helped us get in touch with Sen. Davis in the first place; mom knows him from back in Brownsville where she was queen. Louie was there on behalf of the Senator, who wasn't able to attend, but he's been so helpful on his own that we'd have wanted him in the picture anyway. (5) Rep. Donna Howard: She sponsored SB 819 in the house, where it unfortunately stalled and nearly died due to politics related to the voter ID laws, until...(6) Rep. Patrick Rose: who, along with being a former law school classmate of mine, is the Representative that amended one of his similarly themed bills to include the meningitis immunization legislation... and THAT is how a law is made!

So, anyway, Rick Perry came into the reception room to meet all the people who helped make this bill a reality, but if you ask me, he came to talk to Jamie. He probably talked with us for 10 minutes but it simultaneously felt like a brief moment and an eternity. He mentioned that he saw Jamie's recent story in the Daily Texan (which I CAN'T believe I've failed to mention so far...). Jamie commented on the Governor's tie, which was red with flying elephants on it. He said he thought it looked pretty cool. We agreed. Then, after the signing was over and we all took pictures and smiled for the KEYE cameras that were there (more on that below), he talked to Jamie some more, this time on a more serious note: he talked about the importance of giving back to your community. Jamie told him that she wanted to help people overcome their disabilities... thanks to people like Bob and Kerri, she feels strongly that helping people is in her future... Gov. Perry focused on this when he talked with us, and he reminded us that he didn't always know he wanted to get into politics, but he found his calling: giving back to the community that gave so much to him... so here he is. Anyway, like we said, a very, very wonderful day.

Finally, its definitely worth noting that mom was able to convince the folks at the capitol to allow the KEYE cameras to film the signing... then mom and Jamie had another interview, this time on a much happier note than before. Click HERE to see the video and article on the KEYE website.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Jamie Schanbaum Act a law in Texas. We're glad that so many people will be able to benefit from our situation. Thanks again to everyone who has followed our story from Seton to St. Joseph to St. David's to the capitol. We love you all.

It's me, Jamie!

Hey viewers, it’s me Jamie and I’m here writing my first blog post. What a crazy wild ride I have been on and I am so glad to be home with friends and family. As you all may know, I have been in outpatient rehab at St. David’s. I have the best therapists to help me with walking and strengthening my hands to use in my daily basic activities. My physical therapist, Kerry, and I have been getting up and walking off of the parallel bars, and onto the walker. We are at the beginning, but as everyday goes on with my progress in physical therapy, I gain strong beliefs that I will be up and dancing in time for ACL. Then there is one-armed Bob. I am so lucky to have my occupational therapist, Bob, because we have a strong common ground that we can both relate to. It is a powerful thing to have someone like Bob to help me overcome my day-to-day struggles, when I know that he is one to understand my incapabilities. But with a team like Kerry and Bob, I know that nothing can stop me.

Now that summer is coming to an end, I am saying goodbye to my friends as they go on into their third year of college. I have to say that it was pretty convenient that when I was released from the hospital, all of my friends were back home for the summer to help maintain my sanity. Coming home from the hospital, I was filled with fear and nerves because I knew that I was coming home to a completely different life with new challenges. But as the summer went on, I began to feel like my challenges were only minimizing, as if I was heading back to normalcy.

I am also writing to thank all of you for your nonstop support and prayers. It’s pretty amazing to get support from people I wouldn’t expect to hear from, like people from Clint’s church down in Blanco, Texas, my old nurses from the Houston hospital, my sibling’s friends (including their families), strangers who only know me through TV news broadcastings, families all the way up into the depths of Amarillo, Texas, old teachers and friends from middle school and even elementary school. I also want to thank my Papa Gene because without him none of this would have been possible. The support is endless and I am eternally grateful. I know that there are many people out there that I’m not thanking in this post, but just know that I love you all and I’m so glad you’re with me on this journey, Without everything that you all have done for me, I wouldn’t be the same person as I am today and I thank you, for I am proud to be Jamie Schanbaum

8/7 - Jen Griffin comes to visit

STEPHEN COLBERT – “Tonight: I report on the state of racism in America. My guess: Alabama!”

I’m on my way to Alabama (literally writing this on the airplane), but I definitely need to update everyone on the happenings in Jamie-town lately. First of all, we’re getting close to start talking about upper extremity prosthetics. JP (for the uninitiated, Jamie Perrone from Hanger Prosthetics) will be coming by St. David’s during one of Jamie’s upcoming PT/OT sessions (its more fun to say P-TOT, but I digress, like usual) and we’ll be talking about the several options whereby Jamie will be able to grip things, including the Pro-Digits option that we’re all pretty jazzed about. Remember, the Pro-Digits are the battery powered option whereby Jamie will have individually articulating fingers… pretty neat, huh? I mean, we spoke with JP on Tuesday about this and the other options, and I’m happy to report that we are getting access to technology that is so new that, even though Hanger is literally creating and advancing this technology, there isn’t enough data to accurately answer “How long do these things last?” Of course, the answers to the question of “How much does this stuff cost?” are much clearer… More on that in subsequent posts… Jamie has also continued to become more and more independent. She is putting on eye makeup on her own, gripping lots of things in her right hand (the good one she had surgery on most recently), wearing her legs more and more and generally being awesome. This is, of course, awesome. She learned to eat chips on her own too… this is huge… imagine feeding someone tortilla chips with salsa one at a time… yeah… I swear, chips + salsa is Jamie’s favorite food, after tomatoes.

Also, Jamie’s new wheelchair is almost complete. Willy the Wheelchair Guy came to Jamie’s PTOT session on Monday and delivered the wheels that we wanted for Jamie’s new chair… that’s not really the most exciting news in the world, but it did happen, so there you go. Also, Bob, Jamie’s OT guy, has some cool ideas about getting Jamie on a bicycle again. The easiest way to do this is with a recumbent bike, which is where the cyclist sits in a chair and the pedals are located in front of, instead of underneath, the rider. Bob is a really cool guy. He used to coach and be a member of the US Para-Olympic cycling team (I think)… did I mention he has one arm? Yeah, he rules.

Also, Jamie’s new wheelchair is almost complete. Willy the Wheelchair Guy came to Jamie’s PTOT session on Monday and delivered the wheels that we wanted for Jamie’s new chair… that’s not really the most exciting news in the world, but it did happen, so there you go. Also, Bob, Jamie’s OT guy, has some cool ideas about getting Jamie on a bicycle again. The easiest way to do this is with a recumbent bike, which is where the cyclist sits in a chair and the pedals are located in front of, instead of underneath, the rider. Bob is a really cool guy. He used to coach and be a member of the US Para-Olympic cycling team (I think)… did I mention he has one arm? Yeah, he rules.

The main reason I feel so compelled to post though is because Jennifer Griffin came to visit Jamie and the rest of us on Monday. You probably remember Jen’s story, but in brief, about 2.4 years ago, she contracted an infection (Strep A or Staph A) that caused a full on infection, and the subsequent complications resulted in the amputation of her legs below her knees and the removal of all of her fingers. [Remember? Her blog is right over there è It’s called “Get Well Jen” – SPOILER ALERT – she’s doing great!] So, of all the people who try to sympathize with Jamie, only a very, very few can truly understand what Jamie is going through, what she has gone through and what she will go through. Jen is one of them… one of they…? Anyway… I can’t possibly express (I can) how much I appreciate Jen’s willingness and eagerness to be a part of Jamie’s life. She’s the one who gave Jamie the tool she uses to apply mascara and eyeliner. This is the second time that Jen has come to visit. The first was while we were in the hospital in Houston, when Jamie was mostly bedridden, so a lot has changed for the better. Jen came with us to the PTOT appointments on Monday and was pretty impressed with Jamie’s walking. Jen also showed off her cool legs (the heel has a button that adjust her heel angle to allow her prosthetic feet to fit into shoes with heels). Really, the coolest parts of Jen’s visit are those little back-and-forths between her and Jamie. “So, Jen, how do you do this?” “Jen, what can/can’t you do now?” That sort of thing. Also, I should mention that Jen got a present at the OT session. Bob brought Jamie an extendible wand that has a strong magnet at the end. This is pretty useful ordinarily, but super useful when Jamie needs to get something far away (remote, phone [once we put a magnetic strip on it]) but isn’t wearing her legs. Bob gave Jen one too. They’re pretty cool. Before Jen left, we all went to dinner at a pretty good Mexican restaurant and a funny scene occurred… you know, when I first met Jen and her husband at a restaurant in Dallas in December, she told me that one of the most important things she ever learned was to not be afraid to ask people for assistance. At the time, I really didn’t understand what she meant, at least not to the extent that I understand now… So, I thought it was funny when it came time to eat, and, without asking for help, we were all prepared and eager to help Jen like she was a member of our family… which she is. We love her.

Finally, I wanted to say thanks to everyone for their continued concern, well-wishes, support and donations of time and money. We’ve continued to receive a steady stream of all of these and we remain touched. Thank you so much for following along, and, while our journey is far closer to the beginning than to the end, we’re happy to share our progress with you all.

Sorry for writing so much… I’m still on the plane… but I’m done now, so… bye.

7/30 - Walking Around and Jamie's New Marching Orders

... and we're back!

So, I guess I should start with the obvious news. Jamie is really progressing on her prosthetics. We've sorted out, for the most part, the problems she initially was experiencing with her legs (the wounds that weren't closing [still open, a bit, by the way], the knee injury from before her illness that made the socket fit funny, etc.) are mostly non-issues. When she's at her PT sessions at St. David's (seen, to the left), she's started walking on the parallel bars... going back and forth and repeating. On Monday, when she was at PT with Roni, she walked back and forth on the parallel bars 4 times. That represented a huge achievement for Jamie. One of the more recent posts on this blog has a video of her walking a few steps for just a minute or two... so, considering the huge leap from that earlier time to Monday's walking with the parallel bars, I thought things couldn't get much better. Turns out I was wrong... Jamie's trainer, Kerri and I were watching Jamie go through the parallel bars a few times... I wouldn't know how many times because I was out of the room on the phone... but when I got back (Jamie: "Finally! There you are.") Jamie had already been up on her legs a while, but she wanted to show me more. I was amazed to watch her walk back and forth a few times, because I hadn't seen that yet... then Kerri asked me if I wanted to try holding Jamie up while she took steps. This required me to stand in front of her and, with my arms bent at the elbow, I supported Jamie's weight on my forearms while she walked towards me. This was adorable, of course. Then Kerri chimed in with, "Do you guys have a walker?"... "Um, nope."... "Here, let me get one then." So, Kerri went and got us a walker and off we went. This is what it looked like, more or less:

No wait... that's exactly what it looked like. Anyway, in case you want some pictures of your dedicated author standing next to his "little" sister, here ya go ==>

Anyway, so as you could see, she walked around a whole bunch. Bob, her Occupational Therapist showed up for the end of the PT session, which is always before her OT session, and when Jamie was done walking, he made her walk all the way back accross the room to sit in a real chair, where they did some weird wax-related procedure, pictures are over there, to the left. The wax was fun... everyone loves playing with wax.... but what's really interesting is that this was the first time Jamie has sat in a "real chair", at least according to her, since November. So, that was a fun day at OT/PT... also, we got a walker yesterday so Jamie can show everyone her new walking skillz....

... and so she can practice walking a lot more while at home. That's part of the new rules here at the Schanbaum. According to her OT/PT guys, the new "default" will be that Jamie wears her legs for most the day and then can take them off when she's uncomfortable... but she'll have to put them back on shortly. This is a big change from the old rules - where Jamie wore her legs sometimes, but most of the time she didn't wear them. In fact, Jamie is becoming much more independent. Instead of asking us to do things for her or push her somewhere, she's going and doing it herself... or at least trying to do it herself, which is pretty much what she should be doing now anyway. It takes some getting used to on our part as well, this whole "independence" thing. Its not an unusual occurence for Jamie to be seen using a fork on her own, attempting to put things in her webspace, and while it may not work out as she hoped (at least not yet), I'm so happy to see her trying new things...

That's about all I've got to say... so, just for fun here's a picture of Jamie with Daisy Mae, one of our kitties.


7/19 - On Stage at the Ghostland Observatory concert!

Well, that was pretty terrific!
Yesterday, Aaron Behrens and Thomas Turner (above left and right, respectively) - the two men who perform for thousands upon thousands of fans as Ghostland Observatory - outdid themselves again and gave Jamie and her friends (and mom, and Roni and me) some memories that we're unlikely to ever forget. To give everyone a brief introduction, through a series of connections that we luckily stumbled into, Aaron and Thomas each came to visit Jamie in the hospital when she was still doing inpatient rehab (more like, IMpatient rehab... HA! I'm sorry...) at St. David's in Austin. You don't believe me?

See? Told you.

<== Thomas and Jamie

Sarah, Jamie, Aaron, and Michelle ====>

Anyway, as I was saying, this is Act III in their gift to Jamie. When they came to visit, Jamie and her friends told the guys that they would be attending the Ghostland Observatory shows in New Braunsfels as well as the one at Austin City Limits on the day before Jamie's birthday. They both said, basically, "You're coming to our shows, well, hey, lets get you backstage, it'll be an awesome time!" To which, we all said, "uhhh... ok." Fast forward about two months and its July and we're getting ready to see them play, up close and personal... and when I say upclose, I mean it. Check this out:

(Special thanks to Roni for taking all of these amazing shots... once Roni selects her faves, she may post some more up here.)

Anyway, yeah we were super close. But it wasn't just a fun concert, it was a really great day. Most of Jamie's best friends came over to the house around 4 to start putting glow-in-the-dark paint and stickers all over their bodies. There were a lot of us and we piled into two cars and headed to New Braunsfels. We got to the venue around 6:30 or 7 and were absolutely shocked at the set-up provided by the Ghostland guys. When we got there, we met Brian the stage manager and he told us to make ourselves comfortable and to feel at home. He also told us that they had cordoned off an area on the back corner of the stage for us to sit in and that if anyone gave us any stress, to come find him and he'd tell them where to stick it. So, we were elated. We knew we'd be getting backstage passes (though we didn't believe it would happen for certain until we arrived there... didn't want to jinx it), but to actually be on stage is totally different. Here's the view from our first sitting area. It was probably about 8:00 when this picture was taken -

Pretty adorable, no? (Also, that's Roni's friend, Bailey. "Hi, Bailey!") Too bad KC had to work in Dallas... :( Anyway, then we came to find out that our little area would be a little out of the way of the show, and that Thomas and Aaron wanted us to have the best seats in the place... right up front. Actually, take another look at the picture, above, and see where those two horizontal cases are? Right behind the guy with the plaid shorts? That's where we were standing... it was awesome.

There was some time to kill before the show got going, and Aaron and Thomas each came up to us to say hello before the show. That was really nice, and I love when they do that. Here's a picture of Aaron saying hi... I couldn't find one of Thomas saying hi where someone didn't look hilariously terrible.

So, the show went on. It was the best concert I've ever been to. Roni, mom and I had never been to a Ghostland concert before, but it was amazing. The girls (and Andy) felt right at home. We are so grateful to these guys for going out of their way to make Jamie's recovery process a memorable one for all of the right reasons. This is something that she and her friends will never forget.

Here's a few more pictures that Roni took during the show... Just an amazing night overall... now back to work!


7/17 - Standing tall... almost as tall as me...

So, I was talking today to Jennifer Griffin about scheduling her next visit to come talk to Jamie... you remember her, right? We've been in contact with her since our days at Seton hospital in Austin. She's been a source of inspiration for Jamie and our family because, although she didn't contract the meningococcal bacteria, she became severely ill over two years ago. Her illness required the amputation of her legs below the knees and the removal of all of her fingers. She's overcome so much and done it all with grace and a smile. Very nice.

Anyway... so, I'm talking to her outside of 24-hour fitness, where mom is signing herself up for a gym membership (and getting Roni and I 24 day free passes), and she says, "... and you're doing a great job keeping up on the blog." I had actually thought she'd say something to the contrary, like "Where have you been?" I told her, "I'd type more, but there aren't really a lot of significant events to type about... I guess I could type about the lack of activity, and I probably should, but..."

So, be careful what you ask for, because there just happens to be some cool things to show you from today.

First of all, when we got back from 24-hour fitness to pick Jamie up from her PT session, she had something to show us... do you want to see?

Pretty cool huh? Yeah, I took that on my iPhone... She also stood for over 5 minutes, which is also a record for her. This progress is the result of a few things falling into place. First, JP, the man behind her prosthetics, tweaked her prosthetics so they fit her a bit better. She was having discomfort due to another problem that popped up... Apparently, when Jamie fell off of her bike in October, she dinged up her knee pretty bad. This caused her patella to list to the side a bit, which, in turn, caused her some discomfort when she stood on her prosthetics. So, Jamie and her therapists (and soon, you can add Nick and mom to the list of people) are helping Jamie massage her knee so that her patella realigns itself properly.

Jamie felt pretty great about her effort today. She felt even better about what was waiting for her at home... her new wheelchair! Finally, Willie the wheelchair guy (the Schanbaums are good with coming up with names for people... Dr. Bummer, JP, Dr. Foot Doctor, etc.) came by the house to deliver our specially customized wheelchair. Every aspect of the chair is exactly as Jamie and mom wanted. This includes, of course, the sparkly wheels that shine when they're in motion. I'll capture some video of this and send it along. There's still a few things that need to be added to the chair (e.g., the knobby wheels that are designed to allow Jamie to stop her chair easier, since, you know, she doesn't have fingers...), but it looks like its good to go for the next big piece of news, which is that...

Tomorrow, we see Ghostland Observatory perform!!! Lots of pictures of that are sure to follow. Have a great weekend, everyone!