In February 2015, I was invited to share my story as a CHP patient at the Pitt Dance Marathon (PDM). PDM is a 24 hour dance marathon that raises money for the CHP Foundation. My 7 minute story captivated the crowd and the response to my story was totally unexpected and absolutely incredible. Representatives from CHP that saw my speech live were absolutely floored at my speaking ability given my deafness and they told me that my story was “incredible”. One of my friends recorded the speech for my family, friends, doctors, and nurses to see, however, the video has since accumulated a couple hundred views and has been seen by people from around the world. I have received several messages from people as far away as the U.K., Germany, and Australia, telling me how much my story has inspired them and encouraged them to get involved in their community. Many others have asked me to become more of a spokesperson for CRPS to help find a cure. The overall coordinator for PDM asked that I serve on the executive board for next year’s event and I agreed to do so.
Remember when I mentioned how the representatives were impressed by my story? I wasn’t expecting our interaction to go much further than our conversation at PDM, until 2 weeks later, when I received an email from one of the representatives asking me to share my story at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees meeting in April. I have accepted the invitation and I am looking forward to speaking with the board. Now I just have to rewrite the speech for an adult audience, but I'm excited to have the opportunity to make a real difference!
Little did I know that my video would continue to have a great impact. Not long after I received the email from the representatives of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), the chairman of the Hearing Center Auxiliary emailed me and requested that I help out with their annual gala, as I am an "articulate young lady with an incredible story and a wonderful Hearing Center Ambassador". Once again, I accepted and I will be helping out at the gala.