Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There are injured triathlete mamas among us, y'all!

Hi guys! It's been a while, I know. My brain is made of pudding. Too much work. Too much thesis. Too much crazy nonsense for the world. But that is a post for another day. Today's post is way more important. Today's post is about helping someone who is not our own selves.

Some of you probably already know this, but one of my best friends from Jr. High and high school was in a devastating mountain biking accident this past year. Some of you maybe even know Brittany Nielsen Schramm as the brilliant, hot babe a bunch of us went to school with. Some of you may even remember that she and I went to Disneyland together in 9th grade, and one day at Disneyland, we wore matching tank-tops and shorts from Old Navy, as well as matching cargo hats (as that was the style in those days) and matching leis. Also, as I recall, matching Doc Marten sandals, as that was the style in those days, too. Gosh I wish I could post a picture of that on this blog right now, said not me, ever.

Still, many of you may not know that Brittany is a mom of two little kids and an incredible athlete. She has competed in marathons and triathlons, usually placing somewhere near the top even when she was pregnant or just recovering from having a baby. Last April, she injured herself while training for a triathlon. She and her husband were mountain biking in Arizona when she hit a huge rock and crashed; she broke her neck and back, and now she's paralyzed from the chest down. She's been doing intensive rehab and kicking major butt-cheeks in the process! She's re-learning how to live life in a wheelchair and be a mom as a paraplegic. But right now, she can't even lift her kids up to give them a hug. Her husband just graduated from chiropractic school and they are swimming in hospital bills and student loans. 


                                           Photos of Brittany before the accident (left) and after (right).

Recently, she's been given an amazing opportunity to be a participant in an experimental stem cell procedure that could give her back the feeling in her legs and torso. But it'll cost $50,000 and has to be done by Jan. 2013, before her injury gets too old. 

Maybe, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, you, my dear readers, could find it in your hearts to shell out some cold hard cash to help Brittany pay for this potentially life-changing surgery. Think about it today, while you're in the shower, or walking to work, or picking up your kids. Think about it when you're at the gym. Think about what your life would be like if you couldn't do any of those things. Think about what it would be like if you fell out of your wheelchair and, before you could move on with your day, you had to call your husband at work so he could come home and lift you back into your chair. Think about it when you're online today, pinning all those cute clothes and accessories you want your hubby to buy you for Christmas. 

So, after you've given it some thought. Go to this website called "Help Brittany Walk Again," read her story, and make a donation. Then if you want, check out her own personal blog, "One Push at a Time," and keep up with her journey.

Think about all the things you've posted on Facebook and Instagram that you've been thankful for this month. If we help Brittany, maybe, in a few years, she'll be able to post how thankful she is for friends who helped make it possible for her to walk again. Just a thought.


Tracey Tilson Photography said...

January 21, 2013

Hi Gretta,

I read about Brittany for the first time this morning ... just happened upon a post about her on a blog dedicated to Scrapbooking (summertimedesigns). I was interested in finding out more about this amazing young lady, wife and mother. So I found her page on Facebook. I watched her videos showing us how she exercised, got from her wheelchair into her car, etc. I read her comment posted January 3rd about dropping her phone in their new puppy's (Gracie)"puddle". I laughed aloud, marveling at Brittany's sense of humor in the face of so many physical obstacles! Such courage! What an inspiration she is to all who come in contact with her! I wanted to immediately "friend" her on Facebook and show her my support.

And then... I saw a post on her husband's FB page. I don't know what happened in that following week, but was shocked and at how sudden she was called to Heaven. I cried. I never "knew" Brittany in any sense until this morning, yet already feel such a loss. Like so many others she effected, she touched my heart and made me want to put my own blessings back into perspective.

As I continued on my quest to find out what happened to her, I found your blog, Gretta. I found comfort in reading about your friendship with Brittany... and smiled at your description of your Disney trip together. I know you must be reeling in emotional pain right now, devastated by the loss of such a close friend, but hope you can take some comfort in those memories. Hold them in your heart and she will forever be with you.

I just wanted to let you know that I am sending prayers to you... to Jeff, to Brittany's daughter and son and to all their extended family and friends.

God Bless.

Tracey Tilson

Gretta Whalen said...


Thank you for your kind words. I hope you don't mind that I passed them along to Brittany's mother.

And thank you for taking the time to write your feelings down and share them with me.