Thursday, March 31, 2016

Finding Your Voice

Hi everybody,

I am giving you a sneak peak of my book that I am working on. I hope you like it.

General Description:

I’m working on a book and it is called “Finding Your Voice.” Abby Fisher has Cerebral Palsy, but that’s not holding her back from what she wants. She never thinks about that time she was raped on the Handi-bus as a teenager, until she meets Noah Rodriguez. Abby met him online, and they fall in love really fast. After a couple of months into the relationship, Abby expresses what happened to her as a teenager and this scares Noah and pushes him away. Abby then breaks up with him and is faced with finding her voice after what happened to her and becomes an activist. Abby also begins taking on her lifelong goal of walking on her own. To do this, Abby goes to the gym everyday for a couple of hours. That was before Abby noticed a pain in her legs that she hadn’t felt before. After a week of tests, Abby finds out she has cancer. Abby lets Noah know and sees that he isn’t a bad person after all – and decides that she will let him back into her life so they can get through this together.

General Plot Summary
·      Introducing Abby
·      Abby meets Noah
·      Abby breaks up with Noah
·      Abby pursues advocacy and walking
·      Abby is diagnosed and struggles with her past and present
·      Abby and Noah reunite and Noah helps Abby recover and eventually walk

Noah and Abby’s Relationship Conflict
·      In the beginning, Noah and Abby are getting to know each other and everything is good
·      After awhile, Abby starts to feel ashamed that she has a secret to tell Noah, and feels like that – along with her disability – will scare him away – her shame contributes to Abby pushing Noah away
·      Abby is left to deal with her past on her own afterwards – she pursues advocacy for people with disabilities and works towards walking on her own
·      After months of training at the gym, Abby notices a pain in her leg and gets some tests done. Abby is then told that she has bone cancer in her leg and will need to go though chemotherapy to treat it.
·      Once Abby is diagnosed, Abby realizes that Noah was actually a good guy and wants Noah back into her life. She is faced with learning to trust Noah and rebuild her life with his help (***do they end up together?)

Main Characters’ Biography and Personality
Noah Rodriguez is a 40-year-old Australian man who has lived in Los Angeles, California since he was 21. He comes from a rich family and played soccer in high school and university. His wife (who he met in university) died of cancer 10 years ago, and he is now ready to share his life with someone new. Noah’s personality is ambitious, outgoing, busy, humourous, has a bit of a temper, idealistic, driven, intelligent, arrogant, greedy, impatient (e.g., “don’t get in my way, I need it all”), honest, anal, confident.

Abby Fisher is a 27-year-old Caucasian woman living in Vancouver Canada. Abby was born with Cerebral Palsy. Her mom is from Alberta and her dad from BC. She is a very independent young woman and activist who wants to show others that she won’t let her disability define her. Although Abby is strong, she struggles sometimes with the idea that no man would love her for who she is, disability and all. However, Abby wants a family one day, just like her brothers and sisters. Abby is scheduled and spontaneous. She writes at night. She’s a people person but she likes her own time too. Nice, helpful, outgoing, has a sense of humor, she doesn’t like asking for help which annoys people, she tells it like it is (blunt/frank). Abby is more realistic than Noah, carefree, confident, honest, driven, stands up for herself, stubborn, doesn’t eat right (only on Sunday dinners).

Main Characters Physical Features

Blue eyes. Light blond hair. Eyes are most defining facial structure; the way he looks at Abby. Nice facial structure. Rugged. Oval face. Little beard. Really short haircut and he always does his hair nicely. He has a lot of tattoos on his body

            Hazel eyes that change colour. Short blond pixie cut. Her smile lights up the room and is her defining feature. Oval face and high cheekbones She wears casual clothing (is not very girly) on most days, but she’ll dress up once in awhile. Wears a bit of jewelry

Main Characters’ Jobs/Hobbies/Recreation

Job: Physiotherapist - Noah is a physiotherapist and loves his job. He continues to better himself at work and climb the job ladder. He travels a lot for work, and is an assistant coach for a soccer team on the side.
Education: Bachelor’s in sports management and kinesiology and Master’s of physiotherapy.
Recreation:  Noah is sports-minded. He is on a rugby team and works out everyday; he runs in the morning and goes to the gym in his free time. Family life is also very important to him. Noah helps his family out a lot and is always very busy.


Job: Abby is a ski instructor at the Special Olympics, and travels around promoting the Special Olympics. She is also a blogger and writer for a sports magazine. She has written a novel about her life story, and has an advice column on her blog.
Education: BA in Business/Marketing
Recreation: Abby likes to hang out with family and friends in her spare time, and has family suppers every Sunday night. Abby also likes her own time too. She’s very busy. Abby also skis in the special Olympics in her free time and wins a lot of medals. All her life, people have told her she can’t do anything, and so she’s trying to prove that she can.
Abby also does fundraising marathons that she started herself – started them when she was a teenager – every summer.

Minor/secondary characters, how they affect the story?
Lisa works for the CPA of BC. She is Abby’s ski partner, and one of her best friends. She helps Abby out a lot, especially with her fundraisers.
Janna is Abby’s best friend. She is Lisa’s boss, but they are all best friends.
Scott is Abby’s neighbor. He helps Abby out a lot with Scooter.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Finding your legs

I went online today to see if there were anyone else who had cerebral palsy and wanted to walk on their own, like me. I found this video about this young guy who has cerebral palsy who walks with crutches, but he wants to walk without his crutches. This video is very awesome. He has a fight inside of him that tells him that anything can happen if you put your mind to it. 

it's amazing to watch how he trains. It's clear to see that he works very hard and is very determined to reach his goal. Seeing him pushes me to want to do more with my body and discover what my limitations truly are. Finding him as well as others with CP who have a goal of walking makes me feel part of a larger community. It serves as a reminder that I am not alone in my struggle and that my goal really is achievable. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Work Opportunities and Accessibility

Good afternoon everyone,

Please watch this video of Tim Rose's amazing story. Here's some background information: Tim personally experienced unemployment issues because of the lack of opportunities and informed employers for people with disabilities (he has cerebral palsy). However, Tim also had a ton of talent and work ethic to offer employers, so he decided to do something about this issue.

Personally, I found Tim's story to be very inspiring and I am so proud of him for what he has done for  people with and without disabilities. As someone who is also interested in breaking the barriers that people with disabilities face daily, I too hope that I can contribute to accessibility awareness and advancements in the workforce and the world at large. 

I have had my own personal struggles being a working woman with cerebral palsy. In 2009 I graduated with a diploma in graphic design, and have numerous experiences involving writing, blogging, developing, publishing, and advocacy. However, my success in finding the right place of work depends on many things, such as: How accessible the building itself is (e.g. getting into the building, use their computers, have access to a large washroom etc.), how willing an employer is to open their mind to hiring a person with a disability, and the social atmosphere and awareness of the employees (will they try to get to know me or keep their distance?).

There are definitely huge challenges that the workforce faces when it comes to breaking barriers for people with disabilities. For future reference, I hope that employers will consider expanding their minds to hiring different types of people and expanding their buildings to accommodate them. It would be a shame for the next Einstein, Picasso, or Steve Jobs to be denied an opportunity because there was no ramp leading up to the building! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


           I am a young 34 year old woman who has Cerebral Palsy. This is my story to tell. For a long time I wondered why I was born with a disability and my twin sister was normal. But a couple of years ago, I understood why I was born with CP.  Here are my thoughts and feelings about this topic. Handicapped is just a word to me. Yeah, I need some help with eating, brushing my teeth, combing my hair, tying up my shoelaces, doing up my zipper…. On the other hand, I can do a lot on my own… Like getting dressed, going to the washroom, Getting out of my chair, I can work out. I use a wheelchair to get around, but since I was a little girl I had a dream to walk on my own. Being honest I know that I won’t be able to walk like a normal person who can get up and walk somewhere. I know in my heart I will walk, but with some assistance of course, and I’m okay with that. My disability does not define me and what I want out of life.
I want to walk on my own and I want to be an advocate for people who have a disability. I go to the gym 3x a week, I walk around the track holding on to a railing, I balance on a wobble board, I stand, I used to walk on the treadmill, and sometimes I go swimming. Next winter, I want to try out skiing!! I found a quote on facebook and I feel that it spoke to me. It says “I still have a long way to go, but I’m already so far from where I used to be and I’m proud of that”.
The truth is, I still have a long way to go. It will take time, perseverance and determination to achieve this goal of walking on my own. But I can celebrate 34 years of overcoming obstacles in my life already! After all, life isn’t a race to the finish, it’s all about progress. My family is a big part of mine because they don’t see me like I have a disability. They see me like a girl, a daughter and a sister and I wish everybody was like that. I guess the only message I hope to leave the world by the way I live my life is this..

I am not handicapped.
I am not disabled.
My name is Shawna Mattinson.