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A healthy perspective : 1 week later

April 22, 2013

It has been one week since two bombs shocked the entire country during the Boston Marathon.  One week since an entire city stopped, connected and worked together to make a terrible situation manageable.

It has been one week since we witnessed strangers run to victims to help instead of running away from a dangerous situation; one week since Boston residents offered up housing and support to those stranded in the area.

It has been one week since we have witnessed, yet again, an extreme tragedy where we saw amazing things accomplished by collaboration.

And one week later, the media has died down, the news, twitter and facebook feeds have moved on and I am sure most of you are having a normal week back at work.

When the bombs went off it changed lives forever.  At that moment, hundreds of people became patients, many of whom will now experience life “with a physical disability.”  At that moment, hundreds of people became caregivers who will provide ongoing, everyday care to their loved one.  At that moment, close family and friends and various health providers became part of an everyday “care team.”

And one week later, as the rest of the world returns to work, the victims, caregivers and close family and friends affected by the bombs begin to piece together what “normal” everyday living will look like.

Every day a bomb goes off

In the face of tragedy, people come together and accomplish the unthinkable and I can’t help but wonder (or dream) what we could accomplish if we worked together everyday in a similar, collaborative fashion because in some ways, every single day a bomb goes off.

Every single day “a bomb goes off” when someone is in a disabling accident, is diagnosed with a chronic condition, or is born with a physical or mental disability.

Every single day “a bomb goes off” when a parent, friend or family member learns about a loved one diagnosis and they, without question, become a primary caregiver.

Every single day “a bomb goes off” when the family, friends, neighbors, friends of the family, etc. learn of an acquaintance who was diagnosed with a disability, disease or new condition.

And every single day, when “a bomb goes off,” friends, family and strangers come together to offer help, support, and comfort.  When “a bomb goes off”, the majority of us run and really do help in amazing ways but 1 week after “a bomb goes off,” the majority of us will go back to our ‘normal’ lives leaving the victim (or patient) and close caregivers feeling rather overwhelmed and helpless.

Your challenge – 1 week later

I am by no mean undermining the fact that last week was a tragic, terrorists attack that affected hundreds of people in a few seconds and in many ways is incomparable to an individual learning they have cancer, autism, diabetes, etc. but what I am saying is that whether you have experienced an actual bombing or a new diagnosis 1 week later the situation is comparable:  the massive amounts of help that came pouring in begin to slowly fade away and the victim (or patient) and their caregivers embark on the everyday management of a very different life.

After working in and out of homes of those with various physical and mental disabilities and understanding the day in and day out challenges of managing various conditions, I challenge you 1 week later to think about what you can do on an everyday basis to connect, collaborate and improve the everyday life for those who have to experience life after “a bomb goes off.”  And I challenge you to not just think about how you can help but instead think about how the “victims” can help you.

The victims will be stronger, braver and capable of providing you with a very healthy perspective of everyday life after “a bomb goes off.”

The victims will be ABLE in the face of a new “disability” to overcome hurdles they never dreamed they would be able to tackle.  They will be more courageous and bold.

The victims will provide a healthy dose of reality and a constant reminder of what is really important in life.

Our Challenge

At Vidapost, the goal of the Wisdom & Wellness Ambassador program is to give individuals who most of us often view as “needing help” the opportunity to help you.  We are training individuals with physical, mental and various medical conditions to be leaders, advocates, and motivators to help YOU.  Our goal is to not only improve the management of chronic conditions but really focus on improving one’s overall health.  In order to do this, we believe every single one of us has a role to play on an everyday basis – including the patient.

Today we are officially opening up registration for our 3 month Healthy Billion Challenge: 1 Billion Steps.  Everyone who commits to helping us walk 1 Billion steps will be partnered with an Ambassador.  We believe our Ambassadors can and will inspire and help you just as much as you can help them.

In Conclusion

Regardless of whether you join our challenge, we hope 1 week later you will think about how victims (and patients) such as the ones in Boston can help you.  A bomb went off last week and made hundreds of victims stronger, braver, and more ABLE to tackle any hurdle.  And trust me, these victims are going to inspire and motivate the heck out of you!

I firmly believe that more exposure to the everyday life of those with various physical, mental and medical disabilities could be the best does of preventative medicine one could ever ask for.

Every day I am surrounded by individuals and their families who have experienced life “after a bomb goes off,” and I believe that if more of us were surrounded by these amazing patients and caregivers that maybe, just maybe we could prevent more “bombs from going off…”

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