Tomorrow at 6pm, there will be a community meeting to discuss the proposed renovation of Milwaukee Center for Independence’ Southeast Campus, which serves as a day program for people with developmental disabilities. The meeting will be held onsite at 3333 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207.
Tomorrow’s meeting will have a large effect on the members of the community with the least ability to advocate for themselves, and our community doesn’t exactly have a history of advocating on their behalf. I know that discussions surrounding community services for people with disabilities has become quite heated in the past, specifically in August, 2011 with the proposal of a day services center being built on Lincoln Ave. I was disappointed in the opposition presented by community members, both with the petition started by residents, and the vehement resistance displayed by the owners of Café Lulu. Their statement that “this type of business adds nothing positive to our community” was offensive, not only to members of the community who use this type of service, but to myself as well, as someone who works with people with disabilities on a daily basis, and sees firsthand the positive influence these day service providers have on the physical and emotional well-being of my clients. It was made clear to me during this time that the owners of Café Lulu, while claiming to care about the well-being of the community, cater to only certain demographics of that community, and see those with disabilities only as “the potential to create more of the problems we already face.”
I’m hoping that the same opposition is not presented for the renovation of an already-established business, which is already providing a wonderful opportunity for community involvement of people who rely on the members of their community to help them achieve the same opportunities in life that people without disabilities often take for granted.
My clients who attend this day service center have diagnoses which include Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Mental Retardation, and other developmental disabilities. This center serves ages from 18 and older, and provides classes to promote independence in cooking, self-advocacy, job skills development, and many other life skills. Community involvement includes activities such as walking through the community, going to the Domes, museum, etc., shopping in the community, going to coffee shops, etc. This center strives to promote independence and community involvement in people with disabilities. While some business owners may not see the value in this, I can assure anyone with doubts that my clients find extreme happiness in community involvement, learning the skills they need to live in their own community, and from the acceptance they receive from members of their community.
The renovations proposed for this building will allow for a better facility (larger spaces, larger bathroom stalls for clients in wheelchairs, a roof that doesn’t leak) and better services for the people attending the day service center. I cannot think of one reason why this would have any negative outcomes for the community, and I hope I can look forward to a positive community response.
Please feel free to attend this meeting, if you can, and provide input. All are welcome.
Family, friends, awesome human beings, I need your help.
My dear friend, and former trainer and physical therapist, John Andrews’ 3 month old son, Paxton was brought to the pediatrician’s office on May 8th for what appeared to be a common cold and possible eye infection. The doctors found cancer in several areas of Paxton’s tiny body. He has tumors behind his eyes and in his abdomen. The cancer has not spread into his ribs, and a biopsy of the liver was inconclusive, but appears to be simple celled (benign) at this time. The initial belief it that the cancer started in his head.
On his very first Mother’s Day, mom Danna held him as he received the first infusion of chemotherapy. Although his little body has been ravaged by biopsies and bone marrow tests, pic line, and drains behind his eyes, he is taking it all like a champion, his vitals remain strong, and he has eaten on his own a few times.
The doctors at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin have been working with pathologists around the country to confirm a specific diagnosis. They want to be 1000% sure before they deliver the diagnosis and prognosis to the family. We expect that in a few days time. The chemo had to be started ASAP because the tumors behind Paxton’s eyes are fast growing and time is not on his side.
Augie and I decided (with 100% support from Grace and Nora) that it takes a village to raise a child, and it is time for the villagers to report for duty to try and save this child, and other kids with cancer. We have started a group called Team Paxton to raise money for the family, raise awareness of childhood cancer and the need for research, and to raise money for theMACC Fund, The American Cancer Society, The Blood Center, Pablove, RACC, and St. Jude Hospital through a series of events and a sustained PR and awareness campaign. We have formed a steering committee of 10 people, and held our first meeting last night. The interest in the community has been overwhelming, and we haven’t even gotten our website up yet! (Hoping to finish it by next week.) We think that Team Paxton is going to help turn the tides in the fight against childhood cancer, and change the lives of many. We’re starting with Paxton, because we love him, and, as the villagers, he’s our baby, too.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Donate to Paxton’s Angel Network Fund. This fund goes directly to the Andrews family to cover out-of-pocket costs for treatment and care, lost wages, travel, second opinions, anything they need. Please, if you have it in your heart and in your budget, donate today: https://www.wepay.com/donations/paxton-s-angel-network
After a long, soul-searching week, I’ve decided that, despite the (sigh) ridiculously large pay increase, I’d be applying for the Nursing Coordinator for Milwaukee County Family Care for all the wrong reasons.
I like my job; I like my boss(es); I like most of my coworkers; I like most of my clients. I love my flex time and the large amount of freedom I have to pretty much do whatever I want as long as my work gets done. At the end of the day, at this point in my life, that freedom ended up being the most important thing for me. I think I’ll stay where I am for at least a little while longer.
I mean, unless someone just, out of the blue, offered me that job. I’m not a total idiot. I wouldn’t turn it down. It is pretty much exactly what I want to do with my BSN.
Anyway, I know this is probably one of those once in a lifetime things I should be applying for, but I feel pretty good about this decision.
This is Paxton. Paxton is 3 months old. Paxton went to the doctor 5 days ago for a stubborn cold and found out he had cancer. This Mothers Day, please consider helping out Paxton’s family with a bit of financial support, and maybe some thoughts and prayers as well.
"Hate the sin, love the sinner" is the biggest line of bullshit I have ever heard.
I have a hard time believing that anyone who puts a significant amount of time and energy into forcing people to live by their questionable moral code actually gives a shit about the well-being and future of our country. It makes me physically ill that we even have the ability to vote on which citizens are allowed to have the same rights as other citizens. A 2/3 vote is all it takes to make a Caste System in these United States in 2012. Congratulations, North Carolina. You win the Bigot of the Week Award!
Do you pee all over your toilet at home? You know what. Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know. But, FYI, you’re not at home now. You’re in a public restroom using a toilet that people have to use after you’re done with it, and we don’t want to look at or use a toilet that’s as repulsive as you are. How fucking hard is it to take some toilet paper and clean up after yourself? While you’re learning how to be a decent human being, maybe you can also take a lesson in flushing the goddamn toilet and washing your disgusting hands.
How do you even wake up each day, in a first world country, in 2012, and make a conscious decision to live in filth?
I just finished watching The Grey. Which was, you know, awful. But I liked it anyway. The whole Northern Alaska part reminded me of Into the Wild. You know that 2007 movie, based on a book. And I remember everyone thinking just how amazing this guy was for going off “Into the Wild” and having adventures and life-changing experiences and whatever and here I am thinking…
You took off to the Middle of Nowhere, Alaska. You didn’t tell anyone where you were going. You brought a 10-pound bag of rice with you.
Dude was a fucking idiot.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll just take off and move into the middle of the Sahara Desert. It’s ok. I’ll bring a bottle of water with me, and a shovel so I can dig a well. And then I’ll find an abandoned palm tree to provide me with shelter. And then I’ll die of fucking stupidity. But it’s ok, because I’ll keep a diary during this whole thing. Just in case someone wants to read it. Because “happiness only real when shared.”
Anyway. The Grey. Could have been over in the first 20 minutes, since everyone slept outside on the first night. In the open. In northern Alaska winter temperatures. Oooh. They built a fire. I’m sure that would have kept them nice and cozy. In an enclosed space. Idiots. And I don’t know if any of you have lived in Alaska in the winter. I have. Whole days filled with sunshine don’t happen. I’ll try to let all that go because it’s a movie. A movie with totally realistic-looking wolves. Just like the one in The Neverending Story.
I just watched a TED talk that moved me and my nose was running and that reminded me that I’d left the Kleenex1 I bought in the trunk of the car.
So I went out to get it.
And as I walked to my car, parked right next to my back door, a guy in some low-slung white car with a heavy beat slowed down and stared intently at me the whole way.
The whole fucking way.
I’m 43 fucking years old, and over-weight, and nobody’s ideal of anything, and yet, when I walk to my car, right next to my own home, at night, there’s some guy stalking me.
And I am so FUCKING angry.
This is what “rape culture” means. I cannot step 20 feet from my front door without some guy stopping to evaluate me, to look me over, just like a car, or a stud horse, to decide if I’m worth his time.
I am SO FUCKING ANGRY that my daughters are still growing up in this world.
I exist because…….
there is no fucking “because”
I am, therefore
I do not belong to you;
I was not created for your pleasure;
I was not created for you to judge or evaluate
Because we dare not violate intellectual property.
Against medical advise, this couple opted not to selectively reduce upon finding out they were expecting 6 babies.
“We decided to go for all six and trust God with my health and the babies” the mother says.
Yes, much in the same way they decided to trust God with providing them with fulfilling lives without the use of fertility treatments.
Now the couple are proud parents of 6 babies, born 2 months premature, all weighing between 1-2 pounds. Three of them are now breathing on their own!
Of all the irresponsible, selfish decisions to make.
Those poor babies can now likely look forward to a lifetime of physical, emotional, and cognitive complications.
I get that people make decisions to continue with pregnancies knowing that they will have a child with a disability. I get that not every pregnancy goes according to plan. I have an enormous amount of respect for people that raise and care for people with disabilities. I know it’s not easy.
But, you find out you’re pregnant with sextuplets after using artificial means to get pregnant, and your doctor strongly recommends selective reduction for the health of you and your children, and you say “Meh. No. This is what God wanted.”
No. If God wanted you to have 6 babies at the same time, you wouldn’t be sitting in a fertility clinic, listening to your doctor tell you about the risks involved in continuing, as is, an artificially-induced pregnancy.
This decision just feels like a smack in the face to those that work hard 24/7 raising and caring and providing for someone with a disability.
Or maybe I’m looking at this all wrong because of my opinions on fertility treatments in general, when there are already so many children in the US and around the world, waiting for an adoption. Maybe I’m an asshole.
There’s no maybe there. I am an asshole.
Good luck to these six new babies. I hope your parents know that love isn’t enough. Good luck to the parents as well. They’ll need it. And money. And community. And patience. And respite. And time. And resources. And many many other things.
I dreamed the “Song of Ice and Fire” saga was written on the walls. I was walking though the building reading it. Then Matt Smith was there and I gave him a hug. Then I tweeted “I JUST GAVE MATT SMITH A HUG!!” Then I realized I was sleeping and started panicking over whether or not I managed to actually tweet that in my sleep and how I wouldn’t be able to check and delete it until I woke up.
So anyway. Subconscious anxiety attack. Totally worth it. Because I JUST HUGGED MATT SMITH!!