The official Easter Seals Dupage and the Fox Valley Region Blog welcomes Amy Liss, who works in the Development department in the Villa Park center.
Most of you reading this may not realize how much work is involved in taking a step when you have spastic cerebral palsy. At Easter Seals, the therapists get it. My therapists have worked with me for more than 25 years and this week we all experienced a new thrill. A new piece of equipment called the walking track was recently installed in our building. The therapists received some training on using it and an hour later I was walking with it! You can see an amazing video of my first flight here.
Thanks to Easter Seals, I have been able to use a lot of cool equipment to help make my body stronger but nothing like this. It’s so hard to describe the feeling, but the first time in it, the walking just seemed to come so easily. I have had a walker for more than two years to use in therapy. However, when I take steps with my walker it happens after much stretching in therapy and I really have to think about the movements for each step I take. With the new walking track, my feet just seemed to go on their own and it felt like I was running at some points (that might have been excitement).
After posting the video on Facebook, I have read so many wonderful comments from people I don’t even know personally that are impressed by Easter Seals and are amazed to see me upright and moving. After 29 years of therapy, this is as close as I’ve ever come to feeling like I’m just walking like everyone else. My twin sister Kelly said it was the very first time we took a picture standing together and my little sister, Lindsay, said she cried watching the video and seeing me walk. My therapists, Kathe and Diane, should be equally as excited because they are the ones who got me to this point. I loved watching their faces especially because they had just learned how to use the track an hour before I was on it. I was so impressed with their willingness to use a piece of equipment so readily after just being introduced to it. The whole experience was really emotional for me because I really felt like I was walking down the hall with my friend, Kathe. And I was.
I’m excited to see other clients use this equipment but will always be thrilled that I was the first one in it!