Heart and Will to Survive

By: Dennis Dooley, Street Artist

November 28th, 2008 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

Today I received a CC of this email from Dennis, a street artist who worked side-by-side with my mom and sent this email to all the other street artists. It is a testimony to my mom’s inspirational ability to transcend chronic pain, limited mobility, and other obstacles — enabling her to seize each day with joy and a sense of adventure.

I find it difficult to describe how much I admire EJ. When I saw her at last Sunday’s lottery, she seemed even more frail than she had been the week before. This small, shrunken woman with a great heart and will to survive, walking delicately among us.

She has the courage and resourcefulness of a Mount Everest climber or an astronaut. To see her arrive at the plaza hunched down over the steering wheel of her large truck, and then to witness her laborious, highly organized routine of unloading the heavy scooter and trucks, was awesome. And just as a mountain climber’s ice axe might fail her at a critical moment, so EJ’s scooter was tragically her undoing.

Sometimes we reflexively look away from people with severe disabilities, with the subliminal thought, “That could be me.” I hope that we do not look away from EJ.

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