Through my work with injured workers, I was introduced to Neuroworx, a nonprofit, community-based, outpatient physical therapy clinic focusing on neurological rehabilitation for individuals experiencing paralysis from spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions.
I have found the disability community to be so naturally friendly because they like to have a positive influence on society. Many spend their lives in isolation, being ignored and not acknowledged at all; therefore having contact with other people in society is considered a blessing. This is why I was happy to tour and learn about Neuroworx. After the tour, we played a game of wheelchair basketball, which is usually played by people with varying physical disabilities that disqualify them from playing an able-bodied sport. It was a blast!
My life and outlook were changed after this experience. I realized I have no friends with disabilities and wondered who else is marginalizing this population. I was instantly overcome with sadness. I thought a lot about treating everyone as you would like to be treated. Thinking of the person first, not their disability.
I exchanged my personal contact information with the other basketball players and committed to staying in touch. Soon after, I received the messages from some of the players telling me the difference we made in their lives by being open and friendly. They were as inspired by our kindness and generosity as we were by theirs.