Category Archives: Disability

Life has changed!

PSI’ve not done much blogging over the last few years as my life has been a bit of a roller coaster. Since marrying my husband in 2015 we’ve been trying to have a child. Well this dream has come true and I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant! However, it has been probably the most difficult experience in my life to date. The difficulty has occurred because of my disability and the ignorance the medical world has with disability.

I’ve been to countless doctors and had way too many tests. I’ve had clinics turn me away because of my low platelet count six months after I had told them about about my disability. I’ve had cardiologist tell me one thing and give a completely different message to my OB/GYN. I’ve also had labs tell me they could not do a blood draw for me because I don’t have arms and they can’t do out of my leg. That is just some of the medical ignorance that I’ve dealt with while trying to get pregnant.

Since getting pregnant my age and my disability have created some challenges with doctors. I’ve learned that local hospitals do not have platelets on hand. My doctors have been very concerned about my platelet condition. So I’m required to have my baby in Boston in order to be able to have platelets if I need them. I’ve come close to needing a platelet transfusion two already because of getting two colds this year but luckily  my platelet came back up. I still need to meet with anesthesiology to figure out IV access, medication and anything else that you usually put in a person’s arm during delivery.

Our little girl is doing great! She’s growing as expected and the doctors do not have any concerns about her. Every morning I wake up to my husband snuggling next to me putting his hand on my tummy. He waits for her to move. If he doesn’t feel her, she gets a few pokes to get her wiggling. Each time I get overwhelmed by the medical stuff I try to sit back and focus on her.

I’m so excited for this adventure that we are starting a couple and scared out of my mind. We’re about to be responsible for a little tiny human. It’s a bit mind blowing. I will also be a mom with a physical disability and there will be challenges to that.  But just like everything else I have ever done in my life I know I’ll be good at this one.  I have an amazing supportive husband right next to me.

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Kindle Book now available!

SheilaBookCover_30Aug2014_final

“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” by author, Sheila Radziewicz

The award winning self advocate and inspirational speaker, Sheila Radziewicz, writes from her heart sharing how she has overcome unimaginable adversity in her life. Highlighted with her beautiful poetry, she teaches us all that “nothing is impossible . . . the impossible only takes a little longer.” Her story is spellbinding! Anyone who seeks inspiration and motivation MUST purchase and read this dynamic journey of her life.

This amazing story is now available in Kindle and part of the lending program so you can share with your friends and family! Enjoy Sheila’s story today with full color pictures of her adventures. “The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” is a page turner and her story will remain with you always. Her unapologetic frankness will bring you both joy as well as sadness and you will find that her zest for life is contagious! Order your copy today http://ibty.in/ZcWfs

Sheila Radziewicz is not just a self advocate, inspirational speaker, and author she also holds a B.A., as well as a M.A., in criminal justice! Sheila’s newly published book, “The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination”, is more than just a book. It is a message about ability. It is one example about how living with a disability can be amazing despite society’s challenges. One must purchase this book and experience her undaunted way of achieving so much despite the odds and obstacles society has put before her.  This book makes the perfect gift to anyone you know. It is recommended for teachers  as a means to educate about intolerance and differences. Her story is moving and inspiring, as she talks about her determination to succeed in an able-bodied world.

“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” is a page turner and her story will remain with you always. Her unapologetic frankness will bring you both joy as well as sadness and you will find that her zest for life is contagious!

About the Author: Sheila has been fighting injustices her whole life. After receiving her black belt in Taekwondo she began motivational speaking. Since then, she has spoken to adults and youth nationally and internationally sharing her passion for life.   

For more information about Sheila Radziewicz, please visit: www.sheilaradziewicz.com

Book Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Women’s Story of Determination” by author, Sheila Radziewicz

The award winning self advocate and inspirational speaker, Sheila Radziewicz, writes from her heart sharing how she has overcome unimaginable adversity in her life. Highlighted with her beautiful poetry, she teaches us all that “nothing is impossible . . . the impossible only takes a little longer.” Her story is spellbinding! Anyone who seeks inspiration and motivation MUST purchase and read this dynamic journey of her life.

Sheila Radziewicz is not just a self advocate, inspirational speaker, and author she also holds a B.A., as well as a M.A., in criminal justice! Sheila’s newly published book, “The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Women’s Story of Determination”, is more than just a book. It is a message about ability. It is one example about how living with a disability can be amazing despite society’s challenges. One must purchase this book and experience her undaunted way of achieving so much despite the odds and obstacles society has put before her.  This book makes the perfect gift to anyone you know. It is recommended for teachers  as a means to educate about intolerance and differences. Her story is moving and inspiring, as she talks about her determination to succeed in an able-bodied world.

“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Women’s Story of Determination” is a page turner and her story will remain with you always. Her unapologetic frankness will bring you both joy as well as sadness and you will find that her zest for life is contagious! This inspirational book has been published by createspace.  You will find this amazing book in a print version  now available on Amazon. In addition, an Ebook edition is currently in the works.

About the Author: Sheila has been fighting injustices her whole life. After receiving her black belt in Taekwondo she began motivational speaking. Since then, she has spoken to adults and youth nationally and internationally sharing her passion for life.

For more information about Sheila Radziewicz, please visit: www.sheilaradziewicz.com

sharing her passion for life.   

For more information about Sheila Radziewicz, please visit: www.sheilaradziewicz.com

Yes, dreams do come true…

Many of us have had conversations in our childhood about things we want to accomplish someday. For me one of those things was to write a book on my life. I think the idea came to me in middle school . This would be a conversation that I would continue to have with friends and family for many years. Then about three years I started actually writing a book on my life. Then on Sunday I finished! I self published my book after only talking about doing it for about twenty years.

“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” is now available on Create Space and on Amazon. Currently it is only available in paperback. I am working on formatting it into e-book on Kindle.

The book has stories, poems and pictures that brings the reader through challenges and success of my life. If you’re looking for a story that will inspire you or someone else in your life pick this book up. As I have been told my friends before “I’m just being little me. I never tried to be inspiring.” That was when they responded, “That’s why you are so inspiring Sheila. Keep being you!”. SheilaBookCover_30Aug2014_final

Light, Love, and Positive Energy Series

Sometimes our worlds need to be turned upside down in order for us to receive amazing opportunities. Other times we can receive amazing things by simply thinking positively. Then there is choosing to be happy and therefore happiness just follows you home. The important fact here is that we have the power inside of ourselves to change our present situations. 

 

Focus on Positive things and you will receive positive.

Focus on Negative things and you will receive negative.

 

Changing your thoughts and actions can seem daunting if you let it. A few years ago I read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and book really spoke to me. It showed me how I could change my life one action and one thought at a time. The truth of the matter was that I had been living by this motto for most of my life. I just had not consciously realized it.  Growing up with my disability I had accomplished things that most believed was not possible. I choose to believe in myself and I succeed. 

 

You can too!

Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities

Massachusetts Easter Seals piloted a program this weekend in Boston called Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities. The program paired young women with disabilities with women mentors with disabilities. The program touched on a number of different themes that impact young women with disabilities. Some of the workshops included impact ability, Thrive against ableism, media’s depiction of people with disabilities, and health care advocacy. The keynote speaker was Harilyn Rousso and she read excerpts of her book “Don’t Call me Inspirational-A Disabled Feminist Talks Back”. As a woman with a disability myself I was so energized hearing pieces her book and am very excited for it to come out on January 31, 2013. Some of the other programs and individuals involved in the Thrive program this weekend included Impact: Ability, EPIC empowering people for inclusive communities, Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Patti Panzarino 2012 and Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Santara Sen 2010.

The Thrive program is something that I wish that I had as a young woman with a disability. Growing up with a disability I didn’t have that many individuals in my life with disabilities and most of my mentors were able-bodied individuals. This program gives a safe place for young women with disabilities ask the hard questions, to figure out what they’re supposed to know and to connect with others with disabilities like themselves.

I tell you being a part of this program was amazing. I got the opportunity to spend a weekend with some of the most strong confident, independent thinkers, empowered, determined, supported, beautiful women with disabilities. I definitely hope that this program is one that Easter Seals continues to support.

The 4th World Youth Taekwondo Camp


Over the last week I have had the chance to experience some fantastic opportunities. I was invited back to South Korea to speak at the 4th World  Youth Taekwondo Camp. There were approximately 300 people from 30 different countries at the camp. Through out the week I was approached by many youth who had seen my story on television and were inspired. I was part of a special lecture series and had the chance to inspire youth.  I had several encounters with the local media far more than I ever expected. I made friendships with Olympic medalists and trained with Taekwondo Masters from all over.  I was also was reminded of my own limitations despite my determination to succeed. Image

Our, myself and Danielle, travel to the camp was long as we had a 14 hour air flight to Korea and then a three-hour bus ride to our hotel in Muju, South Korea. Upon arrival we went straight to sleep for we had a full day training the next day. The arrangements that we had in Muju were beautiful the view of the mountains from the room was amazing. Since we got in so late, breakfast was our first true opportunity to meet the other participates. We meet a mother and son from Jordan and got to hear her son’s journey to the camp which was not the easiest. I also found out that my story had made a difference in his life.

Before we knew it we had arrived at the training facility and gathered together to train.

Throughout the day I had the opportunity to train with the participates. At times I joined the students and trained within the group this was enjoyable and at other times I assisted with the instruction of the students. We did a stretch and kicking drilling (Kyorugi) together. During the first training day I meet an olympic medalist, Tran Hieu Ngan the silver medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, she was extremely friendly and we hung out the rest of the week. I was also asked to speak with the press. This was quite the experience as I sat in a room with about ten reporters it was like I was having my own press conference. I was in awe about how my story had impacted so many people all over the world.

The following day we had the special lecture series and had the chance to experience Korean Traditional Culture.


Through the special lecture series I was given the chance to speak to the participates about my story. I was also able to inspire hope and enthusiasm in the youth. As speaker I always try to inspire my audience in finding their inner strength. I spoke about how we all have our own challenges and with those we are all here today. Taekwondo is a sport that gives opportunity to the many and what we learn in Taekwondo we can then take and apply to all the parts of our lives.

It really was an honor to speak at the camp. I feel that I made a difference in the lives of these youth. I hope the media coverage that occurred during my visit helps to inspire and reach many more in South Korea and all over the world.

After the lecture series we were given the chance to experience Korean traditional culture. We went to the cultural center and had a traditional meal. We also had a chance to learn about a traditional wedding and Korean drums. We also had a chance to visit a traditional village called Jeonju Hanok. I really enjoyed seeing this cultural side of South Korea. As we were leaving the village there was a presentation of the lion mask dance. This was great to watch as it included the drumming we were shown at the cultural center. 

The following day we returned to our training. In the morning there was Kyorugi training again and I took this time rest as we have had a busy schedule. In the afternoon we had Poomsae (Forms) training during this time I did a demonstration of a Poomsae to the group and joined the instruction. I really enjoyed the Poomsae part of the training. Unfortunately,  at the end of the Poomsae my knee gave out on me. This stopped me from being involved with the Kyukpa (breaking). We also took a trip to the construction site of Taekwondowon and it was amazing to the models and picture come alive.

In the evening our day of culture continued as we had a K-POP dance performance. Then the youth presented folk costumes and had a talent show from their native country. At the end we the demonstration of the flying pungdeung where we wrote our hopes and dreams and let them fly in the sky.

On our last full day we packed everything up and moved ourselves to Seoul. We were on our way to do a Poomsae and Kyukpa demonstration at the Olympic Park. When we arrived they gave me a new dobok with the sleeves removed. We did a short practice and then were given a break. Things were going well and then my knee gave out and I had lots of pain. It was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knee and barely walk. My friend Danielle was there for me and helped advocate for me. I had managed to do everything else was doing without problem but my body had hit its limit. However, within a few minutes a Mater from Spain was by my side and was massaging and using pressure to help my knee. I was given ice and told to sit. Within five minutes I was standing without pain and was able to join the demonstration of the Poomse.I was glad to be about to join the demonstration. However the knee pain did return and I had to rest at the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. It was not a decision that I like , but it was a needed and responsible one. Growing up with a disability I have learned the importance of having support and knowing when to stop. On this trip I had different support people but one stand out my friend Danielle. Danielle was there as a companion and gave so much support without question. She carry things for me so I would last longer and helped me with the smaller things that happen throughout the trip. It was her support that made a difference to me.

We ended the week with a final dinner. During this time I had the chance to talk with the youth from all the different countries. I found out that my story has been published in a magazine called I Love Taekwondo Global Magazine. I had an amazing time on my second trip to South Korea and I look forward to a chance to return again.

Adaptive Sports

For a number of years I have thought about getting a bike again. As a child I had a big wheel and loved it.  I rode it so much it literally fell apart one day. Since then I have not had a bike and have often wanted one. Over the years I looked into it and found it to be expensive and complicated which often lead me to find something else to do with my time. Well about two weeks ago I started looking into bikes again and came across new information and possibilities. On Friday I went to NH to a program called Northeast Passage to have a bike demo. I was going to be able to try various bikes and see which would really work for me. Very exciting.

I received more out of the appointment then I had imagined. When I first arrived I was brought into a huge room of bikes. I got to look through them and see what would work we settled on two possibilities. A trike bike and the banana peel bike. The trike bike we had to play with for a while to get things set at the right measurements. This had hand brakes and the steering were with my hands which I found to be difficult once they had me riding it.

Then we switched to the banana peel bike. This bike was amazing it was so easy to use the steering and peddling were controlled by the hips and legs. It felt so natural. I rode around the parking for a while and found that I was getting good at it pretty quick. The main drawback to this bike is that it is only a one speed. So if I really got into riding I may need something with more speed.

I had a lot of fun and got amazing information. I found that I could sign up with Spaulding Hospital to be involved with their adaptive cycling program and use the same banana peel bike. This would give be a chance to really try this bike out before buying it. Then I learned about other adaptive sports that Northeast Passage was involved with water-skiing, kayaking, golf, and shooting. I’m very exciting about all these possibilities for this summer. I am already signed up for cycling and water-skiing. I’m looking into kayaking and shooting. I love to try new thing!