The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.
The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are:
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and Belinda Witzenhausen.
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When “My Get-Up-and-Go” is just not there or I have a few aches and pains, just reading inspirational articles like the one below inspires me to get moving again.
Anything Is Possible When You’re Unstoppable
Put Tracy Schmitt in front of an audience and watch her go. She has a million tales to tell—there’s her stint as captain of a 100-foot tall ship in the Eastern Atlantic, the day she won the Rick Hansen Award for her work as an inclusive teacher in Africa, Jamaica, and Mexico, her cameo in Robocop. And that’s just for starters—Tracy has a dozen more stories, each one demonstrating her resilience and hardheaded determination, each one more amazing than the last. If she’s not off on an adventure, she’s working as an advocate and consultant for people living with disabilities. It’s easy to forget that she’s four-way amputee. Tracy may have been born without lower limbs, but she’s always been Unstoppable. On her first day of school, Tracy missed recess because she was helping her new friends put on their shoes. When she was 19, she helped March of Dimes plan a trip, for four people with physical disabilities to Nepal and went along to climb mountains in the Himalayas without her prosthetic legs. Tracy has even won a bronze medal in downhill skiing! Tracy strongly believes that activities organized by March of Dimes are a key part of her success. “Everybody needs to take risks to grow,” Tracy told us in June. “Recreation is that place where you figure it out so you can move your life forward, where you can get out, get your strength up, get social circles started, so you can be independent in daily living.”
And Unstoppable Tracy is always ready to move forward. Though she learned to drive at 16, like most Canadians, she couldn’t afford the $60,000 that she was told it would cost to modify a vehicle for her unique needs. But when she was old enough, March of Dimes Canada helped her through its Home and vehicle Modification Program. “When other people say no, March of Dimes has always had a creative solution.” At March of Dimes Canada, Tracy is one of our own because Tracy not only benefited from some of our programs, she also worked with us. As an employee, Tracy was Director of the Summer Holiday Program, supervising 65 staff members. She was also staff in our Recreation Department, helping to plan accessible excursions and vacations.
Clearly, Tracy has experienced the impact of MODC from both sides, and she’s made an impact of her own in the process. Very few people have such a personal understanding of how donated funds change lives every day. Thanks to your generosity, our programs helped Tracy build a foundation for her inspiring work. And Tracy is truly an inspiration. “Doing these activities with March of Dimes gave me skills and confidence to go on into the employment world and be a valuable contributor to society. And now I’m giving back by working with people with disabilities. Because MODC had my back, now I’ve gone on to have everyone else’s back.” Congratulations, Tracy—we can’t wait to see what’s next for you!
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