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Encouragement: Michael Graves's Story


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The architect/designer, Michael Graves -- you've seen his items in Target Stores -- was featured on CBS Sunday Morning earlier today. I hope some of you had a chance to catch it.

According to the feature, Graves went to bed -- feeling fine, doing great, working hard, leading a wonderful life -- and woke up, near death, he was so sick. Diagnosed with a virus that was deteriorating the spinal column, he spent months in a hospital/rehab and was confined to a wheelchair. This happened overnight.

As he could, he continued to work, has a three year old son and wife, who is another architect, and is determined to walk again. He continues to work on designs, and has since branched into designing 'medical' items such as wheelchairs, canes, etc., and has re-designed his own home to accommodate his needs. He refuses to acknowledge he is 'handicapped.'

At one time, he almost died when the virus, attacking the spinal column, was affecting his breathing.

I watched this segment this morning and realized how fortunate I am, in spite of everything I would gripe about on any given day as a result of my own diagnosis. Puts some things in a different light for me, and makes me re-think flinging myself off the nearest bridge or hurling myself from a mountaintop.

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I feel the same way every day that I go to work with my kids with autism. I realize that their families lives are so complicated and in comparisson to my own, makes me feel so lucky to have what I have, damaged as I may be... it's still an easier path than theirs. For some reason, it helps me keep more of a positive focus in my life--and makes me so respectful of the families I work with because they're so resilliant.


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