My name is Cynthia Ramirez, 31 years old, single parent and a recent patient of Rancho Los Amigos Out-Patient Rehabilitation Center. In June of 2008, I suffered a car accident that has caused me to become paralysed from the waist down.
After coming home from my short stay rehabilitating at Rancho Los Amigos, I became very sheltered and did not have the desire to face this brand new world of mine. I became very familiar with my home and did my best to make it as comfortable as possible for me, since I spent most of my time here. My only outings would be to my therapy sessions, twice a week and frequent visits to the doctor.
It was during one my visits with my recreational therapist that I was given the opportunity to change the way I was feeling and be a part of something great by inviting me on a ski trip to the Adaptive Sports Center, (ASC) Crested Butte, Colorado.
Nine months after my accident, my trip to ASC was definitely the beginning of my new life!
Arriving at our destination was breathtaking. The home we stayed in was beautiful and amazingly accommodating to us and our needs, but the most best & rewarding part of my trip to Crested Butte was being able to participate in the recreational activities planned for us by the Adaptive Sports Center and their skilled staff. We had a week filled with thrilling adventures, learned new skiing techniques never thought possible, met incredible people from various parts of the world and had a blast, again! It was liberating for me to be outdoors again experiencing things I’ve always loved to do. Not always attached to my wheelchair and instead, carving down mountainsides on a monoski, which I never done before, it was awesome! The staff was very understanding to our disability and I was amazed by their friendliness and efforts to make everyone feel comfortable in our own skin.
My spirit was brought back to me, I gained back feelings I had lost and thought would take a long time to regain, such as independence, self-confidence, and most important, many reasons to continue living my life. Being involved in this amazing opportunity by attend the Adaptive Sports Center and working hard with all of my physical and outpatient therapists at Rancho Los Amigos, helped me to tremendously to embrace my disability. It has opened my eyes to new possibilities and realized that there are other ways and options for people like myself, to continue to live normal prosperous lives. Not only was my trip to ASC a learning experience for me, but also for my friends and family members. Through my experience, new gained confidence and much enthusiasm, I was able to educated them and bring awareness to my disability. Soon after my personal transformation they began to treat me as a “normal” individual again, now aware of my new-found capabilities they didn’t feel so bad for me after all. They expressed how proud they were of my success and independence. However, family and friends always maintain to stay close enough to lend a helping hand which I am very thankful for, but also new it was important to figure things out on my own. That is exactly what my trip to the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado helped me do.
I promised myself to continue to be a part of this organization, and continue to visit as much as possible. It was a life changing experience for me and I could only wish and hope others in my condition have a chance to experience the same. The knowledge and empowerment once felt after visiting the center is priceless and one could only wait to get back and share with the rest of the world!