DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

“You wont find anyone who will try harder”

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Damien Minna

“I’m mighty”

Anyone who is quadriplegic will cringe when you say “I’m looking for a caregiver.” Its a daunting, scary task. You’re bringing a stranger into your personal space, who is in charge of your entire life and more importantly your well being. So when this pretty, petite, with bright eyes and a pretty smile woman walked in my door, it was a pleasant change up from the drug addicted, felony toting, lost humans I was used to. But by no means did I think she was a candidate for the job. I went over the usual interview questions, but as we talked I didn’t want her to leave. It was difficult but I eventually told her that her physical demeanor was not a good match for the job. I am a six foot, 200 pound ex football player that needed to be carried around...her reply “don’t underestimate me, I’m mighty” after that reply, I was hooked. I hired all 5 foot, 100 pounds of her immediately.

Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest.

She proved to be mighty and held the position down as good as any other person has. But what surprised me more was her ability to see past my broken parts, and to mend them. The most obvious was the chair. It was like there wasn’t one, but she saw everything. My fears, my worries - she seemed to always make everything better...she Challenged me. From roller coasters, food, and even music but the worse one was I had a fear of traveling. I would go but there was so much anxiety involved it felt not worth it. She made me do it anyway. The first trip she planned was to Northern California to see my hero; the Dalai Lama. Everything was planned perfectly, nothing was forgotten and all my anxiety diminished. I soon saw that she was the biggest thing I had been missing in my life.

One thing leads to another

After three years of this little woman easing my mind I knew it was time. I didn’t want to live any days without her. I had nothing to offer but myself. When I say I had nothing to offer, I mean it. I literally asked her to marry me with a donut, in place of a ring. I knew I would find her a way to get her one eventually, but for now, a donut was my only affordable option. I handed it to her and told her I had nothing to offer her but this donut and my heart. And I guaranteed that she would never find anyone who would try harder for her....then she said yes.

With roots as strong as a tree

My little (that’s what I call her) loves trees. So when my family came together to make sure she had something other than a donut on her wedding day they took the diamond from my mothers original wedding ring (she upgraded from on my mom and dads 25th anniversary) and gold from the wedding rings of both sets of grandparents that were no longer with us. With those components a jeweler made her a solitaire diamond ring where the circular part of it was in the shape of a tree trunk. When it was time to slip it on she LOST IT! She had no idea it was coming. My father then took a moment to explain that this ring was made with family roots as strong as a tree, and our love...

A lifelong supporter

Since my spinal cord injury I have done every treatment I could get my hands on short of any invasive implant or surgery. If you can think of it, I’ve done it. But when an old friend offered to send me to Indonesia to see a shoalin healer, that was something I hadn’t even thought of. I have made it my mission to find the best modalities for myself and others with such a catastrophic injury. I would love to see a cure, and if I stumble across it while on my mission - great! But for Jose w I’m just looking my to make mine and others lives better. Less pain, more mobility, better mindset, happier - that’s my goal. That being said, I’m will My to do most things. But was my wife willing to go that far for my cause? We had a home, she had a career that was rising, we had animal friends we loved - all would have to be given up or put aside. She asked “is it something you feel you need?” And after a few minutes I answered “yes”. She said “then we have to go...” we sold our accessible van, literally all of our possessions, found homes for our pets and set off on an adventure that went way beyond Northern California. But I knew with her by my side, we’d be ok. It started as just going to see the healer for 4 months and ended up being a three year eastern healing tour where I saw multiple types of eastern healers. I feel so lucky to have found my lifelong supporter....

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