My Friend Nicole


My Friend Nicole

By Nathalie Waite


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As a Registered Nurse in San Jose, I have found my passion in caring for Spinal Cord Injury patients and am determined to make a difference in their lives that goes beyond the hospital walls. After suffering such a traumatic and life-altering injury, these patients are expected to return home and attempt to rebuild their lives in a world that is not well-accommodated for them.

As their nurse, I encourage them to continue to pursue their goals and maintain personal relationships but I didn’t have a thorough understanding of how difficult that would for them until I saw it firsthand. I recently reconnected with Nicole—a past patient and dear friend of mine. Two years ago, Nicole was in a terrible car accident that left her completely paralyzed from the neck down. She was 26 years old. While in the hospital after her accident, she was determined to rebuild her life and I did everything that I could to encourage to continue to move forward despite her disability. It wasn’t until I saw her again several years later that I realized how difficult this had been for her. She is the mother of two young boys and due to lack of accessible transportation, she has missed out on countless milestones in their lives. She has missed parent-teacher conferences, performances, athletic matches and has been unable to participate in activities with them outside of the house. After learning about how difficult her life has been since her hospital discharge, I was inspired to start a non-profit organization that would raise money to help her (and others like her) purchase wheelchair-accessible vans. Wheels of Freedom has been established to give wheelchair-bound individuals the gift of mobility so that they can have the freedom to live their lives as “normally” as possible. Our hope is that having the ability to come and go as they please will prevent handicapped individuals from continuing to be held back by their disabilities. On February 18, 2012 we will be hosting a fundraiser to benefit Nicole. It is a luau-themed event with food, drinks, entertainment, raffles and a silent auction. We understand that these are difficult economic times, but we would be extremely grateful for any donation that you would be able to make. To quote Nicole, “(My kids) need their mom, and I need them! If I could have the true freedom that a wheelchair accessible van would give me, I would be able to go see my kids, go to their school functions and take back my rightful place as their mother. This is a truly wonderful Cause, one that would change my life and my kids lives drastically! So PLEASE join the Cause & do what you can to contribute. Thank you so much!”


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