Thursday, November 27, 2008

The most inspirational thing you'll read all week...

One wonders, while reading about an Englishwoman who was basically given a choice between motherhood or being able to walk for the rest of her life, one wonders if Annabelle Baker would not have pulled through if she had not been athletically inclined.

" 'The doctor said I needed immediate brain and neck surgery," says Annabelle Baker, of Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire. 'Without the operation, I could end up paralysed, in a wheelchair for life. But there was no way I could have the operation while pregnant.' "
It's a hell of a story, especially since Ms. Baker is planning to run a marathon in London next spring, three-plus years after she was at risk of becoming quadriplegic. If ever one needed motivation to get off the couch, or realize that your issues are nothing you can't handle, well, here's your example.

As the Mirror explains, Ms. Baker was active in netball, field hockey and trampolining. She believes a fall on the trampoline led to her developing the neck damage that led to "Arnold-Chiari malformation, which is when the back of the brain extends down into the upper spinal canal."

Speaking as a working journalist, someone for whom a computer crash can inspire a mini-meltdown, it is always something to come across the story of an individual who seems possessed of that Harry Truman that-which-you-must-endure. Certain people seems to have it, and can get through something that would take down a lot of us. Being an athlete alone did not help Annabelle Baker overcome (and as the article details it, she's not out of the woods), but you seldom meet someone with that kind of vitality who hasn't been an athlete.

The brutal part is that Ms. Baker has raised only 40 pounds in the name of the Brain and Spine Foundation, the charity she is planning to run for in the marathon. That's well short of her target of 1,500. Who knows whether one can donate from outside the UK, but in the age of global village, surely one of you knows someone in London, so pass along word. It's only sporting, love.

Annabelle's choice.. abort your baby or never walk again (Daily Mirror)

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