Howdy y’all!  I have been staying low and under the radar since this past January working hard to bring my repaired knee back to 100%.  As of today, I am not close to 100% yet.  

To bring all of you to a quick update, I saw surgeon on 5-February.  I told him about my subluxation (quick knee pop out/in) 3 times prior to seeing him.  He asked me to continue working with therapist for next 3 months as he has seen similar situation before.  I continued with physical therapy until last week of February when my health insurance decided that I no longer required physical therapy as they wanted me to wean off.  I contacted my surgeon asking him what to do about this situation and he told me to continue with home exercise program.  We cannot do anything about my health insurance because if we file an appeal and it will take around six months for them to decide if it is medically necessary for me to continue with my physical therapy.  It is where I have to choose which battles to battle.  *sigh*  Meanwhile, I have been going to the gym at least 3 times a week doing some exercises via weight, treadmill, and swimming pool.  I am doing yoga on daily basis to stretch and build up some strength in my leg/knee area.  I thought to myself ok, just continue work on getting my knee stronger and healed on my own until May.

However, over the last weekend of February and first week of March, I experienced subluxation (quick knee pop out/in) twice which left me into very painful condition especially on inside knee area – MCL area.  It was harder on me because I became stronger and was able to move, but my knee was not working with me and popping out on me if I moved in certain direction each time (squat and move left laterally).  I decided that there was something not right about my knee since it felt the similar way prior to the surgery.  Since subluxation occurred, I am still limping and managing my pain with popping in NSAIDs.  It is so painful to get out of the car and bathtub.  It is hard to get up in the morning when I move my knee.  I groan, grunt, moan, and whimper a bit from time to time.  My family hears me and sympathizes with me.  Not fun at all.

Since something is not right with my knee, I asked for an appointment with surgeon right away.  I just saw him past few days on 12-March.  I explained my dilemma with him.  He checked my knee and we both agreed that my knee was feeling solid with repaired ACL and meniscus, so there must be different issue in different area.  I told him that it means a new challenge for him and he said yes.  :)  He ordered a new MRI, so I am awaiting for my insurance to approve.  He told me that I no longer need to wear brace, but wear brace for high impact/athletic activity until beginning of December 2015 (approximately one year from my surgery).  So, it was mixed news – bad news – my knee is not 100% and the issue with subluxation is ongoing and good news – my knee is strong enough that I can resume wearing my pants especially jeans and yoga pants/leggings once again!!!!!  Hellloooooo pants/leggings!!!!!  Yeah, I am frustrated, but count my blessings that I am able to move around at least.  Gonna balance out with good and bad stuff and just move on.

So, I move with caution as not to squat risking myself to cause my knee to pop out/in and fall down on my hands and/or face onto floor/pavement.  It is not easy because I do not feel pain while walking/hiking (due to NSAIDs kicking and repeated motion causing my knee to acclimatized by numbing out my pains).  When I am forced to squat for some reasons like to scramble across boulders, descending on the steep trail, or climb up/down on some rocks, my knee just pops out/in without any warning.  Scary!

*sigh* I continue to keep myself active and safe as best as I can – the Spring is just around the corner.  I hope that in next few weeks after my MRI, my surgeon and I will able to get some answers on why my knee keeps pop out/in.  Please continue with prayers for me.

Hey everyone,

This week is challenging for me and one of them involves a setback on my knee.  UGH.  Last Wednesday night, I sat down with my brace on.  I was lightly dragging/sliding forward my right foot on the lamented wood floor and subluxation (quick pop out/in) occurred.  OUCH!  I was perplexed, but I just let it rolled off from my shoulder thinking it was just one-time off thing.  A few minutes later, my parents sat down at table near to me.  I was doing the same performance and it happened again!  It hurt so much that I gasped and my parents were looking at me.  My knee swollen.  UGH!  It surely felt the similar way before the surgery – pop in/out in my knee area on inner side.  I iced, took NSAID, and pampered my knee on that night.

I went in physical therapy session next day with some limping.  My therapist asked me how I was and I told her what happened.  She was concerned and asked me to show her what I did.  She manipulated my knee and found my knee too tender and swollen.  I was in pain mostly on the inner side.  She said the area where I experienced pain was part of MCL which we have the similar conversation this past fall which I bought it up to my doctor and surgeon and both said my MCL seemed to be healed.  On my request, she called my doctor and I was to see him next day which was today this morning.

This morning, I saw my doctor and had x-ray taken.  He saw that my graft and tunnels were in good shape.  He noticed some swelling area.  He asked me to give my knee some rest for next few days, take anti-inflammatory medicine 2x a day, and see my surgeon on Thursday 5-Feb to re-visit my knee issue.  My PT for next week is to be on hold until the following week.  My doctor suspected that it is a MCL sprain.  I told him that I more likely think there is more than just the MCL sprain because it felt the similar way before and after surgery, however we will work together to figure it out – one thing at a time.  I am going to take it easy with my knee for next few days.  *sigh*  All I can say is….Be patience, accept that sometimes setback or stall happens from time to time, and  keep going down on my healing path holistically.  Pray for the best.

Hello folks,

This week is 8th week since my ACL/meniscus reconstruction surgery (25-Nov-2014).  Here is my progress so far:

9-Dec-2014 – It concluded my CPM machine for two weeks.  I made a great progress!  Thank and good-bye, CPM machine!

CPM Machine

CPM Machine

10-Dec-2014 – Completed my anti-inflammatory medicine a day before and went out for a dinner to celebrate and toast my amazing progress of my knee recovery along with a picture of my legs!

A pint of Guinness

A pint of Guinness

As of 10-Dec-2014

As of 10-Dec-2014

 

Between 11-Dec-2014 and 13-Jan-2015 – I have been working hard on rehabbing my knee at physical therapy 3 times a week and attending 1 personal training session at my local gym and several sessions at two different yoga studios during the week.

13-Dec-2014 – 17-Dec-2014 – Nanette, my best friend, flew in from Texas to spend time with me and lend her support to my knee recovery progress.  It was wonderful to have her with us for a few days.  A huge thanks went out to her super husband, Paul, who made it possible for her to come out and took care of their family of 3 young kids.  It meant the whole world to me!  Here is a picture Nanette captured during my physical therapy session:

Roni & Ruth - Physical Therapy

Roni & Ruth – Physical Therapy

Here is a picture of Nanette and me in the backyard on left – my hair color shone under the sun with fiery red.  Normally, it is not how it looks like inside!  :)  Here is another picture of my hair looks like inside on right.

Nanette & Roni

Nanette & Roni

Roni & Nanette

Roni & Nanette

 

 

27-Dec-2015 - My parents took me out for outing – my first brief hiking on flat path at the J.A. McFaul Environment Park – my knee did well along with some soreness, but felt great!

J.A. McFaul Environment Center, Wyckoff, NJ

J.A. McFaul Environment Center, Wyckoff, NJ

Early January 2015 – I finally was able to bend my knee 90 degrees, so I was able to sit in back seat of the car ever since.

Last Monday – 5-Jan-2015 – I drove on my own for first time.  I noticed some aching pain in my knee area, but not too sharp or painful.  I decided to keep my driving short – less than one hour.

On that evening, I hooked my right leg with my ACL knee brace around the chair leg while I was sitting down.  I accidentally applied too much force on my leg inwardly which caused my knee to pop in/out so fast that shocked the hell out of me.  It hurt like hell – similar to what happened to me on the trail (which I ended up collapsing onto my hands and knees) before the surgery, but at this time, it hurt even more!  I became panic thinking that I might damage or mess up my ACL!!!  I tested and found out that I was able to walk, but in pain and sore!  I applied ice for next five days along with putting arnica, popping in NSAID, and taking epsom salt bath.  I had a conversation with my physical therapist about this incident and she said that it does happen to any knee even perfectly “normal” knee since it occurs with force and knee has many joints.  It bounds to happen, anyway.  I asked her for the term of this incident and she said, “subluxation”.  She examined my knee and found my knee swollen, but other than that, shethought that I will be ok, but best that I called my doctor.  I called my doctor and after discussing, I decided that it was not emergency since I was able to walk and would see my doctor the following week, anyway.  Whoa…..a lesson learned, do not *ever* hook my leg around the chair leg again!!!!

After 13-Jan-2015 – After seeing my doctor for my follow-up appointment and was pleased with my progress, my physical therapy has been scaled back to 2 times a week and added one more sessions for my personal training at my local gym (it is my choice, not doctor’s order).  I continue to attend several sessions at two different yoga studios during the week.  My doctor said  I am allowed to walk/hike, but *NO* running and jumping.  Shucks!

If you recalled about my dilemma with changing my clothing due my wearing ACL knee brace full-time.  Here is updated listing of my clothing and boots.

  • Gave up and put away 18 pair of my pants for storage –

    Pants to give up

    Pants to give up

  • Around 5 skirts
  • I get to keep leggings/yoga pants!!!!  I wear ACL knee brace to yoga studio over my leggings/yoga pants, then take my brace off during the session only.  My ACL knee brace digs into my skin and muscle during sessions, so I had a conversation with my physical therapist about this problem and got her blessings to have it removed only if I do not turn my leg inward or outward at all, put all my weight on my right leg, and putting my both feet apart beyond my shoulders.  My knee was not ready to perform that tasks yet.  I complied her requests and found my right leg doing much better without brace.  I just make some adjustment to make my right knee more comfortable and noticed a huge improvement of flexibility and mobility with my right knee over the time.  YAY!
  • A couple of sweat pants – they are for home, gym, and physical therapy use only!
  • Few long dresses
  • Some shorts – I wear it most of the time.  LOL
  • Ankle-high winter boots – I left it out to see if I can wear later in the winter.  Who knows?
  • One pair of leg warmers – lovely gift from my mom!
  • I haven’t shopped for a new skirts, dresses, wide-pants, and shorts since I am tight on money because money being spending on my physical therapy, gym, and yoga sessions.  So far, I manage ok with clothing, so I am not worried.

My current challenges with mobilization are:

  • walk up/down stairs freely without brace
  • turn/twist my right leg/foot pain-free
  • pick up my right leg sideway to put socks/shoes on pain-free
  • put full weight on my right knee
  • full-squat
  • push-up and sit-up pain-free
  • stand on my right leg for five minutes pain-free
  • sit down, pick up my leg, and ride bike click-free
  • knee flexioning pain-free

I am still eyeing for going for snowshoeing/hiking sometimes by end of this month or next month.  Wait and see how my knee feels.  Onward to work on making some more amazing progress on my knee for next few more weeks.

 

 

 

Hello all!  Here are some updates since my 25-Nov ACL/Meniscus repair surgery.  The surgical center where I had my surgery done wasn’t exactly Deaf-friendly, so I am going to send them a letter providing my experiences/feedback and suggesting some improvement and mindful approach next time they handle any patients who are disabled especially Deaf/Hard of Hearing with ASL/English interpreter.  I am not going to bother you with details what happened at the surgical center.

The surgeon and staff did a great job.  I recovered from waking up and dealing with post-surgery recovery/healing and was sent home in one hour after coming out of surgery instead of typical two hours of recovering.  My leg was placed into splint, but funny thing was that it couldn’t stay on my leg!  I think I have a slippery leg!!!!  I walked with one crutch on that night.  I proceeded to use the CPM machine – device that assists with flexioning and extensioning my knee/leg – for two hours on that night.  Not too bad!  I am to use the CPM machine for 14 days – 2 hours and 3 times a day.  Whoo hoo!

my leg on the CPM machine

my leg on the CPM machine

Post-surgery knee

Post-surgery knee

Close up of post-surgery knee

Close up of post-surgery knee

Roni gives a thumb up

Roni gives a thumb up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next day, my Dad and I went to my doctor’s office to check on my wounds and re-bandage.  It was snowing in that morning, so I elected to walk with one crutch under my right arm and use my other hand on other crutch to prevent possible slippery or loss of traction on the snow-covered pavement/sidewalk.  I walked into the doctor’s office and used one crutch.  Upon calling my name, Dad, ASL/English interpreter, and I went into an examination room.  My physical assistant came in and was amazed at how great I looked.  I was perplexed.  She called other staff and doctor to take a look at me.  LOL, what a show!  They couldn’t believe how well I looked with less than 24 hours of post-surgery.  I have very little idea of how people were dealing with post-surgery recovery/healing.  My physical assistant asked me if I slept well last night and I replied yup!  She said no wonder and if I was in any pain.  I said not really….just a little pain in certain area where the huge cut was made and other than that, I was all good.  She proceeded to check my wounds and re-bandage my leg.  She said my wounds looked fantastic.  LOL.  I was to come back next week to have my sutures removed and by then, I can shower/bath.  Funny thing was that before AT, I would worry about how my legs would look like with hairy, how would I smell like, how to deal with my dirty hair, and etc.  However, at this time, I just shrugged it and laughed cuz AT taught me so much – just go with flow and take one thing at a time.  My health came first, so my vain/appearance wasn’t that important.  I was to focus on healing and getting my leg and myself exercised.  :)

Between check on wounds/re-bandage and sutures removal, I spent a lot of time watching movies and TV show called, “The Tudors” and reading some books – both Deadtree and electronic format – a huge thanks to my dear friend who lend me some DVDs and books from her library!  I also spent a lot of time catching up with some work and projects.  Really good down time for me.

My inspiration stuff

My inspiration stuff

AT walking sticks

AT walking sticks

On Thursday 4-Dec, I went back to my doctor’s office for suture removal.  I was so excited!  My surgeon came in which was the first time we have seen each other since my surgery day.  He looked at me and my knee….he was amazed with my recovery/healing progress.  I was way ahead of normal recovery/healing phase.  I gonna credit it to my practice of yoga, ongoing outdoor activities (ie: hiking), personal training sessions, physical therapy sessions, mental/emotional preparedness for pre-, during, and post-surgery, and maintain Paleo lifestyle (clean eating).  After the sutures were removed, I was to fit with my ACL knee brace.  I was to wear it for a year.  I asked my surgeon if I must wear the brace on my skin or can it goes over pants or leggings.  He said my brace must be on my skin.  My jaw dropped!  I asked for how long….he said one year.  My jaw dropped even further.  AARRRRGGHHHHH!  LOL!  I was asked to come back a month later for check-up.  It will happen in January.

Top view of my ACL knee brace

Top view of my ACL knee brace

Side view of my ACL knee brace

Side view of my ACL knee brace

 

 

So…..here is dilemma with my clothing and boots.

  • Pants….skinny/tight pants have to put away for a year.  I have to try on some pants to see if they will be comfortable while I wear my brace under it.
  • I have some skirts.
  • Leggings/tight yoga pants – *crying* they have to put away for a year too.
  • Sweat pants – they are for home use only!
  • Long dresses – I have some.
  • Shorts – I have some.
  • Ankle-high winter boots (I have to put away my knee-high boots for a year….:( )

My mom told me about her work at high school….kids with ACL knee brace – they mostly wear shorts year-around.  Geee!!!!!

I researched and decided that I am to look for reasonable and affordable prices on these following items rather than cutting up my pants:

  • Skirts – both long and short
  • Maxi Dresses
  • Long Dresses
  • Thigh-high Leg Warmers
  • Leg Warmers
  • Bike shorts
  • Skorts
  • Loose- and wide-fitting and wide-leg pants
  • Shorts

It is gonna be an interesting journey for me fashion- and clothing-wise!  ;)  So far, my current challenges with mobilization are:

  • not able to drive yet
  • walk up/down stairs gingerly and slowly
  • not able to sit in back of the car cuz my knee has not bent at 90 degrees yet, so I have to sit in front passenger seat
  • not able to get around tight spaces effortlessly

I began my personal training at my local gym on Friday 5-Dec  and I felt good.  My knee was doing all right, but I listened to my body and knee by not pushing it for now.  I will resume my physical therapy next Thursday 11-Dec for 3 times a week for next 4 weeks and I am excited!  I am already thinking about going back to hiking this Spring only if I can help it by not trying to think about snowboarding/skiing this Winter!  If my knee feels good, I might do snowshoeing, but not gonna hold my breath.  :)

Wish me well on my post-surgery recovery/healing journey.

Hello folks!  Yesterday was the beginning day of my journey with my knee repair/recovery…..Just had two medical devices delivered to get ready for my big day today…..one device, CPM (pictured above) will assist with increasing/decreasing extension & flexion of my knee – 2 hrs, 3 times a day for 2 weeks or so. Another device, ACL knee brace, I am to wear it full-time when I move around….it will goes on my knee a day after surgery. It takes a while for my mixed feelings to sink in…..

CPM device and ACL knee brace

CPM – assist with increasing/decreasing extension & flexion of my knee
ACL knee brace – it goes on my knee for full-time movement for months

Knowing that I am surrounded by warming and amazing support system from you guys – my family, loved ones, friends, and AT community, it makes it a bit easier for me to begin my stride by accepting the physical and emotional pains along the journey….knowing that I will have brand new knee to resume my activities especially hiking which I love doing – as my friends tease calling me “Bionic Woman”.

I plan to update once I am out of surgery later this week.  If I do not check in before the holidays, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holidays to y’all!  Stay safe and count your blessings for what you are thankful for.

Hello everyone,

It is time to let the cat out of the bag.  As you might recalled from my previous posting mentioning briefly about my ACL injury – http://wp.me/pntmN-g8, guess what.  I re-injured it while hiking in Maine with less than 100 miles away from Mt. Katahdin in early September 2013.  I didn’t mentioned it as I wanted to keep it low-profile and concentrate trying to conquer Mt. Katahdin in June 2014 as we failed at our first attempt in September 2013.  I saw my orthopedic doctor in November 2013 and decided that I may suffer more damages to my ACL, meniscus, and possible MCL.  I opted to postpone the treatment options until after I complete the entire AT which was to be after June 2014.  The reason was that if I went ahead to have a surgery to repair my knee, it means that my recovery may takes between 3 months and 1 year.   I decided not to gamble on it trying to recover and prepare at same time for the summit climb.

Here is a picture of torn ACL to give you an illusion:

ACL torn

ACL torn

Here is a picture of torn meniscus:

meniscus torn

meniscus torn

Fast forward to June 2014, I climbed and conquered Mt. Katahdin with Ad-Cane, David Whitney, and his son, Ateon.  I am eternally grateful for David and Ateon being with us to provide support to us when my knees was giving me some troubles and not able to support Ad-Cane.  It was painful journey for me, but it took a huge amount of my mental and physical concentration to get through.  I was supposed to be visiting the Robarges in Michigan and traveling in Europe working during the month of September 2014, but my knee was giving me some troubles after Mt. Katahdin climb.  It was a utmost difficult decision for me to forfeit the trips and take care of my knee trouble.  I saw orthopedic doctor in August 2014 and had MRI done in September 2014.  I saw the orthopedic surgeon a few days ago with my MRI results.  My ACL deteriorated to the point where it no longer keeping my knee together.  I collapse on my hands when I move in certain inward lateral movement.  It happens to me several times.  Pretty scary!

My knee surgery is scheduled in end of November, so I have some time to prepare and do some work on some projects including pictures, videos, and written entries on our AT journey before and after my knee surgery.  My surgeon says that I am to attend to rehab my knee for 3 to 6 months and have my knee recovered completely in a year from surgery.  It is another journey for me.  :)

Hello everyone!

I received anticipated certificate in the mail and it brought a grinning smile from ear to ear!  I am now official recognized as 2,000 Miler – hiked on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mtn. in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine.  Wow…..Here is my certificate along with AT patch, 2,000-Miler patch, and ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) logo sticker:

Certificate of Congratulations  Roni "Ram Sham" Lepore

Certificate of Congratulations
Roni “Ram Sham” Lepore

My dear friend, Ed M., handmade this wooden plaque for me.  He completed it back in 2010, but held onto it until I completed AT this year.  Beautifully made!

Ram-Sham - wooden plaque

Ram-Sham – wooden plaque

Ad-Cane’s sister, Diane P. – one of our arduous supporter, gave each of us a gift – carved wooden stick – made by her dear friend, Billy.  She surprised us by presenting these sticks to Ad-Cane and me at the Celebration Party in Millinocket, Maine after summit ting Mt. Katahdin.

Carved Wooden Stick presented by Diane Poulin

Carved Wooden Stick presented by Diane Poulin

2 Wooden Sticks - Top one presented by Diane P. Bottom one presented by Ed M.

2 Wooden Sticks – Top one presented by Diane P. Bottom one presented by Ed M.

Ad-Cane is working on submitting his 2,000 Miler application.  He will receive Ed’s wooden plaque in the mail.  Once Ad-Cane receives both certificate and wooden plaque, I plan to post the pictures here.  Right now, he is traveling in Europe until first weekend of November.  Hopefully, the pictures will go up in November or December.

Thank to all of you for your steadfast support throughout our journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello all!

My mother and I traveled to Maine last week for a few days.  We enjoyed our time there especially early Fall season and received wonderful hospitality among friends and people of Maine.  The reason we went to the Pine Tree State is that I am chosen to receive an award as well as Roger by the Maine Commission for the Deaf, hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened.  Roger was not able to make it to Annual Tea Awards held at Maine State House in Augusta, Maine because he currently works and lives in Seattle and has an upcoming trip to Europe which starts this week for six weeks.

On the behalf of the Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened (CDHHLD), I am recipient of an award, “Meritorious Support Services Provider Award” – This award is given to a trained support service provider. This year’s award is in recognition of exceptional support of Roger Poulin in his quest to complete the Appalachian Trail (AT).  Roger received an award, “Special Commendation Award” – This award is given to an individual or agency whose activities in and with the Deaf community deserves recognition.

We want to say our heartfelt thanks to the Maine Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, DeafBlind, Interpreter, and Hearing community and CDHHLD for their generous and amazing support for Roger’s quest with AT and my work.  People said that I am now “Honorary Mainer” since I am now embraced by the people of Maine.  :)  

Annual Tea Awards - Meritorious SSP and Special Commendation

Annual Tea Awards


Image description: Two plaque awards are displayed with a picture of the State of Maine Seal on top part of award.

On left, Roni’s award – “Presented to Roni Lepore – Meritorious Support Service Provider – In Recognition of Exceptional Support of Roger Poulin in His Quest to Complete the Appalachian Trail – September 18, 2014 – The Deaf Community of Maine”.

On right, Roger’s award – “Presented to Roger Poulin – Special Commendation Award – September 18, 2014 – The Deaf Community of Maine”.

 

Here is a copy of my acceptance speech upon receiving my award – “Meritorious Support Service Provider” (be mindful that my speech at Annual Tea was not exactly same – upon giving my speech, I was flooded with generosity and gratitude from the audience that my speech altered in some ways for some wonderful reasons!) –

Hello, my name is Roni Lepore and my name sign is . I hail from New Jersey and my mother is here in the audience. I travel to Maine from time to time, not only for hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but also to work, teach, and enjoy the beautiful scenes here in the Pine Tree State. Each time I come here, I am always welcomed by the warm and friendly people of this state. That’s why I keep coming back as much as I can!

When I first found out that I am nominated to receive this award, I was not sure if it was a mistake since it goes to Mainers as I do not live here. Once I learned that it was an exception due to my role as a SSP to Roger Poulin, AT DeafBlind hiker, it is truly an honor to be recognized for my commitment and work. My journey of becoming SSP is probably unique as I received various training, not only here in USA, but around the globe – Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa. I have worked with amazing and diversified DeafBlind clients from many walks of life – age, gender, race, ethnics, experience, and forth on. Each one of their requests to work with me was never the same. I relish and thrive on some challenges that come with SSP work. Yes, some days, there are difficult or bad moments. It requires one’s courage, faith, and belief to get through and move on. The communication and teamwork between SSPs and DeafBlind clients demand that each person understands the needs of each other’s as it becomes a critical two-way journey of enjoyment and respect.

So, being SSP for Roger Poulin was a completely “different zoo” for me. Roger got to witness my good and ugly sides and still worked together! I vividly recalled that when we first hiked for 3 months in our first year of hiking on the Appalachian Trail in 2010, it was a rough and bumpy road between us. It was 24/7 experience for both of us and we were trying to figure out how to work together and balance our control and power over each other. I wore many hats – hiker, first-aid provider, counselor, water girl, and so forth on, and best of all, a friend. It was probably an unorthodox practice of professional SSP as I may have broken most of rules, but it was Appalachian Trail – that’s where one discovers “true self” after going through phrases of man vs. wild, man vs. man, and man vs. self. That’s the true beauty of realizing one’s potentials through this kind of experience. Once Roger and I conquered Mt. Katahdin with David Whitney and his son, Ateon, we didn’t do it by ourselves. It was our friends, family, community – both hikers, Deaf, and DeafBlind – and even strangers backing us up. The most important of all about being a good SSP is to take a good care of yourself – mentally, physically, and emotionally – and ability to prepare and anticipate as much as one can.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank to the Maine Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, and DeafBlind community for recognizing my tireless work and my friends and especially my family for supporting my work. Lastly, Roger is a special person who taught a great deal about how to collaborate with a DeafBlind client even through difficult periods. Patience and respect are valuable legacies that come through Roger and me. Thank you, Roger, for allowing me to be me and being part of your dream to hike on the AT.

Here is Roger Poulin’s acceptance speech for his award, “Special Commendation Award” shown at Annual Tea – in ASL only. English Subtitles and/or text shall be available at later date. Roger gave me his blessings to publish his video here.

Roger’s quote from his interview with The Bangor Daily News was displayed at the Annual Tea –

Roger Poulin's quote

Image description: “My goal is to show that dreams can become a reality for anyone, regardless of their personal challenges and struggles. I also want to expose the world to understand why SSP (Support Service Person) is extremely important to DeafBlind community.” — Roger “Ad-Cane” Poulin

 

Here is the list of who’s who on CDHHLD who nominated me and Roger to receive the awards – special thanks go out to them!

Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened Members

Last Updated; August 29, 2014

Patty Sarchi, Deaf Consumer
Sitara Sheikh, Vice-Chair, Deaf Consumer Christy Callahan, Deaf Consumer
Karen Keim, Hard-of-Hearing Consumer Conrad Strack, Chair, Deaf Consumer
Kate Strack, Deaf Consumer Vacant, Deaf Consumer
Mary Hamlin, Hard-of-Hearing Consumer Vacant, Deaf Consumer
Vacant, Family Member of Deaf/HoH/Late-Deaf Individual w/Intellectual Disability or Mental Illness Vacant, Parent of Deaf or HoH Student
Vacant, Parent of Deaf or HoH Student Cathy Glover, Educator of the Deaf
David Sherry, Superintendent or his/her Designee of the Maine Educational Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Governor Baxter School for the Deaf Nicole Duncan, Audiologist
Susan Nay, Dept. of Education Representative Vacant, Local Educational Administrator
Theresa Jack, Rep. State/Fed Meryl Troop, Civil Rights Director
Emily Cain, Legislator Elyzabeth Smith, RID Interpreter
Vacant, Legal Rep. Vacant, Member-at-Large, Medical or Health Care Professional
Stephan Bunker, Member-at-Large Vacant, Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Student
Marty Golden, Member-at-Large Romy Spitz, Late-Deafened Consumer

Hello folks!

Once again, there is an article mentioning Ad-Cane’s accomplishment via Appalachian Trail website – “If These People Can Hike the Appalachian Trail, So Can You”   It can be anywhere from a few months to years to complete the Appalachian Trail only if one is perseverance in pursuing it.  I am going to leave you with Ad-Cane’s quote:

“My goal is to show that dreams can become a reality for anyone, regardless of their personal challenges and struggles. I also want to expose the world to understand why Support Service Person (SSP) is extremely important to deaf and blind community.”  — Roger “Ad-Cane” Poulin

Enjoy rest of the summer, folks in the Northern Hemisphere!

The spring is around the corner, folks in the Southern Hemisphere!  )

 

Hello folks!

I am on break between vacation/journey/work, so I took a peek into ATDBDeaf gmail and found some email with link to one’s website or blog writing about Roger’s AT Journey.  Here are some links below for you to read:

Victory for Deaf-Blind Appalachian Trail Hiker

Need a shot of motivation?  Check out this story.  So cool.

“I wanted to quit, but I persevered.”

Enjoy reading and please take your time to thank these writers/bloggers!

 

 

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Appalachian Trail

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km - through 14 states - Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km

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