Working 2 Walk

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Capitol Hill Kickoff Banquet

Posted by katewillette on April 15, 2008

Well, I wasn’t going to write during this event . . . we’re eating this very nice dinner in the ballroom while some speakers entertain us.  Wise has spoken with his usual passion and eloquence about what’s happened in the last few years and about what motivates him to get this bloody thing cured.  He’s just so relentless when it comes to making a cure happen.

And so I thought, you know, I’d just eat my salmon and tell about it later.  But then Joe White got up on the stage and started talking about how the CC site helped to get him out of his isolation after breaking his neck.  And that even might not have been enough to get me typing, but then he started talking about Indiana and what happened there.  Still, I’m thinking, I could capture this later.

No.

Joe’s up there showing some beautiful pictures from former rallies and telling about what he did in Indiana — and the picture that made me haul out the laptop one more time was this: Joe sitting inside a little booth he’d made to pass out information about SCI and the cure for SCI at a little fair in Indiana.  He’s sitting up here in front of that image telling us how he started a 5-person support group back home so that he wouldn’t feel so isolated.

The thing is, he’s not isolated because he decided not to be.  Right now, he’s facing a room full of people who are basically glowing with good feelings for him — because he chose not to be alone.  He tells us that he always went to his support group meetings, and sometimes he was the only one there.

There’s a picture of him with Dana Reeve, and another–my favorite– is an image of a few hundred people all wearing the same red and white tee-shirt, walking en masse in support of the cure.  Because Joe White decided not to be isolated, those people showed up and raised $15,000 at that event.

We’re talking about one guy here.  Okay, he happens to be a great guy, but still he’s just one person.  Nobody can tell me that every single person reading this has any less to offer than Joe.  He makes me wonder, actually, what the heck I’ve been doing with my time.  I haven’t organized any walks where real money was raised for the cure.  I haven’t educated my local community about how near the cure actually is — as far as my friends know, it’s still one of those blurry “maybe someday” kind of things.

So, that’s what I have to say about Joe White from Indiana.

After Joe left the stage, our favorite member of congress (Jim Langevin) rolls up and talks with real passion about what’s been accomplished so far and what’s going to happen tomorrow.  The tiny little girl from the yoga class is wheeling around the dining room, talking at this moment with David Zacks’ little boy . . . and David Zacks’ little boy is wearing a small red cape with a blue S in the middle.  I swear I’m not making this up.

I so wish you all were here right now.

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