Obstacles

#1127 We all have a right to peace; someone must begin

Emblem of the International Day of Peace

Today is the International Day of Peace (often called World Peace Day). Around the world vigils, prayers and parties are bringing people together to imagine a world in harmony. As I write, it is already peace day in Australia. It…

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#1095 Upsee miracles: children experience walking for the first time

Upsee

Bethany and the inventor of the Upsee Debby Elnatan; photo from Firefly’s Facebook page

When Debby Elnaton’s second child was born with cerebral palsy, he cried through most of his first year. She figured Rotem was frustrated because he wanted to move the way any other child could. Her therapist galvanized her when he said, “Your child doesn’t know what his legs are. He doesn’t have consciousness of his legs.”

She began experimenting with special shoes and harnesses that would connect Rotem with her. After numerous tries she created the Upsee. With the child strapped to an adult, facing forward, he could experience what it was like to walk, to dance, to kick a ball.

Thanks to her partnership with Firefly, “a leading light in the research, design and development of postural care solutions for children”, youngsters with physical challenges will have a chance to experience more of the world.

Elnaton told the Belfast Telegraph:

I am crying when I see how parents use the Upsee to fill in a big void in their life and when I see the happiness that it brings to the parents and the children.

The mother who danced in her Upsee and said the hardest part was losing herself. I can relate to this sentence. We often forget what makes us happy. If the Upsee will help families be happier, then I have done my job.

A version of this post first appeared on Hope Habit.

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#1093 Proud to celebrate growing diversity

DSC_5552

Canada made same-sex marriage legal nationwide nine years ago. Not only did the country not fall apart, the family crumble, and morality fade away, that act in support of equality and social justice has had a healing effect. While we…

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#1049 Oregon says YES to marriage equality

Same-sex marriage

In 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court made two historic decisions that moved marriage equality forward. Both found aspects of DOMA, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, to be unconstitutional. On May 19, 2014 a federal judge followed suit, overturning Oregon’s…

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#1042 Feisty and funny, Stella Young shatters stereotypes

Stella Young

Stella Young refuses to be anyone’s inspiration just because she is in a wheelchair. However, the funny, talented Australian can’t avoid being inspirational. She is funny, smart, articulate and a powerhouse advocate for disability rights. When Young debuted her show,…

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