Yohan is now in Graduate school in Claremont, CA. He is WALKING! In fact, he’s walking A LOT!! Finding his way around the first day of classes was physically and mentally exhausting, and when he looked at his Fitbit at the end of the day, he walked right around 5 miles – a record-breaking feat! And, he has much less pain, too, which was an unexpected benefit of the surgeries! We have many people to thank
Thanks to Dr. Glenn Pfeffer’s relentless striving for perfection, he never, ever let us down. He remained by our side every “step” of the way. Thanks to Dr. Pfeffer, Yohan is walking better than ever before. We are forever indebted to him for his surgical skills, fabulous bedside manner, and the care and compassion he showed over the past 12 months. He’s an amazing doctor and a brilliant surgeon. We are forever indebted to him.
Many of you have been overwhelmingly supportive over the past year. To all those who supported him through thick and thin, and to those who sponsored his most recent 1-mile walk for the Cycle (and Walk!) 4 CMT this year, he writes,
Today, I write this email from my studio apartment in Claremont, CA where I am in a graduate program, studying Psychology. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be able to further my studies and move on with my life.
I am happy to report that I was able to walk a full mile during the Cycle (and Walk!) 4 CMT on August 27 (see the picture of my Fitbit below, if you want proof). Your continued support was instrumental in motivating me to work towards and eventually meet my goal. As you know, this year has been extremely difficult, but I have managed to push through, overcome the challenges and succeed! Your unwavering encouragement and friendship have truly helped me to keep my spirits up – the idea of giving up was never, ever an option. I am eternally grateful for your generous gifts and steadfast belief in my capacities. Thanks again!
Below are a few of the pictures, taken by my brother, George Ouellette of the Cycle 4 CMT event:
Tonight, the house is much quieter, a bit too quiet, in fact. Gilles and I feel Yohan’s absence acutely. The first couple of days did not feel comfortable. We both experienced melancholy, pride, anxiety, and relief – relief that it all worked out which means that Yohan was able to pursue his dreams. We’ve talked to him off and on, and he’s adapting to his new digs very well and continues to walk as much as he can. When I asked him why he doesn’t bike to school, he says, “I like walking. It’s good for me.” Who is this child? I wondered, too stunned to respond.
Why? Because 2 years ago, when Gilles and I encouraged him to remain active by biking for 10 minutes a day, he unraveled, “I do not like to exercise. I’ve never liked to exercise. Exercise does not fit into my life, now or anytime in the future. I have issues with fatigue, my feet hurt when I walk, and I have all I can do to get through every day, so please stop asking me to be active.”
Today, he sings a different tune. I mean, he’s no Arnold Schwartzenegger, but he wants to stay fit and ambulatory. When a basic function like weight-bearing is taken away, and you are lucky enough to get an improved version back (walking heel to toe with less pain), every step becomes a small miracle. Never will we take the small things in life for granted.
Thank you for being part of our journey. xoxo