Hello ! I’m Samantha Hadley Graham . I'm almost 39. Born S1 with hydrocephalus. Walked pretty well without assistance till I was 16. The summer of 96, my 4th tethered cord release took away most of my ambulatory function. However, I was still able to walk short distances and with forearm crutches. Last summer, I underwent my 7th tethered cord which resulted in even more loss of function. Now, I'm able to transfer but still working on walking. I had a VP shunt till early this year when it was replaced with a VA shunt because there was so much scar tissue in my abdomen. I have been married 13 years, in the past I have worked for Walt Disney World and I was a teacher too. Now, my husband and I are opening up a nonprofit adaptive gym, Hot Wheelz Fitness, in Clermont Florida. We should have been open for business by now but a harness that I used for walking at the rehab I was going to, created a severe pressure wound on my ischium. Currently, I'm on IV antibiotics 3x a day at home because I am recovering from osteomyelitis from the wound. However, we are on track to officially open the gym in January.
I want all of you to live your life as if you don't have a disability. Too many people get caught up in the negative thought process that because of their disability, they cannot do the same things that everyone else does. I drove a car (with hand controls) at 16, I graduated from the university of Louisville with my bachelor's degree in political science, I lived on my own before I was married... I've always had a job (since I was 14) and I'm extremely active. I am the marketing director for the Oceans Of Hope Foundation which takes those with disabilities surfing in New Smyrna Beach Florida...I also participate in adaptive surfing... www.Oceansofhopefoundation.org
I also love traveling. I've been cruising since I was 8 years old. I also go to Vegas at least once a year. Living in central Florida, my husband and I visit theme parks often and we go camping every chance we get. We also go up to Cedar point amusement park in Ohio every summer to ride roller coasters! My other passion is writing and blogging.
There are so many different things that are available to those with disabilities but they are too scared to get out of their comfort zone.