Monday, July 6, 2015

Perserverence despite unforeseen obstacles: in the words of Jay Ruckelshaus

When I first started doing research for Jay Ruckelshaus' interview, a mix of emotions welled up inside me. On the one hand, I asked myself what I had to complain about and then the feelings of shock and sadness for him because of the complete suddenness of his situation and how it unmistakably changed his everyday life.  He was in a diving accident that caused a spinal injury.  Then the interview came, and you know what?  When I met Jay, all I could do was smile!  His demeanor is positive and happy.  Period.  Getting to the happy and positive part took some time, but what helped Jay was the support he received from his family, his community and the college he eventually attended.  You may have heard of it...Duke University!  Jay kept his eyes fixed firmly on what was ahead and was determined to reach his goal of going to college!   I learned so much from Jay!  One lesson I learned is, if plan A doesn't work, ask yourself: What's plan B?  Plan B may have more twists and turns, and in Jay's case a few more obstacles to jump over, but, it's a plan nonetheless and a plan that has given Jay the motivation to reach out and lend a hand to other spinal cord injury patients who are wondering what their plan B looks like.  Showing others that going to college is attainable, led Jay to create his website The Ramp Less Traveled providing scholarship opportunities, mentorship and financial support to those dealing with these injuries, to succeed.  Yes, SUCCEED in going to college and really succeed in life!  Jay Ruckelshaus is proof that Plan B can work!  If Jay can do it so can YOU!  Always remember, when life gets tough or something doesn't go just exactly the way you planned....What's YOUR Plan B??

Listen to Jay's interview here:

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced, by The Arc of Indiana

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