Something About Me


       

I was born on May 3, 1958. Around 18 months of age I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD). Due to my MD, I am confined to a wheelchair. While it slows me down, I try to not let it slow me too much. The type of MD I have is referred to in general as Spinal Muscular Atrophy, SMA. It is a degenerative neuro/muscular disease with no known cure. I'm basically a quadriplegic, though I suppose I'd be considered a "functional quad" as I have minimal use of my right arm. It's not much, but it keeps me going!

I work part time as a teaching assistant at the local community college in Beginning & Intermediate AutoCAD. I love my job! It's part time, I have a month off over Christmas & New Years, & I'm off all summer! Sounds perfect to me! I started working as a student in the CAD Lab when I was in my second semester. My instructor eventually offered me a teaching assistant position & I've been there ever since. I got my degree in Technical Drafting in December 2000.

                       

      ~ Dirk ~ Cheryl ~ Candy ~ Keith ~             ~ Elizabeth ~ better known as "Betsy"

I have two brothers & 1 sister, along with an "adopted" sister ~ Elizabeth ~ 3 nephews & 1 niece. I am the second of 4 kids; I have an older brother, then me, my sister, my younger brother. Elizabeth is last in line ~ as far as age goes!

My Youngest Nephew
~ Brian ~

                         

My Handsome Nephew                                   My Beautiful Niece
~ Jason ~                                                     ~ Jessica ~

I graduated from high school in 1976 (summer 2001 saw my 25th high school reunion!), & then worked for the State for several years. I eventually tired of the politics involved in State government & quit. Over the next few years I worked mostly in my Dads' heating & air conditioning business as a bookkeeper. I have dabbled in video production as well.

On Super Bowl Sunday, 1987, I was headed out to go shopping when I was in a car wreck. I spent the next 2 months in the hospital with 11 broken bones & numerous cuts & stitches. My forehead was gone ~ left in the windshield of my van ~ & I lost count of the number of stitches at 50 when they were being removed. My forehead was stretched so tight in the repair process I could not raise my eyebrows! Even at that there were gaps in the repair. My doctor told me there would be permanent scarring & discoloration ~ obviously, he was wrong! I healed better than anyone ever thought I would & to see any scarring now you have to look closely. If you look real close, you'll see a gap in an eyebrow where scar tissue prevented regrowth, but otherwise the damage is not noticeable. For about 5 years after my wreck I continued picking glass & gravel out of my forehead! Recovery from all the broken bones was long & slow, & some things never came back (like use of my left arm due to a crushed elbow & nerve damage trying to repair it).

I love dogs. I've had them all my life & don't remember a time when I haven't had one. My first dog was a black & white Chihuahua when I was under 5 years old. Her name was "Taco" ~ long before the popular Taco-Bell dog! I've had my share of mutts over the years, an Australian Shepherd, a Shih Tzu, & now my Berners & Cavaliers.

Greta was my first Bernese Mountain Dog. She was my protector & my guardian. She lived to the ripe age of 12 years 2 months before she had what appeared to be a stroke. We had her put to sleep that same day. Her suffering was short. I still have her daughter, Sadie, who is 11 years old & doing well. I try to keep in touch with Sadie's pups so I know how they are all doing. I've made a lot of great friends because of my dogs.

My First Dog Show with Greta

I show my own Bernese Mountain Dogs, but am afraid of running over my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so I've had friends show her so far! I'm very proud of the fact that "Sadie" was my first home bred champion out of my first litter. Not only is she a champion, she is a triple champion! "Sadie" has produced a couple champions of her own, with others on their way, as well as "canine good citizens", obedience & drafting titled dogs.

I'm a big NASCAR fan. Every Sunday during racing season you'll find me near the TV cheering on my favorite driver ~ Mark Martin ~ I like most of the drivers in Winston Cup & don't let much interfere with "my races"!

~ Mark Martin ~

I love the outdoors & the sunshine. It's something I can never get enough of! Every summer I sport a pretty dark tan to prove I spend a lot of time outside! If it were up to me I'd be outside most of the time.

My 40th birthday in 1998
with my Uncle Tony

"The Fowlers" ~ December 1999 ~ My Mom (Theda) & Her Siblings
~ Beulah ~ Alma ~ Harris ~ Yvette ~ Theda ~ Harold ~

My Dad ~ Fred ~ & My Nephew ~ Brian ~
on the "Fourth of July Train", 1999

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