Ann Tan had an AVM Rupture and massive stroke in 2011. Her injury has impacted every area of her life - but she has been blessed to receive a measure of Recovery beyond expectations. Matt Hankey had an AVM Rupture in 2012 when he was 16. Now he is 22 years old and is still bound to his power chair. Matt and Ann became friends via AVMSurvivors.org and she decided to do anything she could to help him get the treatment he needs simply because he made her laugh when there are so many reasons as a Survivor to be sad. Note from Ann: Matt has the heart of an athlete and the grit of a true survivor. He was a phenomenal skateboarder. I am confident that he has mobility in his future - but he needs professional help along the way. We've found a FANTASTIC Pool Therapist near Matt, and are raising funds to get him in the pool where aquatherapy will relieve him of gravity's burden and soothe and waken his muscles so he can walk again. I'm NOT doing this based on the hope of Matt's future physical achievement. I'm doing this because Matt is a valuable person just the way he is - *right now,* even though his body is so different than it used to be and every moment is a frustrating struggle. "Shredded" conveys the idea of something very muscular and robust. "Grace" is something you don't earn. My entire Recovery operates on this principle of Shredded Grace. I train my Grace muscles hard to recognize and react to opportunities. I also wanted to include "Grace" in our project's name to emphasize that I understand that it's a privilege to walk - it was never my right - and I honor those who will not walk again. Please help me prove to my friend Matt that even if nothing changed about his situation I'd still want to be his friend because he is HILARIOUS. That said, I think he WILL walk again. Click on the Magic Wand Star above or below to donate . Thank you for your support.
The Magic Wand - why Matt has so much potential
On Sept 21, 2016 I celebrated 5 years of learning how to walk. Andy "Frankenstein", DPT taught me how. He's completely hardcore, but he was kind to me. I was SO SCARED. I learned the hard way that I couldn't walk (I didn't believe it at first as an inpatient) and my injury is primarily in the cerebellum, so my balance is completely shot. Andy forewarned me before the day he was going to make me walk without assistance. I was terrified, so I asked,
"Do you have a magic wand to make people walk without actually....you know....walking?"
Andy said, No, and there's no pill for that, either.
FINE. We'll do this YOUR WAY.
And we did. Thanks, Andy!!
I've known Matt for a while, now, and I don't think he has the fear that I had/have. He's an athlete. a skateboarder. I mean, look at these pictures of him pre-injury. He's definitely got the instinctive spatial awareness and knowledge of how to throw your body weight around. I got nosey one day and asked him, "Has anyone ever told you you cannot walk again, and can you feel your core?"
Side note: Even if you are told you are never going to walk again, this is not necessarily the end word. There are exceptions out there. Ninja Pool Therapist D (the one we found for Matt) taught one of them.
But no, Matt laughingly answered, No one's ever told him he won't walk, and he works his core every day. This was music to my ears. It told me that he has the potential and the drive, and I decided it was my job to get him access to resources.
Finally, look at the picture on the left. I'm like, Seriously Matt, I need you to (1) Put on a SHIRT and (2) wear a HELMET. Man alive. What is the boy thinking?!?!?! I asked him if I had been afraid of falling. No, he explained. One apparently does not train to skate, you just watch others do tricks, watch some videos, and do it.