Keisha Greaves, diagnosed with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD) at the age of 24, is living her life on her own terms. Admittedly, it took her some time to come to terms with her diagnosis but after having done so it allowed her to refocus and move forward in the pursuit of her career dreams in the fashion industry.
Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachussetts, Keisha graduated from Framingham State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. She went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Business Management from Cambridge College.
During this time, while pursuing a higher education she noticed certain oddities in her balance and in her ability to perform certain physical tasks. After undergoing numerous medical tests to determine the cause, she finally received the LGMD diagnosis. Determined not to let LGMD deter her from her goals, Keisha adapted and learned new ways to continue on her path in the fashion industry.
Now a fashion designer, Keisha has her own adaptive wear clothing line called Girls Chronically Rock. She is also a motivational speaker and has been recognized by Massachussetts Governor Charlie Baker for her efforts in having September 30th proclaimed as Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Day.
More about LGMD: Muscular Dystrophy Association
For more info on Keisha Greaves or to view her fashion line of adaptive wear, you can find her on the following social media platforms:
Facebook: Girls Chronically Rock
The No Limits Foundation offers camps across the United States to educate and empower young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy and independent lifestyle. They continually achieve their vision to be the leading camp for young people with limb loss, in the United States and abroad, recognized for camper satisfaction, age specific physical and social skill development, amputee education and peer support.
Click any link below for detailed information on a camp near you.
Its the first day of the new year 2020 and as always many of us are determined to make this a better year than 2019. New year resolutions abound but many fall to the wayside within several weeks. In order to stay the course, find a fun activity that truly interests you and stick with it. When living with a physical disability, staying active will build your muscles, increase your stamina, strengthen your bones, improve your balance and coordination, increase your social activity and provide you with an opportunity to play and compete alongside your peers, friends and family.
There are many adaptive sports and activities available to individuals living with a disability, both young and old. If you are at a loss for things to try, here are a few ideas that may peak your interest. Remember to consult with your physician before trying something new to ensure that the activity is safe for you.
In addition to the above, you may also want to try any of the following: archery, bocce, fencing, fishing, hunting, martial arts, table tennis, rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, surfing, track & field, water skiing, wheelchair skateboarding, wheelchair racing, etc.
CHALLENGED ATHLETES FOUNDATION (CAF)
NATIONAL ABILITY CENTER
NATIONAL CENTER ON HEALTH, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND DISABILITY
NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER FOR THE DISABLED
WASATCH ADAPTIVE SPORTS
DISABLED SPORTS USA
PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA
AMERICAN WHEELCHAIR BOWLING ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL WHEELCHAIR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
The end of the 2018 year was fast approaching when a friend contacted me and told me about this great new gym. She was excited to share this information knowing that I had just about given up on trying to find a place to exercise. I had previously shared my frustration with her about not being able to attain considerable gains at the various other locations where I had participated in physical therapy and exercise programs. This is not to say that I didn’t get any value from those programs because I did but at that point on my road to recovery I felt as if I needed something more. But more of what?
I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had in the past to receive physical therapy, no matter how hard I had to fight with my health insurance company in order to do so. Angry and exhausted from self advocating and constantly getting wrangled in the red tape that caused set backs to my progress, I decided that was not what I needed more of either.
I fell into the habit of carrying my bag of potato chips and bottle of Gatorade into the garage to exercise where I’d had parallel bars installed and had strategically set up my balance ball, bands and barbells in order to circuit train. It never failed, however, that after about ten minutes, it was either too hot, too cold or too something and I quit. I transferred myself and my bag of chips to the couch and replaced the Gatorade with the television remote. Eventually, I just stopped going into the garage because once again, that was not what I needed more of.
I began to feel as if I had exhausted all my options. I was so fed up with the clinical approach option offered by my health insurance, the garage thing was an epic fail and I had no desire to go back to the typical gym facility where they just are not set up for people navigating around in a wheelchair. So when I heard about this new facility where the owners; a husband and wife team, were described as knowledgeable, friendly and motivational, I was immediately interested in finding out where this road could possibly lead.
I visited the facility for a consultation and spoke with the owner about how I might be able to participate in a program that he would tailor to accomodate the fact that I use a wheelchair to navigate. I left that consultation hungry for more of what he was offering. I was excited to connect with someone who could also believe with me beyond my boundaries. Someone who inherently believed in inclusivity and did not think of my situation as an inconvenience but was truly excited to step up to the challenge of working my wheels into his program. We decided that it would be best to meet three times on a one on one basis before I joined the group sessions just to work out any kinks in the program. I went home elated and couldn’t stop thinking about the possibilities of where this would lead.
Now, fast forward to the night before my first session. I could not sleep but it was not due to the excitement of starting something good and new. I was wide awake with fear! After all this time of whining and complaining about less than ideal physical therapy and no where to work out, I was about to get what I asked for. A place to challenge my physical body. A place to tap into the energy that fuels the brain to push past my limitations and a trainer that was willing to take this journey with me without hesitation but with enthusiasm. So why did I feel afraid? I had to pray away the fear and ask for wisdom to understand the gripping anxiety that would not let me sleep.
It is natural to experience fear. It serves a purpose and often times fear will keep up safe from harm. The key is to determine if the fear is real or imagined. In this instance, my fear was imagined. I imagined myself failing. I imagined not being able to perform the tasks that were being prepared for me. Then what? What would I do then? It terrified me almost to the point of backing out. But then, that small still voice in my mind started to drown out the noise when I leaned into it and away from the noise of my self doubt. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phillipians 4:13).
So I rolled boldly into my first session a little nervous but not afraid. I was prepared to succeed. I was filled with joy and gratitude, knowing that I may not conquer every single task on my first day and absolutely certain about one thing; that if i did not take the first step that I would never know the success that awaited me on the other side of my fear!
During one of my recent workout sessions my coach asked me how the exercise was going and I grumbled some response because I wasn’t happy with my form and didn’t feel as if I were executing the movement perfectly. Coach Ryann checked me right away and positively responded “Hey, its much better than when you started, just keep at it”Read More
“If only I knew then what I know now”. So many of us have uttered those words in our lifetime, wishing that we had only known how to navigate through unexpected health events and circumstances that have knocked us for a loop. When tragedy strikes we look to family and close friends for guidance and comfort. But the harsh reality is that our family and friends are often ill-equipped to help, Read More
I did not intentionally set out to find my purpose in life through service to others. It is something that continues to evolve within me. I have no road map, nor do I have a strategic plan. I just follow where my spirit leads me.
In 2010, I experienced two great losses. In February, my mother passed away and in September I lost my ability to walk due to a spinal cord injury. The world as I knew it had been turned upside down and shaken so hard that I barely recognized Read More
It is a beautiful day and the weather outside is perfect. You decide you will take a stroll to your local coffee shop to grab a cup of joe. You grab your wallet, phone and keys and head out the door. Perhaps you stop to chat with a few people along the way; life is great and you are feeling good. You continue on and are almost there when you see a person in a wheelchair approaching from the opposite direction. You don’t really think anything of it until the distance between you closes in and you realize Read More
The ABILITY FESTIVAL, held annually in Palm Desert, California is a program of Desert Ability Center and is designed to showcase adaptive sports and recreational activities as well as disability focused services and resources in the Coachella Valley, the region and throughout the country. This 1-day FREE event is available to participants of any age and with any level of ability. Read More