Hosted By

Sherry L. Pierce
Author of "I'M OK"




Victims Inspirational Testimonies


To read
"Just Keep Showing Up For Life"
Featuring Scott Chesney

To read
"Ex-Miss America Relates
Recovery From a Stroke
by Jim Maurer

To read
"It's Not The Disability
I'ts The Ability"
About Dana Boman

To read
"Joni and Friends"
by Joni Eareckson Tada



By Scott Chesney

    March 24, 20003
    Hello Friends!!

    As I look back on all the adversity that I have experienced in my life, I could really over-analyze how I have been able to overcome and even embrace so much adversity, but instead I am choosing to simplify my thinking. The decision to just get up and show up for life is the key to my success and the success of so many others who persevere in the face of adversity. Yes, it is that simple, yet our minds want to reject such simplicity. Our mind wants to create drama, challenges for us, and make us struggle. Why? Because our minds fear change!

    Ahhhh, that wonderful world of change. It is the only constant in life, yet we continue to fight this ongoing part of life. So, why does the mind "fear" change? Because it loves the past, it craves having control over you. F.E.A.R. � Fictionalized Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is actually something that has not even happened , yet our minds try to convince us that the results are painted a certain color. You must go beyond the limitations of your mind and tap into the unlimited supply of power, courage, wisdom, and belief that is residing within you.

    Now returning to our simplistic approach to overcoming challenges, by just showing up for life, we have overcome the first major obstacle of the day. When we are struggling and facing challenges, it is very easy for us to retreat, retire, and simply not face the challenge. That is the way your mind would want it. By showing up for life, you have defeated fear in the opening battle and letting this unknown entity know who is in charge and how much life there still is to live. Once you condition yourself to take this first step, no matter what the day has in store, you have solidified your position for the day. You are steering the ship of your life and will dictate where you want to go and why.

    By just showing up for life, you have eliminated the only place where a disability can reside�.in one�s attitude. By choosing life, you have sent out your advertisement to the world, "I am still here and that my life is still full of happiness and unlimited opportunities!"

    Be well, stay true to yourself, and always know that you are far greater than you think you are!!

About Scott Chesney...

    With a resume of endless transformational experiences, lessons, and inspiring stories from two worldwide journeys and living life with paralysis since the age of 15, Scott has become a nationally and internationally recognized workshop and keynote presenter. He has addressed over one million individuals from all walks of corporate life, which includes management and staff at Prudential, AXA Advisors, UDV, The United Nations, The World Congress for People with Disabilities, The American Physical Therapy Association, National Council on Alcohol & Drug Dependence, The Government of Dubai�s Department of Tourism & Commerce, Indian Tourism Development Corporation, The Malaysian Association for the Blind, Spinal Injuries Association of Kenya, Self-Unlimited Network of the Netherlands, and many other corporations, associations, and organizations globally. In addition, Scott has presented his S.E.E.K.� (Self-Esteem Enhancement for Kids� ) to over 500,000 children and teens around the world and continues to complement his work with kids by offering parenting and staff development workshops.

    After studying the peaks and valleys of human behavior and what makes people "tick," Scott founded a corporation called Devotion to Motion, LLC in which he creatively designs full and half-day workshops as well as keynote presentations that have been known to open doors to our unlimited potential as human-beings. He has also studied over 70 complementary medicine modalities and researched accessibility and sensitivity of people with disabilities in 38 different countries.

    In addition to his rewarding speaking schedule, Scott is a fundraising consultant for the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, serves as a Peer Coach at Children�s Specialized Hospital, and is a Life Coach for individuals, couples, and families. He is a Seton Hall University graduate and holds a master degree from the world in life experiences. In his spare time, Scott cherishes the moments spent with his wife Pratiksha and daughter Nia in New Jersey.


Ex-Miss America relates recovery from a stroke


Jacquelyn Mayer Townsend
    CAREY -- Jackie (Mayer) Townsend was a 28-year-old wife and mother of two young children on the day her life changed in 1970.

    At that time, the Sandusky native had already been a former Miss Ohio (1962) and former Miss America (1963). She was a singer for a year with Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians, too.
    "For years I believed in myself and my abilities," she said. "It all came true. I was on top of the world."

    But she woke up one day in 1970, unable to speak and with her right side numb. She was rushed to a Pittsburgh, Pa., hospital where it was learned that a blood clot, formed from her use of birth control pills, had caused the stroke. Current medicines used now to assist stroke victims weren't available then. She saw the fear in the nurse's face.

    "God, please don't let me die," she remembers thinking.

    Thoughts were jumbled in her head when a doctor came into her hospital room and told her she had a stroke, but it was over and "you are going to live."

    "I knew God was there and he would pull me through," she said. "I knew I would be back."

    "It is good to be alive," she said. "So many people don't realize that until something happens."

    She said she has learned to live "one moment at a time" because that's the way she had to learn after her stroke. It took her five years to regain her strength and relearn such basic knowledge as the alphabet, numbers and how to talk.

    She also learned to think positively. Once a symbol of American beauty, "I lost all confidence in myself," after the stroke.

    Her son was 5 years old and her daughter 9 months old when she suffered the stroke. It was another five years before she realized she had to make her own decisions. A scolding from her then 10-year-old son made her realize how she had been acting.

    "Mom," Bill told her, "you have a serious problem. Mom, you're feeling awfully sorry for yourself. Why not get off your butt and do something with your life."

    She left the room and cried, but finally realized he was right, she had been feeling sorry for herself.

    "We are all unique, wonderful, beautiful people," she said. "We are all different, but we all have something we can excel in."

    She learned that "beauty is within" and it takes love and courage to know you can do whatever you set your mind to, she said.

    She had several suggestions to maintain that beauty: surround yourself with positive thoughts through reading and listening to tapes; grow through your failures; surround yourself with laughter; tolerate differences in people; and find your own pursuit of significance through service to others.

    She praised her husband, John, and her children, Bill and Kelly, for their support throughout the years.

    For over 20 years she has been a motivational speaker throughout the United States and Canada. She is a founding board member of the National Stroke Association. She has won numerous awards for her efforts and has a rehabilitation facility at Providence Hospital, Sandusky, named in her honor.

    Warning signs of stroke include: slurred speech or unable to understand speech; weakness/numbness or tingling in the side, face or hands; blurred vision or severe, abrupt headache. She urged anyone with these symptoms to get in contact with emergency personnel immediately because time is important and diagnosis is critical for significant recovery.

    Prevention methods include: exercising regularly, eating low-fat foods, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes and having annual doctor exams.


To our fellow Recovering victims,

    In 1970, the day after Thanksgiving, I woke from a deep sleep and found that I was paralyzed on my right side and could not speak, I had a STROKE! Today, years later, I have lived through a crisis that rearranged all of my priorities. I have learned these lessons for living.

  •     Live one day at a time. Set small goals and work at them. Also, enjoy this day and see the love that surrounds you.
  • Always think positively, Surround yourself with positive-thinking people.

   Jacquelyn Mayer Townsend

  • Turn setbacks into triumphs: Persevere.
  • Have a sense of humor. Don�t let things get you down. It is all right to laugh at yourself and the situation.
  • Find your own significance. Find your own bliss, which is that unique talent or understanding that brings meaning to your life.

    From crisis, I found my own bliss. You can too, by turning tragedy into triumph!

    Jacquelyn Mayer Townsend
Stroke Survivor
    Miss America 1963


It's Not The Disability... It's The Ability

Dana�s Amazing Story

    Dana Bowman gained worldwide attention in 1994 during a most unthinkable accident. As a member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights skydiving team and a Special Forces soldier, Dana was performing in a routine training exercise. Dana and his partner were demonstrating the Diamond Track, and�wearing smoke-producing "wingtips"�the two "etched" a diamond shape in the sky. The skydivers, traveling at a combined speed of 300 m.p.h. and planning to crisscross, instead collided in midair. Both of Dana�s legs were severed instantly, one above and one below the knee. The impact claimed the life of his best friend and skydiving partner, Sgt. Jose Aguillon.

    Dana�s parachute opened, bringing him back to Earth and "to a life that was changed forever," as Dana describes it. His extraordinary attitude and determination were key factors in his rehabilitation: Just 9 months after the accident, Dana returned to the Army�becoming the first amputee member of the Golden Knights, the first to reenlist in active duty�and the first to skydive on prosthetic legs into a reenlistment ceremony!

    Dana retired from the Army and continues to touch lives through hundreds of speaking engagements, television programs, magazine and newspaper articles, and soon in a movie to be made about his life. Named Veteran of the Year in 1995 and an honors graduate with a BS Degree in Commercial Aviation from the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, he flies multi-engine craft, helicopters, and sea planes.

    In addition to a full-time speaking career, Dana enjoys scuba diving, bicycling, snow and water skiing, snowmobiling�and skydiving. In fact, he combines speaking and skydiving by dropping in�parachute and all�on his audiences! Using two hi-tech prosthetic legs designed by Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Dana demonstrates his abilities to thousands of people each year. Dana also spends much of his time with his family, and other amputees and the physically challenged.

    His next goal? Dana is currently working on designing parts for prosthetic limbs to improve their function. He is working on a book about his life to date, and he continues to speak out on living a limitless life. As Dana puts it "It�s great to open people�s minds to the possibilities of amputees�and of everyone who has dreams. If my accomplishments motivate others�not just amputees�to try new activities, my mission is achieved. We face challenges everyday; it is overcoming those challenges that makes us stronger."

    Dana�s presentations are always custom-tailored for your audience, your needs and your objectives, and appeal to all age groups and professions.

    It�s not the Disability, It�s the Ability

    We all have myriad disabilities. As a living example himself, Dana shows us how to focus on what we can accomplish, and encourages the physically challenged and the able-bodied to achieve their goals�no matter how wonderfully large or seemingly small. As Dana�s highly personal and passionately told story illustrates, abilities are endless. Disabilities are nonexistent.

    Conquering Adversity

    At some time�at many times �we face adversity. Overcoming adversity seems easy for some, harder for others. Dana, who has persistently, gracefully, and triumphantly overcome adversity after loosing his legs, will help each individual audience member overcome their own challenges as well, through discipline and a deep belief in their own power to succeed.

    Mastering Change-The Only Constant

    Change�that unavoidable constant. Usually, change comes in small, continuous, and at times insidious adjustments to our reality. Such as new information, a new job, or a new client. Sometimes, as it did for Dana Bowman, change arrives all at once, with unspeakable force�an entire life forever altered. Learn from a man whose body, career, and perspective changed irrevocably in a split second. Become forever inspired by his determination to regain his life and reclaim his abilities. Dana�s story teaches us all to accept change-and accept only greatness!

    Flying High�and Into your Event

    A breathtaking, inspirational sight, and the perfect way to begin an unforgettable keynote with Dana. He can skydive into your event�a grand opening, meeting, or sporting event. All wide-eyed attendees will watch a double-amputee land on a dime�every time. Then Dana will remove his chute and further prove that if we choose to be disabled, we will be disabled. If we choose to live life to its fullest, we will find continual fulfillment and inspiration.

A client list of over 700 includes:
State Farm Insurance
US Air Force
US Army
US Pentagon
Bell Helicopter Textron
Hanger Orthopedic Group

Paralympic Games
Counter Intelligence Agency
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Women�s Bowling Federation of America
New York State Games
Disabled American Veterans
American Legion
Boy and Girl Scouts of America
Vietnam Veterans of America
University of North Carolina
University of North Dakota

Smith and Nephew
Over 100 Elementary & High Schools

Media coverage:

Dana has been the subject of hundreds of national and international press appearances, including:
Sports Illustrated
Readers Digest
People Magazine

ABC Person of the Week
Discovery Channel
History Channel
Dateline NBC
CBS: Eye on America
Lifetime Cable Network
700 Club
Ripley�s Believe It or Not
Real TV

Keynote Fee:
Call for latest info:
Dana Bowman � 817.597.1826

Joni and Friends

    May 6, 2003

    Dear Sherry,

    Your story touched one of those sensitive chords in me. Of all the handicapping conditions I�ve learned about, brain injury has to be one of the most traumatic to the family. And as I know you�ve already discovered, the greatest frustration is the lack of resources. Hardly a week goes by that we don�t hear from someone who is looking for practical help for their brain injured loved one.

    The National Council on Disability, on which I serve, is continually helping formulate new policy regarding the need for better resources and more structured living environments for the brain injured. Medical technology provides brain injured people with life, and now we are challenged to help provide more meaningful life for them and their families. There is an incredible demand for resources and services.

    Sherry, I am especially encouraged to hear of your desire to reach out and inspire others with disabilities through your website and your books. Because of your own disability, you obviously have a special insight that many people may not have. You are a great example of II Cor 1:3,4 where it says that we can comfort others with the comfort God has poured out to us. You are uniquely equipped to do that in the lives of others. And I�m sure that like me, you�re learning to accept the good days and bad days where it concerns your disability. Just acknowledging that fact helped me deal more realistically with daily struggles (and surprises!) my handicap brings. Prayer, earnest and sincere, also helps tremendously. What would we do without prayer!

    Thank you for your inspiration and talking with me and be assured that we will be praying for you, your boys and your family. May God provide you daily grace to meet all of your needs.

Yours in His care,
Joni Eareckson Tada

Founder and President of Joni and Friends

    A diving accident in 1967 left Mrs. Tada a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. During two years of rehabilitation, she spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her high detail fine art paintings and prints are sought after and collected.

    Due to her best-selling books, beginning with her autobiography, Joni, as well as having visited 35 countries, Joni's first name is recognized around the world. World Wide Pictures' full-length feature film, JONI, in which Mrs. Tada recreated her own life, has been translated into 15 languages and shown in scores of countries around the world.

    Mrs. Tada's role as a disability advocate led to a presidential appointment to the National Council on Disability for three and a half years, during which time the Americans with Disabilities Act became law.

    Joni and Friends was founded by Mrs. Tada in 1979 and has grown into four flagship programs that affect the lives of thousands of disabled people and their families. In 2002, Joni and Friends will serve over 500 special needs families through nine Family Retreats across the nation. Through Wheels for the World, over 14,000 wheelchairs have been collected nationwide, refurbished by inmates in correctional facilities, and shipped to developing nations where physical therapists fit each chair to a needy disabled child or adult. Joni and Friends, a daily five minute radio program, is heard over 850 broadcast outlets and this year received the "Radio Program of the Year" award from National Religious Broadcasters. Through ten Area Ministries offices, Joni and Friends teams provide church training and education to promote inclusion of people with disabilities.

    Mrs. Tada and her husband Ken have been married since 1982. Mr. Tada recently retired from 32 years of teaching and has come on board with Joni and Friends to serve as Director of Ministry Development. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and recently received Family Life Ministries Robert McQuilken Award honoring "The Courageous Love of a Marriage Covenant Keeper."

    Mrs. Tada is a highly sought-after conference speaker both in the U.S. and internationally and is also a columnist for Moody Magazine, the United Kingdom's Christian Herald, and several European Christian magazines.

    Mrs. Tada serves on several boards, including the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization

        Copyright �2003 - 2014  Sherry L. Pierce.  All rights reserved