Volunteering Is GREAT

Thanks my UCP buddies for giving back to ME!

As this blog title notes, “Volunteering Is GREAT.” And I realized this more than ever while being laid up after my knee replacement surgery.

Last year, I wrote: If you aren’t already doing so, consider volunteering. It’s a true win-win, for those you are helping as well as for YOU. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is so rewarding!!

While I was recuperating, I was really, really bored. Besides doctor appointments and physical therapy, I had little to do. As well as limited mobility.

But my United Cerebral Palsy buddies whom I mentor really cheered me up. They called me as a group. Amazingly, I recognized all of their voices. They also sent me a couple of cards signed by many of them. That really made happy.

When I returned on a limited basis two weeks ago, they gave me incredible welcomes. Yelling out Joel, Joel, Joel. Running to give me hugs. And presenting  me with homemade cards. I was almost in tears.

The preceding is what we get back from volunteering: An incredible sense of making a difference with someone else who needs it. I missed volunteering as much as they missed me.

Here’s a story I wrote about the president of our local self-advocacy group, Jaquan Giles. It appeared in the UCP – LI December 2019 newsletter.

Volunteering Is GREAT
 

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year’s Resolutions

Have you given up yet? LOL

Yes, we have made it to January 9, 2020. 🙂 So, after 9 days (including today), how are we doing with our New Year’s resolutions?

For a humorous look at fulfilling New Year’s resolutions, check out the three images below.

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's ResolutionsA Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions
 

A New Book of Poetry to Start 2020

Food for thought!

Once again, it is my honor to assist David Fox in publishing a new free book of poetry.  This is yet another example of what we can do regardless of our limitations.

As we said last November:

David is a true inspiration. Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy and having suffered from mental illness in his 20’s, David has written poems for children and adults for over 20 years. His poetry has appeared in Bell’s Letters, Ceremony, Great South Bay Magazine, Humoresque, The Oak, Opossum Holler Tarot, Performance Poet’s Association Literary Review, Poetic Expressions, Poets’ Roundtable, Reflections, SMILE, Tale Spinners (Canada), Visions, Wanton Words, Whispers of Poetry and Write On!! Poetry Magazette. He is still a participant at UCP Long Island.

Click the image to access the new book. Note: A free, simple login is required. 🙂

A New Book of Poetry to Start 2020

 

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Live life every day!

As we look forward to the future, we need to be thankful for what we have. And not be unhappy for what we don’t have. Now, we offer our annual message. To embrace life and choose happiness in 2020. 

Why We Should Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

As many of you may know, I am a VERY lucky survivor of pancreatic cancer. Thus, I am thankful each and every day to celebrate the blessing of life. On February 12, 2020, it will be five years since I had my successful Whipple surgery. My longevity is related to my embracing life and choosing happiness.

Only 7 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for 5 years. Thus, I am both happy and sad.

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Today, I want to share some FREE resources I have developed and tell my personal story. Why? To provide hope and serenity for anyone with a serious disease and their loved ones. We must never forget that our caregivers suffer and endure along with us.

Resources to Better Embrace Life and Choose Happiness

Since recovering from my surgery and follow-up chemotherapy, I view my life’s mission as assisting others with a terrible illness. To me, this is a responsibility that I welcome as one of the relatively few long-term pancreatic cancer survivors. In my mind and heart, I MUST give  back.

So, please take a look at these resources.

Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey

With this book, I want to share my personal cancer journey with you. I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with a terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

The book is a hopeful, but realistic, view of my journey from diagnosis through treatment through return to work and my being able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It has some humor and many quotes to ease the reading.

Click the book cover to download a FREE copy of the book. Then, share it with someone you love.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

LIVING WELL While Surviving Cancer

During the summer of 2018, I started a new blog to share health-related information and inspirational stories. It features infographics, videos, articles, and more. And despite the title, it relates to a wide range of health issues.

Click the image to visit the blog. Then, PLEASE sign up to follow us.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

Other Resources

Finally, check out these resources. and sign up to join me Welcome aboard!

    •  

    • My personal advice:
            1. Do not avoid the doctor because you are afraid of what he/she may find.
            2. Early detection is the best way to mitigate your health problems. Have regular checkups and blood tests.
            3. Listen to the medical professionals!
            4. Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.
            5. Be upbeat; getting down is counter productive. [(a) When diagnosed, I set two goals: to dance at my daughter’s October 2015 wedding and to deliver a toast. Mission accomplished. I never thought these things wouldn’t happen. (b) People don’t believe me when I remark that I never said “why me”? Instead I say, “boy was I lucky to be diagnosed so early.”]
            6. Seek out your friends/acquaintances who have also dealt with cancer. They can be a wonderful resource and sounding board (when you don’t want to further burden your family).
            7. Be active. [I went to the gym while undergoing chemotherapy.]
            8. Live for tomorrow and the time thereafter. 
            9. And to give back as much as I can, since July 2019, I am  volunteering twp days a week with United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. I LOVE it and find it so rewarding. If you decide to volunteer, you’ll see that it’s a win-win!!!!!

We Wish You Happy Holidays

Many thoughtful quotes.

In the United States, we are sometimes our own worst enemies. For example, see a post about our under-use of vacation time. But, it’s the season for happy holidays 2019. Enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Food for Thought: Happy Holidays 2019 

We hope these quotes make you more reflective. And do things to make others happy. Which in turn will make YOU happy.

Fred Rogers — “I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”

Kate Klise — “During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the best gift of all is simply the gift of time. I can’t think of anything a writer would appreciate more than being given time and space to work.” 

Ainsley Earhardt — “Giving back to those in need is something that everyone on all sides of the political aisle can relate to. And it is beautiful to see people come together, especially during the holiday season.”

Geoff Stults — “The holiday season can be an especially trying time for our service men, women, and families. Military service and deployment create empty seats at holiday tables, religious services, and celebrations.” 

We conclude with these wishes.

Happy Holidays 2019