Today, I’d like you to meet Jennie, an ExoSym clubfoot patient, who I had the privilege of meeting when I was up in Gig Harbor for the Race for a Soldier 1/2 Marathon in September! Jennie left New Zealand six months ago to get the device and actually decided to make a trip of it! Both she and her husband left their jobs and took their nine year old son out of school to see the world with her new found mobility – amazing. They’ve traveled to Canada, Alaska and as far east as Yellowstone. All the while, they’ve been volunteering & working on farms in exchange for food and board, which Jennie says has been a truly incredible experience. This is definitely something Jennie simply could not have done pre-ExoSym as she was struggling just getting to work and accomplishing daily tasks.
For Jennie, the ExoSym has opened up the world to her (literally!). She’s had this disability all her life and now she’s doing things she never thought possible. She feels her vitality reaching levels it’s never been before as she’s simply moving more now than ever! Jennie loves the outdoors and feels so blessed that she can get out in nature with her family. She hasn’t been home to New Zealand since she got the ExoSym, but she is heading that way soon and is really looking forward to seeing her friends and family and showing them the new “Jennie” (Especially to her mom – Jennie can’t wait to go for a walk with her on a trail her dad created back home)!
Jennie’s shoe of choice is the New Balance 1540v2. She feels like the black makes them dressy! (I agree!) Her advice to other ExoSym users out there is to just wear whatever makes you feel good and then wear your sneakers (tennis shoes) …. It will be ok! She has never worn sneakers with skirts before this, but says you just got to give it a go! (Confidence is key!) Jennie is a fan of leggings, a long tank top, a pretty top and accessories. She recommends adding scarfs, necklaces and earrings to offset the tennis shoes. She is finding that leggings are really comfortable especially with her new found mobility – she can easily walk anywhere in comfort.
Jennie’s proudest moment in the ExoSym (well, she’s had a lot!), but her most memorable was hiking Yosemite falls, very steep and long, getting to the top (and the bottom actually) was an amazing feeling for her. She’s experienced so many magnificent hikes while travelling through the US and Canada. Dancing at Zumba was definitely a highlight too, but the first walk down the hallway at the Hanger Clinic in Gig Harbor with her device brought her to tears. In 45 years, she has NEVER felt such ease in walking – truly miraculous.
So what’s next for Jennie? Her goal is to continue improving her fitness as well as looking for a new career path! There is no way she can go back to sitting down crunching numbers at the desk anymore! She is also really looking forward to walking in the beautiful nature of her homeland as much as possible with her friends and family.
In Jennie’s words, “Never give up on your dreams, keep faith and chasing hope….it will find you miracles!”
Thank you, Jennie for inspiring us all. You are truly an amazing lady and I have no doubt you will continue embracing all life has to offer! ♥
be YOU. be AMAZING. ExoSymplyAmazing.
Check out Jennie’s clubfoot journey and blog at: http://www.jjsbionicleg.webs.com/