- Books, Literature, and Writing
Book Review: Allison Wetherbee's I Was Born This Way
By the time she was 6 years old, she was already traveling across the country. Two-three times per year her family would make the long trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan to a clinic that specializes in the bracing that could help her walk, even if it was for a short time.
Allison at Camp ASSCA
I read Allison's book about being born with a disability, after I had gotten to know her and had taken care of her for around a month. The book really takes a close look at the life of Allison. I did learn things about her that I didn't know such as how bad she really struggled with being different from the other children her age. She felt sorry for herself and was mad at God most of the time. As a child, she attended Camp ASCCA that she now represents. There someone spoke to her about giving her life to Jesus Christ. She accepted. She says in her book that she felt a peace come over her and she felt the anger melt away. At that point, she was never mad at God again and never questioned why she was born the way she was. God had a purpose for her life. Now her goal was to try to find out what God wanted her to do.
Allison knows that she is blessed with parents that pushed her to succeed and in fact, pushed her harder to get whatever it is she wanted in life. They pushed her to make good in school. When she graduated from high school, they encouraged her to go to college.
Allison shows how your family can really mold you into the person that you will grow up to be. With the love and support from her family, she achieved more than, if she had grown up in a family that was ashamed of her for instance, she most likely would have not gotten the love and support that would have been what she needed to push her to graduate college.
Allison Weatherbee Swimming
Full Time Care Giver(s)
As you can see there's an "(S)", on givers this is pleural for more than one care giver. In her life Allison has seen caregivers come and go.
I feel very fortunate to have been Allison's care giver for about three weeks while I was in between jobs. In that short time, in working for Allison, I was fortunate enough to meet her mom and dad. Allison had to speak down south and she arranged for us to stay in Camden at her mom and dad's house.
It was amazing to see Allison and Mrs. Whetherbee interact with each other.
Allison Weatherbee's Book
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Have you ever read I Was Born This Way by Allison Wetherbee?
Using her Imagination for Entertainment
Imagine being a young child but, not being able to "play" in the manner that other children play. By not having arms, Allison was never able to play with dolls and not having legs, she wasn't just able to run around the house, inside and out like the other children.
She used her imagination for her entertainment if her sisters were busy and didn't want to play with her. There was a large quarter horse that she remembers riding as a child. She imagined that the horse's name was Blaze and the horse belonged to the Indian princess owner (Allison). She pretended that the horse knew what she was going through and the horse was always there for her.
I Was Born This Way
Allison tells in her book about being disabled. It is truly all she has ever known. Now, let's think about that for just a minute. Put yourself in Allison's situation. She has never had arms or legs and doesn't know what it is like to have them. She does know what it like to walk because, for a period of time, she had bracing as a young child that enabled her to walk. Eventually though, she out grew the braces and wasn't able to walk. She then opted for the wheelchair which she has the ability to maneuver with her left shoulder.
Also, another thing that we may not think about is just brushing a hair out of our face, reaching over to scratch an itch that we have. These are simple things that we do on a daily basis without even thinking about and yet these are all things that Allison has never been able to do.
To have such severe disabilities, Allison has a kind spirit about her and her attitude is one that will impress. In just the short time that I got to know her, Allison was a person who knows her job well and loves what she does. She has a great passion for Camp ASCCA.
Allison Weatherbee Watering Plants
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Things Allison Needs Help With Daily
Help preparing food
Help with shower
Help getting dressed
Also, for Entertainment
Living in a small town like Camden, there's not a lot to do for entertainment. One of the things that Allison mentions that she did for fun is her baby sitter would take her to the top of a dirt road and she would push her in her little red wagon and Allison would crash at the bottom of the hill into the Kudzu. The baby sitter said she would giggle so hard the kudzu would wiggle.
She would find peace in listening to music. Some of her favorite artists are Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle. Another one of her favorites is John Mellencamp.
Getting together with family
Allison would frequently get together with her extended family, often playing with cousins.
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Allison Driving Wheelchair With Her Shoulder
Time Spent at Camp ASCCA
Upon reading Allison's book, I learned a great deal about her character. She spoke in length about her childhood years, through her teenage years and high school years that she spent at Camp ASCCA. She talks about how important these years were to her. The camp gave her experiences with children who had disabilities as well and she didn't feel like she was being stared at all the time.
I am sad to report that Allison passed away in 2016.
© 2014 Buster Johnson