Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dear Friend is Inducted...

Not that this club is the all-around best to be inducted to, but the SCI (spinal cord injury) club is a tight one. Wherever we go we recognize people we know, people who know people we know, or people who have heard of us or organizations we know. It's tightknit like a small community of friends who have been through the same life-altering experience, and when needed, it pulls together like a family.

On December 21, a cherished member of the PowderCats family suffered a T-1/C-7 spinal cord injury while snowboarding in the backcountry on fairly easy terrain. Dave Genchi, PowderCat's photographer and videographer and relatively-new Steamboat local, made a surf-turn off a rock and fell. The backpack full of equipment didn't help, but his helmet sure did. He split the darn thing in half, and without it, either wouldn't be with us today, or would have a serious brain injury on top of his spinal one.

Steamboat is rallying to Dave's side with many visits to the hospital, and by opening a foundation for donation at Wells Fargo Bank locally. We hope all our readers who have been through this will support Dave in his progress towards recovery. Because of the intense storms that hit Denver at the time of Dave's accident, he was brought to St Mary's hospital in Grand Junction. We have great news thought that Dave will be transferred to top-knotch Craig Hospital in Denver when his body is ready.

Dave, we hope you know that we are here for you, with all our hearts, prayers, and network, and will be encouraging you whole-heartedly to Go Anywhere, Do Anything when you're ready. Welcome to the club, however comforting that isn't, your network is ready when you are...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gearing up for the storms

This was a great year NOT to travel in and out of Denver, and although we're glad we stayed put ourselves, several of our friends suffered delays, cancellations, and reroutes during travel, and many more who didn't travel suffered power outages, destruction, and other obstacles during the time that was supposed to be a holiday.

So we've decided to throw in a few tips for travelers over the next few remaining months of winter, in case you should see storms this bad again.

First, always put 1-3 days worth of supplies in a carry-on bag. This includes everyday necessities such as medical supplies and clothes, but remember you can wash clothes and buy some items, so we always stick with the items we could neither find easily while either trapped in an aiport or at our destination without our other luggage.

Next, always carry all your medical phone numbers in case you do need to order anything, including your insurance numbers, doctor's numbers, medical supply company, and a list of your usual orders from there in case someone else has to order. We know this might sound obvious, but you can never be too prepared.

We also recommend having the airlines label your itinerary with all your special needs and requirements; disabled individuals with documented special needs are usually taken care of first in case of rescheduling, and if the airlines don't have record of this, it's harder for them to help you. Although your pride may usually keep you from spelling out any special needs, your pride will not get your needs handled quickly and efficiently.

We always have backup batteries or chargers for your power wheelchair, cell phone, computer or PDA in our carry ons, so if we are separated from your luggage, we don't lose the ability to use your chair or locate your important numbers in case of emergency. We also use the same cell phones and PDAs so we only have to bring one cord for both.

Last, stay in contact. If people are expecting you, notify them of your delays and your possibilities so someone on the other end is aware of your location, your needs, and your status. Having someone on the "outside" is always a key element in finding solutions. For instance, when we fly through connecting cities, if we have contacts in these cities we'll make contact during tentative weather so they know if we get stuck, we have them as an option.

Playing it safe and being prepared for anything weather- or travel-related will certainly ease your mind and lower stress levels (and assist your overall health!) while you play-it-cool amidst the storm!