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Late last week I got an email from a guidance counselor at a middle school in Dearborn, MI. At her school, they are starting their own National Junior Honor Society and are holding their first induction ceremony this Thursday 11/20. She had searched on Youtube for ideas for their induction ceremony and found the video of Payne's speech at Bellbrook's ceremony last May. She contacted me as the principal to see if I had contact information for Payne because they want to show his speech as the keynote for their ceremony. I explained that I am also Payne's mom, so I can give her permission. They will also be calling Payne that night, and he will give a few more words at their ceremony via speaker phone. We thought it was pretty neat that his speech will be viewed by kids at a middle school in Michigan.
Payne is continuing with his many exercises. On Saturday, his therapist added a few more exercises as preparation to improve his running gait. Payne also worked out with his trainer on Friday, and she gave him some new exercises as well. He could easily spend a couple hours each night on all his exercises if he had the time. We are working on a schedule where he alternates them every other night. I know at times he feels like he has no down time or leisure time. However both his therapist and his trainer remind him that he has to sacrifice for the next year or so while the window for improvement is open. His therapist will say that it stinks that he has to go through this, but it is what it is. We can't look back and just have to deal with the situation at hand. We remind ourselves daily that we are so very fortunate that Payne is where he is at this point. We are thrilled that he is able to do so many of these exercises and that they are still making a positive difference.
This past week Mark has been going back and reading previous journal entries from last winter and spring. As he looks back, he is reminded and amazed at the outpouring of support from all the caring bridge readers. When you see that there are over 120,000 hits on this site, it is incredible. Thank you again to everyone.