It was a spring day in San Diego. I took Dexter, a few months old, to Balboa Park seeking sun and solace. Not too far from the grand fountain I pitched his play gym on a strip of green grass and waited for Amy Liebengood, Milo’s mom.
I sat there alone for about 20 minutes. Dexter was in baby heaven under a muslin canopy I rigged over his gym. As he batted toys, cooed and fell asleep drunk on fresh air I looked around and pondered. During this time I was still grieving and trying to make sense of something I never expected. I was also trying to go a single day without crying.
At one moment my random string of thoughts focused on disability and impairments. As I watched complete strangers young and old pass me by I thought how many of us would be disabled or impaired without science? Hear me out.
The fact is if Synthroid and surgery were not medically available I’d still be dealing with Thyroid cancer. And if glasses had never been invented Jason would be legally blind. And then I remember I was once dependent on glasses but took care of that with laser surgery. How would I get around without being able to see clearly beyond 5 feet? I certainly wouldn’t drive. And then I looked beyond my family and at the strangers passing by and thought how a majority of these folks probably depend on something to help what could have been a disabler in their life. Bad hearts, failed organs, mental health challenges, high blood pressure and on and on the list ticked off in my head.
How easy it is to forget that without science a lot of us would be leading a much more challenging life. I admit I took it for granted. Heck I had to remind myself I had eye surgery at my own pondering party!
So then I turned to Dexter, and warm tears filled my eyes. Some of the hardest things you’ll have to overcome still have no treatment. It was at this moment I told myself I’d find out more about what research has been done and maybe do something to remind folks, who’ve been helped by science of the past, to support the science of the future.
Amy arrived, sat down and I said, within a few minutes or so, “tell me about the research”. I was so happy to hear about everything on the horizon but there is still a lot of work to be done.