Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Laurel's States Visited

Laurel added Maine and New Hampshire during Kellisa's Sweet 16 Birthday Weekend and North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas during our end of the summer trip. This brings Laurel's states visited total to 40. Outside of the four states in the northeast, the other six are pretty well spread out at this point. If all goes as planned, Laurel will visit and hike in all 50 shortly before her 8th birthday in June 2017.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kellisa's States Visited

With a long 2,300 mile road trip across the northern United States this summer, Kellisa has now visited 47 of our United States. Kellisa crossed off seven new states and we pushiked in 9 different states on our trip. It's probably not surprising that she still needs Alaska and Hawaii, but she still needs Iowa. We've been all around Iowa, but never crossed into that elusive state.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

2016 Wolfson Children's Challenge

Kellisa- January 2009

Yesterday, we received a phone call to tell us that someone at Wolfson Children's Hospital nominated Kellisa and she was chosen as 1 of 55 children to share their stories at the 2016 Wolfson Children's Challenge. We accepted without hesitation. We don't know all the details yet, but Kellisa has a photo shoot scheduled for August 22nd. We will update as we find out more information.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pushiking Definitions w/Pictures

We just completed a series of posts defining pushiking with lots of cool pictures on 3Wheels Blazing. You can click on the rating under each picture to see the full post.

                                  ADA Easy             ADA Challenging           Obstacles             Inclines/Declines            Extreme

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Kate Steinle Law

Kate Steinle

A father and daughter are out for a walk when she is killed for no reason by an illegal immigrant felon who should have been behind bars. Her last words, "Dad, please help me". Kate was only 32 years old and she worked for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. As a father, this story breaks my heart and as human, I am outraged that this scum was allowed to walk free to kill in a sanctuary city- San Francisco. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

3Wheels Blazing

Please check out (and sign up for email updates) our new website: 3Wheels Blazing. Kellisa's Path will continue as it has without any changes. 3Wheels Blazing is dedicated to our project of pushiking in all 50 states in only 366 days. The format will be slightly different. We will be experimenting by posting many short blog posts with a picture or two. Each short post can stand alone while still fitting into the overall flow of the complex project. Once we start, in the next week or two, we hope to post at least once every weekday until the completion of the project. Since we will have extra photos, those will be posted on Kellisa's Path.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mackworth Island Trail

Falmouth, ME

May 23, 2015

Kellisa (and the rest of us) really enjoyed a nice birthday hike around the perimeter of Mackworth Island, just outside Portland. Besides a few little hills and some roots, the trail was fairly easy to navigate with a regular wheelchair.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Maine Narrow Gauge

May 23, 2015

Kellisa  enjoyed her ride on the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad on her 16th birthday. Laurel also had a great time riding the train with water on one side and cliffs on the other side of the tracks in Portland, ME.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Kellisa's Airports Visited (49)

Kellisa has been flying since she was 359 days old. Below is a map of all the airports Kellisa has visited in her travels. It's hard to tell, but she has visited both O'Hare and Midway in Chicago as well as DFW and Love Field in Dallas. Also, Kellisa has been to Tampa's airport many times, but she also flew to and from St. Petersburg, FL when she was in the womb to visit the world's leading TTTS expert.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hiking with Azmia

May 2015
We found ourselves in the Cleveland, OH area to visit family, some from as far away as Kenya. This was our first time meeting Stam and our great niece, Azmia. We had a few free hours and went to a nearby trail for a 1.5 mile hike through some freshly green forest. We had a great visit and maybe next time we can visit and hike/climb something (Kili?) in Kenya!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kellisa's Sweet 16

May 23, 2015

Driving, planes, trains, hiking, swimming, and boats for a sweet 16 birthday celebration. Not bad for a girl who wasn't suppose to live more than a few minutes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

States Visited

With Maine and New Hampshire added during Memorial Day Weekend, Laurel has now visited 30 states:
With Maine, Kellisa has now visited 40 states:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hotel Safety (Part II)

Richfield, OH

May 9, 2015

I should and do know better! Less than two months ago, I even wrote an article about wheelchairs and hotel safety.

Kellisa, Laurel and Azmia

We flew to Ohio late on Friday evening to meet our new niece. As I was driving to our hotel, I told Lisa that I made a reservation at a hotel that is close to her brother's house, but that I didn't have any loyalty status with the chain. I also realized that I forgot to request a first floor room. I told Lisa that I was too tired to fight if they didn't have a first floor room. As I parked the car, Lisa checked us in and of course, they did not have a first floor room because it was so late, so we took the third floor room. What could go wrong?

Like clockwork, Laurel woke up early and wanted to go down for breakfast. As I was staggering around the room to get ready, we started to hear an alarm. It sounded like someone's alarm clock going off in a near-by room. Laurel and I left Lisa to shower and Kellisa to sleep longer. We walked down the hallway and Laurel pressed the elevator's down button. As we stood there and waited, Laurel said, "I smell smoke".

Once Laurel mentioned smoke, I realized that I could also smell something burning. The elevator came and we started to get on when I had second thoughts. To be safe, we went back to the room to get Lisa and Kellisa. We were barely in the room when all hell broke loose. We could hear a man and woman in the hallway, both pounding on doors and screaming, "The building is on fire"!

I know the first and only thought should be getting out safely, but I had two more thoughts as well. First, we need to grab the medicine for the kids. We can't be a 1,000 miles from home without them. And second, we had Kellisa's Hippocampe chair and I wasn't leaving that behind. (I also grabbed our bag with all our electronics)

In less than a minute we were out in the hallway which was now full of smoke and people. A police officer was yelling to get out by using the stairs. As soon as he saw me pushing Kellisa, he offered to help. I knew I could get Kellisa (and her chair out safely) and advised him that we were OK. I told Laurel to go and she ran down the stairs, out the hotel and gathered with the crowd of hotel guests in the grass.

I slowly pushed Kellisa down the stairs as people were backed up and screaming. Normally, she would have loved this activity, but she wasn't really awake yet. I knew I could get down the stairs, but I was worried about people pushing. Not a single person pushed and I even heard a few offer to help. We reunited with Laurel outside and we quickly learned that everyone was out of the hotel and safe. I was relieved for only a few seconds. I did an inventory check of everything I grabbed and realized that I didn't have the medicine.


The fire was contained to two rooms, about four rooms down from us on the other side of the hall. I knew our room was safe and if the medicine was in the room, we'd be OK. However, I was worried that I dropped the medicine on the way out and it could have gotten destroyed, ruined or even taken. I had to sweat it out for a couple of hours before the fire chief escorted me to our room to gather our belongings. I was relieved to find all the medicine on the edge of one of the beds. It's must have fallen out of my short's pocket in the rush to evacuate.

The police and firefighters did an amazing job to put the fire out and keep everyone safe and informed. Laurel was very scared at first and several first responders went above and beyond to make her feel safe. Thank you!

We had to move to another hotel and we made sure we got a room on the first floor!

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