Thank you for visiting the QuadFiles.
This is a blog created from a conversation I had with a previous employer, about the benefits of a strong community and mentorship. When you work for a home health agency, you hear so many stories about families going through tough times. Some have more support than others or handle things better than others but in the end there is nothing like personal stories of growth, failure, and success to inspire and motivate.
My name is Ashleigh and first experience with peer mentors was when I was 15, laying in a hospital bed, newly paralyzed from a terrible car accident. In the accident, the roof of the car caved in on me, crushing my spirit and hopes of ever being normal again. My mom was told I would never be able to live on my own and every hurdle that was placed in our way seemed to confirm that life as I knew it was over. Until I met Tony.
Tony was an early intervention coordinator at an independent living organization in Arizona. He contracted Polio as a child and acquired a spinal cord injury as an adult. He was responsible for helping families get their bearings after an injury like mine. For the first time since I awoke in ICU, I started to see that maybe there was hope for a brighter future.
A year after my injury, I began to mentor others. It was a natural fit and soon I was sharing stories about traveling on an airplane, rugby tournaments, demonstrating wheelchair skills, and talking about college and relationships. In 2007, I took a job as the information and referral coordinator and peer mentor program manager for a similar nonprofit and it was a humbling experience. I would help families new to SCI navigate their way through and almost every day I would see their progress. In so many cases, having the support of mentor made a big difference.
So welcome to the world through my eyes. I have no idea where this venture will go or how it will evolve but I hope my posts and stories will help inspire the way that others have inspired me 🙂
Please send me your ideas for article and/or your questions. I would love to hear from you!