Don Drapinski Admiration by Kathleen Lusk ********** From the Editor: Just about all people with disabilities find ourselves simultaneously admired and pitied by folks around us. It is refreshing when the admiration turns out to be unsentimental and objective. When such good sense and honesty come from a ten-year-old fifth-grader, one finds hope for the future kindling despite the nonsense we find ourselves plowing through much of the time. The following article was a paper written to fulfill a school assignment. Sue Drapinski, Treasurer of the NFB of Michigan, thought Braille Monitor readers might be interested in reading it; so do I. Here it is: ********** Admire: to regard with wonder and approval, to esteem, respect (from the American Heritage Dictionary).
There are many people you could admire in this world. From athletes to actors, firemen to police officers, they all work hard to do their jobs, and for different reasons people admire them. The person I admire does not have a job, but I learn more from him than any job can teach you. The person I admire is my Uncle Don, and as you read this story, you will understand why.
My Uncle Don had a regular childhood like anyone else. He ran and played with the rest of the kids. He liked to skate and play hockey as a teenager. Then something happened. His body didn't work as it should, and he started feeling weak. His doctor told him he had muscular dystrophy (M.D.).
M.D. slowly took away Uncle Don's ability to move around like he used to. He went from being able to walk to having to use a motorized cart (known as an Amigo), to being confined now to a wheelchair, unable to get out on his own or make the simple movements we all take for granted. M.D. has also cost him his vision, and he is now legally blind. He has had many operations and long hospital stays. His body has been so weakened that any disease may be life-threatening to him.
Some people would say this is a sad story, but they're wrong. My Uncle Don laughs, tells jokes, and loves CD's and audio books. He also loves good conversation and isn't afraid to say what he thinks. He is very outgoing and enjoys the company of others (especially me and my sisters and brother). He is married to my Aunt Sue, who takes good care of him. They are both involved with the National Federation of the Blind. They attend conventions all over the country. They also help others with similar challenges.
In conclusion, my Uncle Donald has shown me more strength and courage than anyone else I know. He's never cross with us kids, and we never hear him complain. He gives me a good example of how to deal with life and all the difficulties you run into.