A few weeks ago an old friend, Erica Kennington called me up to ask me to sing the National Anthem at a basketball game. For the past 7 years she has been involved with the Napa Spinal Cord Injury Network (she just celebrated her anniversary - congrats girl!) At first I was really nervous about it but decided I couldn’t think of a better way to use my pipes. I was very glad to help out. So, though slightly overdressed and full of steroids (allergies hit me bad last week), I arrived at the Napa Valley College Campus ready to sing the mama jama of all ceremony songs in the college gymnasium. Having practiced like mad in my bathroom and even bringing the lyrics in the shower WITH me, I managed to get all the words right and hold all the notes that needed to be held.
I was sooooo nervous because I wanted very badly to inspire them but ended up being inspired BY them. A lot of the basketball players have had spinal injuries since they were children. Others were more recently injured. In either case, it was inspiring to watch them play a sport with as much vengeance and heart as any able bodied person and then some. Coming from a person who has been blessed enough not to have experience much pain in the bodily injury department, I cannot imagine how it must feel to have to fight for the simple bodily movements that are taken for granted everyday. Just imagine all the hours of intense physical therapy that coincides with those kinds of injuries that completely changes a person’s whole existence. But there they were. Dribbling the ball and shooting hoops out of wheel chairs. It was an amazing thing to see.
The event attracted local political supporters, such as Napa's Mayor Jill Techel as well as a few Napa council members sporting uniforms along with the rest of the team. Napa's Mayor, Jill Techel even played along side of the team in a wheelchair. Once again proving how much she cares about her community. I think she's the coolest mayor ever (definitely got my vote).
Please read the Napa Valley Register article here
Thank you again Executive Director, Ericka Kennington and the Napa Spinal Cord Injury Network for letting me be a part of your game!