So, I am getting a new chair, but I want to talk to you about my friend Freddy, that’s my old chair. Excuse me if I get a little emotional because Freddy means a lot to me. Freddy was my friend.
When I had to say goodbye to Freddy for the very last time, I was very sad. That day my father was with me and I wanted to cry on his shoulder because I couldn’t believe that that was the last time I was going to see Freddy ever again.
I was sad because I could no longer sit inside Freddy.
People sometimes dismiss these feelings – my emotional attachment to my chair — but Freddy was alive to me. I gave Freddy a voice.
Before Freddy, I had a manual chair. This current chair is named Viper. Viper has a lot of markings because I am a restless driver. But these are my markings. Viper is a warrior.
Viper will go to Jersey for my backup chair. My new chair is named Amanda. Amanda is blue and bigger, feisty and quicker, but I don’t know much more about Amanda yet.
What I want people to really believe is that all my chairs mean a lot to me. To some of you, I know this is silly, but this is coming straight from the heart. If you have something that is your friend, cherish it.
– Joseph Padalino with Kathryn Carse
Photos by Dolores Palermo for Life-Wire News Service.
Joseph Padalino discusses his life with cerebral palsy, his challenges, the highlights of his life, and his message to others who live with cerebral palsy.
Joseph Padalino viewing the Living with Cerebral Palsy video with his family. Photo 2: (left-right) Anne, Sergio and Joseph Padalino. Photos: Charles Rivera.