Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Charity Bowl by Sigma Nu fraternity

I am very honored and humbled to be the recipient of the Charity Bowl for 2016.  I just noticed a tweet from the new Chancellor of the University of Mississippi with a link to my blog, and it also recognized me as the recipient for this honor to represent Chucky Mullins.  It is absolutely surreal and still a shock to me.  I realized I haven't written a blog post in quite a while and thought that I should at least share a few of the articles written about me recently.  It is a good way to also catch up on what I've been up to lately.

One of my goals is to join the MFPA.  That is the mouth and foot painters Association, which is a worldwide organization for artists that are only able to paint with their mouth or feet.  I currently volunteer most of my time at Our Artworks, which is a nonprofit organization that has a weekly art class for people with disabilities.  I'm also a board member at the life office in Tupelo.  Life is an acronym that stands for living independent for everyone.  It is a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities to return to their home with as much independence as possible.  Life will build ramps to make your home accessible.  We help people transition from nursing homes back to a home that is accessible if that person can live alone.  We offer several services. We also refer people to other departments that can provide services that we are not able to provide.  So we figure out a way to get people the help they need.

Chucky Mullins was an important person in my life even before my injury.  After my injury, he became an even bigger inspiration.  I was hurt May 14, 2008 and arrived home August 1, 2008.  The following spring I decided I would attend the Chucky Mullins courage award banquet every year.  I love Ole Miss football and Chucky Mullins is a very important figure  associated with the football team.  I thought it was amazing they still recognize him and his number is back on the field.  So I haven't missed a banquet since my injury.  I also purchased season tickets in August 2008 after returning home from my injury.  I have made every home game since that time except for a couple that I was either sick or the weather was too miserable for me to attend without getting sick.  I love Ole Miss with a deep passion.  I graduated from the University in 2006 with my criminal justice degree and decided to stick around to work at Oxford Police Department.  I moved from Oxford back to Tupelo after I got out of the hospital.  So I'm not in Oxford as much as I would like, but I love every chance I get to make it back.

I'll always remember a statement that the first recipient of the Chucky Mullins courage award and football player to wear his number made.  He said I wonder if Chucky would think they picked the right guy.  So I hope that Chucky would think I was deserving of this award.  I've had the opportunity to meet Brad Gaines and the Phillips family that adopted Chucky.  They are all incredible people.  I always say one of the blessings of my injury is the people that have been placed into my life.  I've been very fortunate to meet so many amazing people after my accident that I never would have otherwise.   I always tell people that I'm just lucky that I'm alive and feel very fortunate.  I have a great support system around me with my parents first.  My brother was by my side almost the entire time I was in the hospital.  I've been blessed with great friends that I've met that are also paralyzed.  So I'm very blessed and honored that I was even considered for this.  I am confident that you would have trouble finding too many other people that love Ole Miss the way that I do.  So I know they got that right with this selection.  I just wanted to write a little something for everyone that is checking out my page right now.  It's obvious I will have to update everyone and do a better job of keeping this blog up-to-date.  So I hope you enjoy some of my articles I've written.  I will leave a couple of links below of recent articles written about me receiving this honor.  I'll also leave a link below to an article that I wrote about Chucky Mullins several years ago.  Thanks for checking this out.