Lance Hiltz
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From: Monday, April 6, 2015 10:42 AM -0600
Subject:Imagine One Day if YOU Woke up and Couldn't Walk

Here is Kevins story, "What started as a typical Saturday night of partying for the skateboarding, snowboarding, hockey playing Kevin Brooks quickly turned tragic with a fateful poor choice. Fueled by a deadly combination of alcohol, testosterone and that fearless it will never happen to me attitudeoften held by young people, Kevin left a party. Driving intoxicated, distracted and in excessive speeds, he was not alone. Beside him sat his passenger and childhood hockey friend BrendonWeeks later Kevin would learn the devastating news as he lay in a hospital bed on life support. He was paralyzed from the chest down and would now rely on a wheelchair to get him around. In disbelief Kevin tried to move his legs. He gave everything he had to just wiggle his toes, but his lower body lay still. As if this news was not bad enough, Brendon had not survived the crash. Horrified, Kevins first thoughts were of giving up and ending his life. However, suicide was hardly possible at this early point in his recovery Kevin being paralyzed and confined to a bed. He was left to lay there with his thoughts, his guilt, and the overwhelming sadness and fear that had enveloped this once active and care free young man. Kevins family and friends as well as Brendons family, rallied to support Kevin during the darkest days of his life. His attitude began to change, and soon Kevins thoughts were focused more on figuring out how to live than they were on wanting to die. Brendon and I grew up together. Our families spent so much time at the rink and on road trips. My sister Allison dated Bren in high school. Our parents always got along well, and Brens parents were always good to me. When I learned of their support following the crash I was at first surprised. Facing them was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life even with their support. They truly gave me another chance, and I knew I had to do something positive with it. They also taught me an invaluable lesson in forgivenessIt would take months of rehabilitation to heal a grocery list of injuries combined with seemingly every infection a hospital could offer. Still faced with such insurmountable challenges, Kevin chose to swim rather than sinkand swim he would."

Just a few days ago this inspiring and moving speaker came to LCHS to tell us his story. One moment he had us all laughing and the next it got very serious but I think that's how he gets the point across that anyone can overcome obstacles in life you just got find a way not be pulled down.

Kevin's "Just Wiggle Your Toes" is very powerful because he one day realized that the simplest things in life were taken away from him, but yet as he grew stronger as a person he found ways to conquer these obstacles.

Thanks Kevin Brooks for moving, inspiring and life changing words!


-Brandi Senko-Loose, LCHS School Reporter