Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Biggest Loser and Most Inspirational 2010

Biggest Loser Wendi Kotlinsky, White Bear Lake, 24 pounds

Wendi is a cancer survivor. Only one year ago, a routine pap smear revealed the worst kind of cervical cancer. Her doctor told her “you will need immediate surgery, chemo, radiation and your chances of survival are very, very slim.” A month and just one surgery later, her cancer was gone. Recently she’s had a renewed interest in making healthier choices and being proactive about taking care of herself. She says MOTR has been a part of this and has changed her life. Wendi will need to stay warm this winter as she continues to work out, so she will be getting a MOTR warmup jacket!

Most Inspirational 2010
Brenda Giese, Blaine

(An ASL interpreter was available at the banquet to sign this for Brenda.)

In April of this year I received a phone call unlike any I’d ever gotten. The video interpreter over the phone let me know she had a deaf woman on the phone and that she would help me communicate with her. The woman on the phone wasn’t sure if the program would work for her. Would the instructor be willing to talk directly to her so that she could read lips? I confirmed with the Blaine instructor Shannon, who has experience with the hearing impaired from her years in law enforcement. Brenda Giese jumped right on board, and has been a huge fan of the program. She has had great attendance and has even joined us for optional events such as our volunteer shift at Feed My Starving Children. She has even asked if she can volunteer to donate her time to help this program. She got involved with her team as much as anyone else. Her excitement is contagious and I always look forward to seeing her, even though she calls boot camp “torture camp” (Ironically, she has signed up for torture camp this fall!). She has spread word of the program to her friends who are also deaf, and wants to serve as a go-between to get them involved in the program. When I saw her run at the race course Tuesday night I couldn’t believe how fast she had gotten since I last had been to Blaine. She has worked hard and shown such determination to never let her disability get in the way. Also receiving a warmup jacket, Most Inspirational 2010, Brenda Giese

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