Baby steps

Leilani Ganser - Atlanta, GA

Baby steps

In the summer of 2012, I was diagnosed with an illness called Pyomyositis tropicans. I had a series of abscesses spreading from my lower spine, through my hips, and down through my left leg. By my third day in the hospital, a doctor told me my leg would be amputated and even with an amputation, there was a chance I could die. Somehow, I recovered. I was released from the hospital into home care and needed a wheelchair to get around, though I could still stand and walk for short distances. I was put into physical rehabilitation to learn to walk. But first I learned to pedal. Bicycling was low impact and was one of the best ways I could regain my strength. When I started rehab, though, I couldn't even bike a quarter mile. I kept at it and eventually was connected with the bicycling advocacy organizations in Miami where I was living at the time. Learning to bike gave me the strength I needed to walk again but there was little that could get me to stop pedaling. Biking is the reason I can walk to and from classes today.

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