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With Thanksgiving just a mere day away, we have a tendency to reflect on what we are most thankful for.  For most of us, we have so much that we are thankful for that putting it into words takes a lot of time. There is always the small things that you take for granted, things you don’t realize you’re thankful for, until you don’t have it. For instance, I recently spent 5 months training for a 10K race. HardRock 5K Two days before the race, while out running, I tripped and fell on an uneven section of the sidewalk. I knew immediately that something was terribly wrong. I got up and finished running home, albeit, at a much slower pace and in excruciating pain. As it turned out, I fractured my radial head (the end of the radius bone at your elbow).  I just recently got the go ahead to type and I can almost fully extend my arm. It’s one of those small things that I’m thankful for. Being able to fully extend my arm will make a lot of what I do daily much easier!

I know that I have a lot to be thankful for and it’s hard to say what I’m most thankful for. However, an important part of who I am is being deaf. I lost my hearing at the age of 44. When you have a life-altering event like that, it changes you. It also makes you aware of those things you are thankful for. In regards to my hearing loss, I am most thankful for all the scientists and doctors who dedicated so much time in the creation of the cochlear implants. It’s a medical miracle for those who have hearing loss and want to hear again.

When I think about the people in my life, I am constantly reminded of just how lucky I am. I have been blessed with the most amazing family, from my parents, brother, kids, nieces, and nephews all the way to my grandnephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. I have the most incredible husband. He is someone who has seen me at my worse and always manages to lift me up. He listens patiently to all of my crazy ideas and always encourages me to go for it. He even ignores me when I’m having one of those insane days where all I seem to do is nag or complain. I am so thankful for all of my family and I’m so blessed that they are my family. cheriIn addition, I cannot begin to express gratitude for the friends in my life. These are people who can just up and walk out of my life at any given moment, but instead they choose to stay in my life, always inspiring me to be a better person. They have, on many occasions, given me praise for my good work, reached out and given their unconditional love and made me laugh and cry with them. If that wasn’t good enough, I have been blessed to have an added set of people in my life. Thanks to Survivor, I have fans. Fans are such a special group of people. These are people who look up to you and at times, even put you on a pedestal. It’s one of the things that has really blown me away, because I was once a fan and in some ways, I still am. Fans are like friends, but in a lot of cases I haven’t had the the pleasure of meeting in real-life. They are a special part of my life, because they are so giving, always encouraging and accept you for who you are. I’m very thankful for my fans.

I wake up every morning, walk downstairs and into the kitchen ready to start my day. Monday through Fridays are always the same. I make myself a Chai Tea Latte and make lunches for my son and granddaughter. It’s something I do everyday, and everyday I am very thankful that I have a warm cozy bed, a roof over my head and a kitchen fully stocked with food. I think about how my life is made easy by having everything I need to go about my day and not have to worry. It wasn’t always like that for me. I have always had a roof over my head, food and clothes on my back, but there were times in my life when I worried.

I have been very fortunate in the last year to have been involved in some amazing charity work. I’m so thankful to those who invited me to help.sign They gave me the chance to give back. Charity work always weighs heavy on my mind during the holiday season because I know there are so many who are less fortunate. Charity isn’t always about giving money, sometimes it’s just about giving your time or your talents.

I am truly thankful for everything that has happened in my life which opened new doors for me and everyone who’s paths I have crossed.