Brandon's Blog

A look at life's happenings in the world of sports & in general

Archive for March 2013

California this isn’t goodbye / Minnesota I’m coming back but you have to share me

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Sitting here alone in my motel room my preparation for tomorrow done. I can finally do right by my heart and let out what has been a flood of emotion since this morning, none of it sadness but a flood nonetheless.


How can I possibly express what I feel in my heart for the eighteen years California has been my home?

I was given my best friend twelve years ago, and tomorrow when I fly half way across the country she will still be apart of my life. I could fly half way across the world and she would still be apart of my life because that’s just the kind of person she is…geography won’t ever change us. Good times, bad times and everything in between she has always been there for me.

I was given my ability to drive and thus have total independence, for someone such as myself who has heard from his birth “total care’ being thrown about the day I got my drivers license put that to rest.

I was given my first job working at the company that my father worked for and what was the source of his transfer that brought us to Santa Barbara in 1995, but I was given that job and expected to keep it on my own accord and merit not because my last name is Oney. I kept it until a corporate merger, then bridged into two other filler jobs until I was given the chance to do what I love, hospital admin support type work. I was given my professional passion. There in I was given a tremendous circle of friends all of whom will remain apart of my life.

I was given the wheelchair camp at UCSB where I have yet another extremely large circle of friends and mentors who relate to me on a level all our own because we each overcome our own physical obstacles. That first summer camp gave me something else, my first wheelchair. My life was formed in 1995 ultimate daily independence was given to me that day, combine that with the driving mentioned above and you get Life Independence.

I was given my adulthood 12 years old upon arrival 30 years old today, life lessons have been learned some through great tribulation but all combined have made me a man, I arrived a boy. I grew up here….these 18 years have represented over half my life.

I was given very recently the greatest wheelchair I’ve ever had, evolving from that first one in 1995, thru three others I sit here tonight writing this in a chair fully molded to my body from the ground up, to go along with that I was given the gift of self dedication to my own fitness, remember my best friend? Yeah, she encouraged me to get involved at her gym, and I connected there with a great trainer who had me climbing stairs very soon after my start amongst many other things, its been such a joy for me to see my own physical improvements from that first day until now.

There has been so much that has transpired that has shaped my life and so many tremendous people have entered my life as a result of it all. How can I ever repay that? except to say that California will always hold an active presence in my life and though I may no longer live here I will definitely keep active contacts and will be back for visits many times.

I was overcome today with the flurry of messages I knew it before but today was a reminder that California has a lot of love for this Minnesota transplant. Did I mention that Santa Barbara itself is hands down the most breathtaking city I have ever seen? Sandwiched between the mountains and ocean and temps at 70 + & sunny nearly year around? Yeah it’s paradise!

All of this said there is no sadness in my heart tonight only admiration and respect for all of you that have been brought into my life over these eighteen years, I give all praise and glory to my savior for nothing and no one brought into my life would have been without the grace of God.

There is no goodbye coming from me California because goodbye is an ending and I’m not done with you yet not by a long shot. Much Love


Tomorrow I get my whole family back, and yes Wisconsin I must give you mention too because I have family there equally as well. Some of you I haven’t seen for 18 years, some of you I saw as recent as this January…either way I return tomorrow to the Midwest a man none of you has seen before, I can’t make up for lost time, but I look so so very much forward tonight to what will be a whirlwind flurry of reunions 🙂 I think all of you are going to enjoy the beaming smile you will see on my face, especially those of you that saw me in January….I truly do feel born again, the #1 reason is my rededication to God, #2 is my vastly improved physical fitness and health (thank you again to my best friend and thanks of course to my trainer) and yes my fitness activities will continue in the frozen north #3 is my new chair, yes its a chair but a chair that serves as my legs, my own self confidence has skyrocketed because the piece of equipment that literally carries me through daily life now fits me like a glove….I have my passion and love for life lit again and its burning very bright.

In Closing:

I give all thanks and glory again to God, he gave me California in my life and he is giving me back Minnesota while keeping California in it…..translation…my life is really filled with blessings across the country quite literally, and this is an incredible thing…so very humbled and so very blessed.


Written by Brandon

March 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Life

Imperfect Perfection

with 2 comments

Those that know me know that I don’t often think twice about my life in terms of being disabled, I dislike even that classification. I live life everyday just as everyone else does, the only time I may even think about the fact that I use a chair is when I search for accessible parking spots or have trouble reading the card readers at the checkout counters in stores because a lot of time they are bolted at a level just above my head so as to make the text on the screen look like shadows.

Today I found myself thinking about my physical lifestyle in a powerful moment of reflection which has driven me to write this entry, but I will detail that later.

For those that don’t know I was born November 7, 1982 in Minneapolis Minnesota weighing a mere 2lbs. 6 oz, I was a tiny premie greeting the world three months early I was to have been born January 22, 1983 had I gone full term. My parents and family were by my side from that first night, the doctors said I may not live to make a trip home outside the four hospital walls, and even if I did then I may have brain damage to the point of needing round the clock care. My family knew better looking at those doctors saying I would not die, and no matter how long it took I would come home.

My family was right it took several months but I made that trip home, I had survived what came two years later would shape the foundation for the rest of my life, at age two I wasn’t walking like my brothers had so my parents knew something wasn’t right. I was taken to specialists who through a series of test were able to determine I wasn’t walking because I had Cerebral Palsy (CP), a neurological condition brought on my premature birth and a brain hemorrhage I suffered a week after my birth.

CP would not define me if my parents had anything to say about it, they immediately got me working with a private physical therapist named Nancy who would see me twice a week from then at age two until I would move for Minnesota to California at age twelve. It didn’t stop with Nancy though my parents continued therapy techniques on her off days, as did the most amazing baby sitter ever a woman who treated me like her own son and still does to this day, never forgetting a birthday amongst so many other things still to this day…..Connie hung different material samples from her ceiling in my early years so I could get past my tactile motor sensitivities, who transforms their house for a child that doesn’t have her last name? An incredible lady who I will love forever 🙂

I would walk with a walker for ten years in Minnesota along with the use of AFO leg braces thanks to all of the therapy, that would change when my parents moved me to Santa Barbara California in the summer of 1995 due to my Dad getting a job transfer I went to a wheelchair sports camp and my parents saw that my function in a chair was vastly improved of that when I walked from a stamina & independence standpoint. From 1995 to 2013 I would be in different size but always the same style Quickie basic measure standard stock aluminum lightweight chair.

Independent nearly every day for those 18 years, sands a three month recovery post surgery my sophomore year of high school the daily basic functions of life became second nature and my chair was only a tool I used to aide me, never truly thought about on its own.

This is why I write tonight, after 18 years in a Quickie stock lightweight chair, last week I went into a TiLite Ultra lightweight Titanium chair with a full custom fit seat and backrest by Ride Designs, though great 18 years of familiarity were gone with my Quickie chair. Where I would hold for transfers, where I would grip for lifts into my car, all of that gone.

I had to reinvent my life routines last week, and it was extremely scary, each transfer in and out of my new chair brought fear of falling, I got through last week but things took me just that much longer…..until today…….that is why I write tonight. I went into the bathroom today after a haircut to take a shower and there was no fear there were no pauses in my movement. I cannot stand any longer like I did when I was 12 because of a hip problem and nerve damage in my left foot, I’m 30 years old and the only letters I can write in cursive script are those of my name in order to sign checks because that is what my parents wanted me to learn, and nothing more….but I realized tonight God has truly blessed me with physically imperfect perfection, I have all of the essential life skills to function and live with full independence when those doctors all said it wouldn’t be so thirty years ago.

The ability for my body to adapt to my new chair so seamlessly is an amazing gift, I was consciously aware of everything last week and today I didn’t give the potential of falling and the unfamiliarity with my new equipment a second thought until I was done and entirely dressed. That is why I write tonight, in 24 days I will once again call Minnesota home, that will mean relearning transfer layouts in a new apartment, there will be the same few days of caution but today I was shown that in creating me God made me physically imperfectly perfect, there is no physical obstacle I have in my life for which I don’t have the tools to adapt and overcome. I know tonight that I will now be able to harness all the benefits of this new chair and the reasons for which I went into this full custom direction.

When I wake up at to greet tomorrow’s dawn I know that once again my disability will be in the the background as a non thought and Brandon the man will be in the foreground and I wouldn’t want it any other way, I’m so blessed, so thankful & so very happy 🙂

Written by Brandon

March 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Life