Working with a Spinal Cord Injury

Monica teaches

(Photo Credit: Sun Journal)

In honor of Labor Day weekend and September being SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) Awareness Month, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to get hired! Yes, it is stressful to find a job or a volunteer position, disabled or not, but it can be a great way to be a part of the community.

There are also additional aspects to consider such as the ability to drive, have someone drive you or public transport. Your personal health care needs, medical supplies, insurance and pain management are also factors.  There are many options available to fit your lifestyle and needs, it is not a one size fits all. It can be done and it is worth it; it does require planning and deciding what is right for you. Overall, it is a personal choice.

Don’t get discouraged, and it is okay to ask for help. Get a job coach, seek out Vocational Rehab or support groups in your area. To put it in perspective, it took me 200 applications and 22 interviews to get my first college teaching job.

My physical disability as a wheelchair user is a bit obvious, but whatever your disability is, the right place will be welcoming and accommodating.

Wheel Love, Monica xo

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September, SCI Awareness Month!

Life with a spinal cord injury is a lot of things… some you might know, some you might not know. September is spinal cord injury awareness month, and I am going to share my life, the rolling life, with you! Ready or not, here we gooooo… Cheers🥂

Please Support the USA Women’s Sledge Hockey Team, it’s Only $10!

Plate Covers USAYour help is needed. 

I have to sell license plate covers for $10 each to support our USA Women’s Sled Hockey Team! We are funded ONLY by donations and private donors, so your donation really helps. I made it easy with PayPal on my website- please click the donate button on the right or click on/select from the Menu above and choose “How Can I Help?” Then, click on the yellow donate button. Please remember to include your information. Thank you in advance! It is greatly appreciated.

These license plates would be great for your car, man cave or she shed! Your support allows me to continue with USA and I cannot explain in words how much it means to me. Thank you so much and gooooo USA! xo

Update: The order date for plates has been extended to January 2016, this is a GREAT way to show your love and support for adaptive sports and disabled athletes!

Press Release: 2015-2016 Women’s USA Sledge Hockey Team Roster

2015 Tryouts
All the ladies that came to tryout this year, almost 30- woah!

The coaches and staff of the US Women’s Sledge Hockey Team are proud to announce the roster for the 2015/2016 season. There were 17 players selected to the team this year.
This years’ selection camp was held in Lewiston, Maine at The Androscoggin Bank Colisée and was attended by a record 28 talented female sledge hockey players who were competing for the privilege of playing on the team. Throughout the weekend the players participated in two practices and two intrasquad games after which the team was selected by Head Coach Shawna Davidson and Assistant Coach Rose Misiewicz. Of the 17 players selected to the team, typically 15 of those will travel to each event we attend this season.
Additionally, we are excited to announce that because of the number of talented players we had in attendance, 6 players were selected to be a part of the first ever USA Women’s Developmental Sledge Hockey Team. That teams’ schedule has yet to be determined.
This year, the team is comprised of 9 forwards, 6 defense and 2 goalies. This years’ returning players in alphabetical order by first name are Christy Gardner (ME), Erica Mitchell (Ill), Karen Smith (CT), Kelly Lavoie (CT), Kelsey DiClaudio (PA), Khrista Matthews (FL), Laurie Wood (VA), Monica Quimby (FL), Morgan Hosbrough (OH), Robynne Hill (CO) and Susie Kluting (MI). New players joining the roster this year are Brynn Duncan (MN), Elizabeth Mayberry (OH), Katie Ladlie (MO), Maddie Eberhard (NY) Rachel Grusse (CT), and Sarah Bettencourt (CA).
The players who were selected to participate in the newly created development team are Abby Hess (CO), Karina Villegas (FL), Kelli Anne Stallkamp (OH), Laurel Lawson (GA), Leanne Smith (MA) and Liz Davis (Ill).
Congratulations to all the players who were selected for the teams this year, and we look forward to an exciting season that will see us traveling to places such as Canada, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, Arizona, Ohio, to name a few.

Women’s USA vs. Women’s Canada, and Men’s USA Sledge Hockey are World Champs!

This weekend May 1-3, 2015 the Women’s USA Sledge (Sled) Hockey Team, comprised of 13 players from around the country, to compete in a 3-game series vs. Canada. We flew into Buffalo, NY on Thursday, April 30 with a warm welcome from the airport and two Team USA Olympians joined us for practice that evening. 

waching the gameOur games took place at the Northtown Center in Amherst, NY and the first game of the series we tied at the end of the third period and went into a 5-minute overtime, with Rachel Grusse scoring the winning OT goal off a rebound. The final score 4-3, USA.

That evening we went to the HARBORCENTER to watch the Semifinals for the Men’s Sledge Hockey World Championships. The first game was Canada vs. Russia- close game with 12 shots each by third period. Canada came out on top, 3-2 against Russia. The second game was USA vs. Norway resulting in a complete shutout with 29 shots to 7 respectfully, a 6-0 final. Yay! Each winner of the semifinals go on to the Gold medal game, USA vs. Canada in the FINALS!!! slapshottttt

The next day we headed back to Northtown to play our Game 2. USA women’s sled hockey team ended up with a 2-4 score, but we played the second game harder and faster as a team. We got to meet the stars of the 1977 movie Slapshot, which was fun! The series was now tied 1-1, here we go. That evening we went as a team to the famous Duff’s Wings. We watched the Kentucky Derby (Really??? Never would of picked that winner) and USA Hockey (upright). It was time to get to bed early because our last game was at 7:30am the next morning…

After a quick cold breakfast, we headed to the rink for our last game. The game was fast and intense, tying in the third period. We put another 5 minutes on the clock in OT, and Kelsey DiClaudio scored top shelf within 38 seconds for the win! Therefore winning the series with Canada, 2-1.

Our USA Women’s Sled Hockey Team top scorers during the series were Kelsey DiClaudio of Pittsburgh and Erica Mitchell of Chicago, (Captain).

all 3 USA april 30I was flying back into Tampa when the Men’s USA Team was playing the Gold medal game at 2:30pm, aired live on NBC Sports. As soon as I landed, my phone was blowing up and the game was super close as 0-0 until the third period. Then USA dominated with a 3-0 shut out vs. Canada winning the Gold  for the 2015 World Championships!

The picture includes the 3 USA teams, Men’s, Women’s and Development that ALL won their games vs. Canada! Hockey love ❤

USA Women’s and USA Men’s Development Team in Indian Trail, NC

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@monicaquimby Instagram

This weekend, Feb 19-22, was incredibly fun and a growing experience in the sport of sled hockey. I am so excited I got pulled up for the event with the USA women’s team and got to play with the USA developmental men’s team. We had a TON of ice time with a total of about 10 hours, (which was great!!!)

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@USWomenSledHcky Twitter

After the flight in on Thursday, we arrived at the hotel to put our stuff down and grab something to eat before the first practice that evening. We had a joint practice with the men’s team running plays, shooting and passing.

The next day we had two solo USA women’s practices after breakfast at the hotel, one in the morning and one in the evening.  We went over drills and plays in the morning. We also broke up into offense and defense to develop with our lines. We headed back for a quick clean up and lunch at the hotel, then back to the rink for another practice. We did more drills and we also scrimmaged in small groups working on different areas. We also took this awesome pic at the rink with the Goodyear tires laying around- NASCAR country!

The last day we had one more solo women’s practice in the morning and after lunch we had a large scrimmage with the men’s development team with two, 45 minute halves. It was a blast, but I hurt my left hand within a few seconds on the ice by catching my hand between a player’s skag (nose of the sled) and the boards… ouch! Thankfully, just a bad bruise and I iced it between line changes. If it isn’t broken, you play! Welcome to hockey, baby.

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@kelseydiclaudio Twitter

That evening we went to the Charlotte Motor Speedway club house to have dinner overlooking the track all lit up, soooo cool!

Thank you to USA Hockey, the USA men’s development sled hockey team, the Extreme Ice Center, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway from the women’s USA sled hockey team! You’re the best ladies. Hockey love ❤

What I ‘accept’ that makes me happy

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Today is a special day, and it is focused on acceptance. I interpret this as accepting myself for who and what I am, disability and all.

One definition of acceptance is though the root word accept is, to agree or consent to. I think the definition I identify the most with acceptance is to undertake the responsibilities, duties, honors, etc. of. To me, this really encompasses what I go through daily. I view myself as an educator and a teacher, not only in the conventional sense, but metaphorical. I teach by sharing my experiences in life. If it is at UPS and a father is asking me how I can explain pushing up a ramp so he can tell his 10 year old wheelchair using daughter or doing public speaking events of 500+ people. I  accept that my accident has left me in chronic pain and paralyzed without the ability to walk, feel or control autonomic functions. I accept the ups and downs in life. I accept that this is my current form. I accept that I can make a choice. I choose to be happy.

What do I accept that makes me happy?julias pic

I accept love and kindness. I have learned how to accept a helping hand to reach something on the top shelf when I’m trying to make a fulcrum using a spaghetti box on a lower shelf to fling it down. I accept that some people, places and things need to be let go of in order to become happy. I accept that no goal is too lofty and no dream is too big. I accept, I am beautiful and worthy of love (these are hard ones for me!) I accept I can be of service and give back to my community, which gives me so much in return. I accept I am different and always have been, even before the accident. I accept time in nature every day is important to my being. I accept I do not live a conventional lifestyle. I accept working out as a challenge, testing me to find any and all muscles that can still function. I can accept, I am still an athlete. I accept that I can still contribute and help relaunch the new floridasledhockey.com website, a sport that I love.

I accept their are some things that I can’t do, but there is so much that I can. 🙂

What makes you happy? Please leave a comment!