“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” In a nutshell, those words describe Judy’s attitude toward life. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 46 years ago, and secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis several years later, Judy cannot walk or stand and has limited use of her left arm and hand. But that hasn’t stopped her. Widowed 20 years ago, Judy moved to Regina in 2005 to be closer to her grandchildren. Judy describes it as the best move she’s ever made.
She knew that in order to be happy she had to make a life for herself in Regina. As a person who loves being active, Judy soon discovered the ‘Wind On My Wings Sailing Club’. It didn’t matter that she’d never been on sailboat, couldn’t swim, and didn’t know how she could physically do it, she was going to try. Her life has not been the same since. Sailing is her passion. She competes every year at the Mobility Cup which has given her the opportunity to travel across Canada and meet amazing people. When asked what she enjoys the most about sailing, Judy lights up, “It’s the freedom and the opportunity to leave my disability behind, it removes all physical and attitudinal barriers that people with disabilities face every day. It’s not about winning; it’s about competing against myself, and getting better each year. It’s about friendship and laughter.”
Judy completed the process to become a Centre with the REALM Foundation in 2010 but due to unusual circumstances, there was a delay. Judy knew that building a support network with REALM was right for her, and her belief that if there is a will there is way, paid off and in 2012, her network came together.
Without her network Judy feels she would be out in left field all alone. “My network gives me perspective and provides support especially through those tougher moments. They don’t judge me, they help figure out ways that I can live the life I want.” Judy shares her experience with other people with high physical disabilities, by volunteering on two REALM networks.
When Judy isn’t working, spending time with her family or passionately pursuing new experiences and challenges, she loves to read and listen to music. “I treasure just chilling in my apartment but it usually doesn’t last long. I’ve got places to go, people to see and adventures to live!” What’s next on Judy’s bucket list? Sky-diving, bungee jumping and travel!