All of us have life-changing moments and one of mine happened 16 years ago. 

I suffered a seizure, fell down my steps tumbling into my garden, instantly paralyzing my legs. 

However, when I woke up, the only thing I could move were my eyes. I was told, “you shouldn’t, you can’t and you will never use your hands.” I heard this from my doctor, nurses, family and acquaintances. 

If I would have listened to others, I would still be totally dependent on others for my basic needs and more importantly would not have the use of my arms and hands.

What saved me and healed me was to keep trying to do everything I used to do before my injury no matter how hard it was or how funny I looked or even how uncomfortable I made others feel. 

The difference between John Fetterman and myself is his doctors are encouraging him to run for office while stating that he is fit to serve. Who are we to judge what others can or cannot do? 

I want to say thank you to everyone who accepted me and made room for me in our community. Thank you for caring for me until I could care for myself. Johnstown is an awesome place to live.

Shelly Kerchner

Johnstown

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