Each week we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. This week we’re featuring Patrick Boland, a 9-year-old boy who was diagnosed with CRPS, a disease of the nervous system. Once an avid athlete, Patrick has had to re-learn how to walk — but he hasn’t let it get him down. Here’s what she had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Accomplishment? Hmmm, well, I think that my greatest accomplishment lately is that I re-learned how to walk in December after having been off my CRPS foot for almost four months. It was really hard but now I know I can push though and it will be worth it.
How did you achieve it?
I was in the hospital for a week and things started off really hard, but I as able to turn around my attitude and really get focused and that made it possible for me to push through the pain to achieve my goal.
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I decided to start Ferocious Fighters because CRPS is really isolating and for a long time I thought I was the only one who had it. Getting to know other kids through the Google group my mom set up helped me to not feel alone. I want to send care packages to other CRPS kids in order to make sure they don’t feel alone.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
This is a bigger challenge now than it used to be. Before CRPS I did Tae Kwon Do three days a week all year long and also played basketball, baseball, soccer, and football. I also ran my first 5K in November of 2011. But now, when just walking is a challenge, I am still able to swim and have just started working with horses to help me keep my mobility through the pain.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I have two. First, when the pain is really bad think about something else and take deep breathes. And second, attitude is everything!
What’s your favorite aspect of Charity Miles?
I really like that I can walk and raise money to change the lives of others who may also be struggling to walk.
Who do you exercise for and why?
I am really hoping that one day I’ll be able to get Ferocious Fighters on the list for Charity Miles, that way I can walk for CRPS kids everywhere, until then my mom and I are walking for Stand Up to Cancer in honor of my Uncle Giles who died last month of cancer.