Here is the post that got things started… it describes my goals for this 2017 mid-Atlantic, physically accessible birding ‘Big Year’. It also contains a link to an article I wrote several years ago, describing my journey with FSH Muscular Dystrophy.
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Wishing you happy birding…
Hello Friends and Family,
After receiving encouragement to post/send this out, this is likely reaching you because you’ve expressed an interest in this journey, I’ve supported one of your past fundraising efforts, or I think you love me enough to keep me in your circle in spite of my request for your support…
Most of you know I have FSH Muscular Dystrophy (https://www.fshsociety.org; https://www.fshsociety.org/assets/pdf/FSHSociety_FSHWatch_Spring2010.pdf) . This isn’t a new diagnosis, and living fully with this disease has kept me determined and also sensitive to the challenges everyone faces throughout a lifetime. As my FSH MD has progressed rapidly the last few years, I’ve allowed my world to become too small. About mid-summer 2016, I became more determined than ever to fight back even harder, live a bit more boldly, and pursue (at least!) one more great passion.
I’ve been passionate about birds and birding since childhood, however in recent years birding has become an increasingly important part of my day and a constant source of great joy. Drawing inspiration from Nancy at https://momsbigyear.com and Kelley at https://www.mymigrainebrain.com/category/recovery-big-year/, the idea grew to challenge myself to a 2017 mid-Atlantic, physically accessible birding ‘Big Year’ (to learn more about a birding big year, I encourage you to read http://listing.aba.org/big-year-rules/ or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_year or watch The Big Year http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1053810/ )
I set goals of:
- making at least two birding trips per month outside of our Saving Grace property (a tough one, since we have so many amazing birds right here at home!!)
- seeing as many birds as possible (I initially wondered if I would reach 100)
- giving back at the end of the year by documenting physically accessible birding locations throughout the mid-Atlantic region (when birding, I am always with at least a cane, often a walker, and sometimes a mobility scooter. I also use creative supports, such a mount and monopod for my binoculars)
- raising awareness of FSH Muscular Dystrophy and, here’s a tough one…
- seeking donations to the FSH Society, to fund ongoing research in the fight against this disease
I’ve had an amazing start to the year, and am enjoying this challenge more than words can convey. As of February 28th, I completed six birding adventures and observed 104 different bird species. I’ve joined a wonderful local birding club, and have been encouraged by the positive responses to my goals for the year.
And now, here is where I’m asking for your help. If you feel moved to be part of this journey, reach out if you’d like to go birding sometime. If part of my story inspires you to support the FSH Society, please do so. You can donate online at https://www.fshsociety.org/make-gift/ or by sending a check to
450 Bedford Street Lexington, MA 02420 USA
** Please be sure to note “Deb’s 2017 Big Year” with your donation**
And, if you’d like to add a bit of fun or challenge to your donation, please feel free to set a particular mid-Atlantic bird or certain number of species as a goal for me to reach!
And, now that I (finally!) have my blog going, please be sure to follow along at gimpygirlgoesbirding.com
With love and kindness,