In 2016 Ali suffered 4th degree burns to her feet. They were burned through to the bone, roasting the muscle and ligament requiring six months of weekly skin scrapings, skin grafts, and even experimental stem cell treatments. This trauma activated a rare condition in both feet called Charcot foot. Charcot is a condition causing the bones in the feet to randomly break. The first time Ali walked after suffering her burns she broke both of her feet in half. No one knows what activates Charcot episodes. Eventually, the feet deteriorate requiring amputation. She was told she would most likely not walk farther than her bedroom to bathroom again and would depend on a wheelchair for mobility. After two years of hard work, Ali hiked eight miles to the top of a mountain in Sequoia. Ali realizes her condition is currently dormant and any day her feet could begin to crumble again. Now she takes no step for granted. She hopes to inspire those facing chronic illness, diabetes complications, and daily adversity to embrace their challenges, face their fears, and live to their fullest potential!

"The greatest risk any of us will take is to be seen as we truly are."  

~ Cinderella

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February 13, 2020

In response to the question "How do I stop being so miserable?" I shared this the other day on reddit - Three years ago I broke both my feet in half and was diagnosed with a rare condition making the bones in my feet break at random times. Eventually, for some, your feet become like sandbags and require below the knee amputation. It's rare to get it in one foot - I got it in both. I was living high up in a canyon in my parent'...

July 20, 2017

Feeling cold and lonely after having your heart broken? Here are some steps to moving on:

You're most likely feeling confused and have a lot of questions like, "Why did he go from being a hot potato to cold leek soup in 2.5 microwaveable seconds?" or, "Wait, does "forever and always" have a different meaning from what I thought?"

It's a mourning process. Let it all out. Snuggle up in bed with your comfiest pillow, put on your fa...

July 13, 2017

When I heard the name of my condition, Charcot, I was relieved it at least sounded like the name of a romantic poet rather than a bone destroying autoimmune condition. And then I learned Charcot is actually the name of the doctor in the late 1800's who discovered the deforming disease due to the multitudes of men coming to him with tertiary symptoms of syphilis. That's right, turns out the dreaded STD not only affects your pet...

June 27, 2017

The day my doctor informed me I would depend on a wheelchair for the rest of my life was a tough one. When I learned Charcot has no cure and eventually I may lose both of my legs below the knee was even tougher. Being told I couldn't swim again due to the risk of infection leading to amputation was by far the most devastating news of all.

The water has always been my solace. My first memory is of my father t...

May 31, 2017

Don't be afraid of the T1D Big Bad Wolf known as "diabetic complications". Yes, they are scary things to face. Yes, living with complications is life altering. However, they are not as malevolent as the curse Maleficent cast upon Sleeping Beauty. I consider my own complications my many Prince Charmings (yes, you read that right, I have plural princes). When those handsome beasts (Belle would approve) arrived to awaken me from...

May 17, 2017

Recently I attended my first JDRF support group. I had no idea what to expect. After shoving my way awkwardly through the heavy glass door of the Garden Cafe I was greeted by the stare of six surprised women. They looked at me as if I were the Boogeyman coming to snatch away their cold pressed juices and fruit parfaits. Each of them was a mother of a T1D child. Seeing me was like seeing their biggest fears in the flesh.

I clums...

April 28, 2017

He stood alone amongst the throngs of people congregating at the crowded bar. My friends and I had stopped into Austin's original Ginger Man pub to commence our evening of festivities. As a fresh 21 year old learning the art of nabbing a bartender’s attention I was relishing in the frenzy of the foray. I thought I was pretty cool sporting my fresh off the press legal-to-drink ID and hanging at a pub where the name reminded me...

April 24, 2017

I am intensely affected by movies. When I saw Paranormal Activity, the low budget horror film about a couple living together when a dark presence eventually possesses the girl to the point of no return, it took nearly a month for me to recover. 

The first night I lay awake in bed with the covers clutched under my chin, wide-eyed, staring at the ceiling. Every bump in the night spooked me. When my eyes finally became heavy the c...

April 10, 2017

The outpouring of support I have received since opening up to the world about my being in a wheelchair has been astounding. Since beginning this blog I’ve had an amazing amount of encouragement from friends and strangers alike. It’s helped me to be brave and continue to push forward. I couldn’t be more thankful for both the digital and analog worlds. If it weren’t for my desire to pay it forward to those who have been so suppo...

April 5, 2017

Things I've discovered about living life in a wheelchair:

  • When I was diagnosed with Charcot in both of my feet my doctor advised my family I move into a nursing home. I'm 31 years old. I was devastated. Due to our home not being wheelchair accessible he believed there was no other option. Well, I'm not one to accept defeat easily. I'm proud to say with the moral support of my parents and a pair of $29.99 gardening knee...

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© 2017 created with 🖤 by Ali Dugger