Mary Houghton Somerville, MA 9,221 Votes
Mary doesn’t let too many things slow her down. Spastic Athetoid Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy is a diagnosis, but she’s so much more than that. Youngest of eight, Aunt to twelve, Mary was very close to her parents who worked hard to find schools, camps, recreation programs that would offer her the same childhood experiences as other kids.
At 48, Mary now lives with her siblings. She’s made amazing adjustments, and continues to surprise everyone. She communicates by nodding yes or no, facial gestures, or a swift kick. She has great computer skills, enjoys being part of her community. Mary has a lively network of friends and family, and enjoys the beach, shopping, swimming, community events. She has a great smile and a sharp sense of humor.
The only thing slowing Mary down right now is her 15 year-old minivan. Duct tape, a great mechanic, and a little luck kept us going until recently. One window won’t open, one won’t close. The ramp is unpredictable, so we use the other door-we’re not using the most important feature—in traffic people always beep to tell us the door’s not closed properly, but we meet a lot of nice people this way.
So Mary is grounded for now. We’ve had some adventures with putting her chair in a trunk. A friend arrived at an event carrying Mary’s footrest asking, “Has anyone seen Mary Houghton?” I guess we left a piece in the parking lot. Then we loaded the wheelchair in the back of a pickup truck with Mary in the front seat. Thought we were pretty smart, till the rain started. Met a lot of new people that day, too!
This years family reunion was at Myrtle Beach. Mary’s not going to miss that, but flying is tough with equipment, food/medication schedule, and driving wasn’t an option. Airlines seem to go on their own schedule, which doesn’t match up with ours!
We try to walk to as many local events as we can, but the siblings are aging, and we live in a city nicknamed “Ten Hills”! This van would put Mary back in the swing of things with no worries.