Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,

Can circumvent or hinder or control

The firm resolve of a determined soul.

Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;

All things give way before it, soon or late.

What obstacle  can stay the mighty force

Of the sea-seeking river in its course,

Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?

Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.

Let the fool prate of luck.  The fortunate

Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,

Whose slightest action or inaction serves

The one great aim.  Why, even Death stands still,

And waits an hour sometimes for such a will.


My friend Di Billick was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. For those of you who don't know (I never did) it's a hereditary nerve disease which results in muscle atrophy, especially in the arms and legs.  She's been told by doctors  to avoid too much stress on her body.  After a while of considering that and allowing the disease take it's toll, she decided that instead of simply succumbing to her circumstances, she would do her best to defend what strength she had and build up even more.

After two years of the exercise she wasn't supposed to do, Di is going to participate this Saturday, 7 April 2012 in Valparaiso's Ringing in Spring 5k and 10k run. She won't be running, but her goal is to complete it.  It's such a feat for someone with her condition, that the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation published an article about her this month, and I was honored when she asked me to take the photo that would accompany it.  Read the article here, to understand more of what motivated her to do what most in her situation would consider next to impossible.