I loved the country I was fortunate enough to grow up in, Mexico, a country full of passion for life. Although my heart ached because it was in Mexico, in my mother country, that I got hurt in and did not receive the medical care I expected, Mexico is still the place that saw me grow up impacting my life forever. I have visited Mexico several times since I have been in a wheelchair, and I have found people to be very kind and helpful. These genuine gestures have helped me let go of my disappointment in Mexico. Because I have experienced such good memories rolling around in my wheelchair in Mexico, of course it was always a dream of mine to be able to walk again, as I only had memories of my childhood walking around in Mexico; but I never knew that could ever be possible. It was hard to visualize myself “walking” in Mexico, as I simply wanted to accept my reality, in a wheelchair and be happy for being alive.
When the opportunity came to me to take the exoskeleton, Ekso, with Ekso Bionics for the first time to Mexico, I was honored and overwhelmed with happiness and excitement! It was about to be the first time Ekso would be in Mexico, and it would be the first time I would get to take some steps in my mother country! What I thought would never be possible was about to come true! Not only where these the “first” events, but it would also be the first time I would get to face a large audience while standing up, a dream I had as a speaker.
The day came to face the world while standing up at La Ciudad de las Ideas, a festival that “brings together the worlds greatest thinkers, who, in only 21 minutes, present paradigms that empower ideastas (the citizens of Ciudad de las Ideas) to magnify their creative potential.” http://www.ciudaddelasideas.com/articles/view/8/language:eng
I was able to WALK across the stage and talk while standing up straight. I shared the stage with Ekso Bionics’ CEO, Eythor Bender, and we had the fortune of sharing the stage with world-renowned speakers, psychologists, scientists, and doctors. All brilliant-minded professionals, as this festival was called the ‘Festival of Brilliant Minds.’ I was honored to have been part of such a magnificent event. The speakers ranged from Evolutionary Psychologist, Geoffrey Miller, to Director, Screenwriter, and Producer, Oliver Stone.
As a speaker, I wish I had been able to talk longer, and that all the glaring lights shining on me could have allowed me to see people’s faces more clearly as I stood in front of them;). It was very humbling to have been told by some that our presentation was one of their favorite talks because it was innovative and surprising but, most importantly, because it was touching and inspiring. This experience will remain as one of the most special moments of my life.
Out of all of this, as I said in my closing statement, this is what I take away:
“ My dream of walking is no longer buried or dead. It is alive! It’s about making the impossible POSSIBLE.” This can refer to any dream! Any dream that you have, that you think is buried or dead, don’t give up on it! Don’t give up hope. RESET your mind and REIGNITE HOPE. As I said at La Ciudad de las Ideas 2011, “What once seems unattainable or impossible, might all of a sudden become your reality.” Get ready! Keep dreaming and believing. Time to RESET! Continue to REBUILD new dreams and goals and go after them!