Sunday, October 31, 2021

11 year “crashiversary”

11 years ago Halloween was on a Sunday, this is the first year since that day that it has fallen on a Sunday again, a day I will never forget. It is ingrained in my memory. I can’t remember many things but I will always remember the details of that day, because I have played it over and over again in my head so many times. It was a good day.

Another crazy year down…It sure has been nice to return to some normalcy though. I have been trying to set time aside to photograph in nature, if I don’t schedule it in, it will never happen. I currently have an exhibit up at Alta bakery in Monterey through the end of the year. It has been nice exploring the historic Cooper Adobe buildings and hanging out in the courtyard while enjoying delicious food and sharing my artwork. My 2022 calendars are ready to go and are available in my online shop, remember they make great gifts! (How is it going to be 2022!?)

Rehab update:

I look back to where I was last year and i’m happy to say, I am doing much better. Last October started five months of pain in my body and I’m still not exactly sure the cause. With spinal cord injuries we experience something called autonomic dysreflexia, it’s the way our body feels pain. For me this is profuse sweating where I have full sensation, from the chest up. Every night I usually experience AD for an hour or two but for those four-five months it was happening the entire night when I was sleeping on my side (left and right side!). I have to sleep on my side. I am on my back and butt all day long and can’t be on them at night due to the risk of pressure sores. I haven’t slept through the night in 11 years, I have to wake up at three in the morning to turn from my left to right side. This process takes about 30 minutes with the help from a caregiver.

The one big change that occurred before these intense months of pain was lack of physical therapy and exercise due to the pandemic. I was out of the pool for a year (I returned in February 2021). The bodywork and therapies I needed to stay healthy and pain-free weren’t available. It was a huge reminder of why I am doing what I am doing every day and why it is so important. As soon as I started getting more exercise and back in the pool the intense sweating stopped. I am so, so thankful every day for the movement I am able to get. This is only possible because I have the financial support and encouragement from my community and friends. It truly does take a village, and because of you, the journey continues…

‘‘We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.’’


At Alta Bakery in Monterey 

Holy, Holey Tree, 2021

Me photographing the above image at Palo Corona regional park.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

100 mile challenge wrap up!

They did it! Most of my runners reached 100 miles (there were some injuries along the way 😢). One runner said they were going to collapse into a fetal position and whimper when they finished their 100 miles on June 30th, but they did it 😝! I’m so inspired and proud of them. I’m also extremely grateful to the 300+ donors that helped me reach my goal of $50k, to help pay for my 24hr care and physical therapy. I feel fortunate to have the support of so many, I know most people don’t have that. I am grateful every day for the movement that I get, to keep my mind and body healthy. 

A huge shout out to the Big Sur River Inn for their continued support and for hosting the fundraising barbecue on July 9th! And many thanks to the Bitter Ginger, the Saucy Maiden and the Random Pickler for their food and wine donations.

Thank you for BEing my light!

💜 Rachael

Monday, April 19, 2021

Relay for Rachael Road Runner challenge

 Relay for Rachael Roadrunner Challenge!

The challenge:

100 miles in June

This would’ve been the 11th annual Relay for Rachael fundraiser at the Big Sur marathon at the end of April but since the marathon was canceled again this year we will be going virtual in June with the Roadrunner 100 mile challenge. 

The challenge concept is simple, complete 100 miles in June with the same goal of raising funds to help with Rachael’s ongoing care and physical therapy after a car accident left her a quadriplegic in 2010. Thank you for BEing the light! 

More info on how to donate and participate:

Monday, November 2, 2020

10 year crashiversary

And just like that a decade has gone by. If they keep speeding by like this I will be 80 in no time! Half my adult life I have been paralyzed and still every day when I wake up it seems surreal. Is this my life? 

This year has been nuts for everyone. For me it started out with a pressure sore on my tailbone in January forcing me to stay home and off my backside. I was able to start venturing out again right when the pandemic hit in March. Damn. More than anything I miss being able to go to pool, 92 degrees of wonderfulness. I had no idea how much going to the pool twice a week kept my pain level down and my spirits up. Just like everyone I am riding the “corona wave” and I look forward to some normalcy again.

My 2021 calendars are at the printers right now and I have updated my “window display” at Gallery Exposed with my photography. Currently i’m only in the gallery by appointment but thanks to my $100 print sales I have been able to continue paying rent. Check out the shop on my website or my Instagram for updates on the sales.

Every year on my crashiversary I remember my last day of independence. The simplicity of that day and the fun that I had. In honor of the 10 year crashiversary I wore my purple boots again, the same pair I wore on the red deck of Nepenthe that night. Ironically my clothes were cut off either in the helicopter or at the hospital but they saved the boots, because these boots were made for walking...they are just on a break right now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Relay for Rachael virtual fundraiser

 Thank you to all who participated and donated to my virtual fundraiser on September 20th. It was a huge success and during these challenging times I am even more grateful for your continued support. I say it over and over again but I couldn’t do this without you. Every penny donated goes into the pockets of my caregivers and trainers who help me get through my days. I loved receiving the photos and videos of people getting movement for me. You inspire me to keep on keeping on.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Relay for Rachael Virtual Run! Sunday, September 20 at 10 AM!

Relay for Rachael Virtual Run! Sunday, September 20th, 2020 at 10am!

With the marathon being cancelled in April due to the pandemic and then cancelled again for the November 15th date we are doing a virtual run with the same goal of raising funds to help with Rachael‘s ongoing care and physical therapy after a car accident left her a quadriplegic in 2010.

In honor of the 10th year we are doing a 10 mile run, walk, hike, skip. You can do the 10 miles yourself or break it up as a relay with friends/family.  Everyone will start around 10 AM from a location of their choice and we are hoping people will share photos and videos of their run (or walk, hike, skip) on social media and more importantly, have fun!

Donations can be made at:

Monday, May 25, 2020

Rescheduled Relay fundraiser

The Big Sur marathon has been rescheduled until November 15, 2020 so my annual relay fundraiser will be postponed until then. I am so grateful for the donations still coming in at to help with my cost of care even though the fundraiser has been postponed. I couldn’t do it without you! Thank you for BEing the light!