CURE NATION: Dedicating her time to local organizations to help her community, Arlene Long shares what has motivated her to be of service to others and how Cure Medical has made a positive impact on her life!
Arlene Long began using a wheelchair at fifteen years old, at the end of her freshman year of high-school. Their school hosted a student exchange with another local school one afternoon, and Arlene will never forget what happened next. Nine students were in the car, along with the driver. Another driver collided with their car, running a red light through an intersection causing their car to flip.
It was in that moment that Arlene sustained her injury. She lost a close classmate, and many other students had minor injuries. That was twenty-seven years ago.
Navigating High School
Arlene recalls being very active in social activities and student programs while in high-school. Between playing basketball, cheerleading and participating in student council, Arlene kept busy!
“Going from being a very active student and being very involved in a lot of things at school to then having to cope with not having control of my body anymore and not being able to be involved in the sports and activities I was at the same capacity anymore was very life altering.” she says.
During the first year, Arlene said that life was simply about going through the motions. She felt like she was in a foggy haze. Arlene expressed her gratitude for having a supportive family, as well as a strong community within her church that she was involved in. “I had the foundation of my faith to carry me through and a great family that was supportive.” she says, “Its kind of a scary time because you are trying to find out who you are, while trying to gain your independence while going through your teen years. It was tough for me. I felt like my peers really did accept me, but I had a difficult time finding my place within my peer group.”
Fast forward to now, and Arlene is enjoying life to the fullest! She expresses the difficulty in having to re-learn how to live in such a formidable time in life, but she said the last twenty-seven years have been full of practice. Heavily involved in her community, as well as working for her sister’s hair salon in town, she loves to be able to give back in whatever capacity presents itself.
Arlene’s Love of the Outdoors
One of Arlene’s recent endeavors was a trip to Mammoth Cave. To her surprise, several trails going into the cave had accessible pathways! “One of the caves had an elevator going down into the cave, so I was able to see the cave on a paved path!”
Her love of the outdoors keeps her exploring, and finding new ways to be involved.
Love of her Community
Arlene is heavily involved in her community of Goshen, Indiana. She is an adult leader in her church’s high-school youth group, specifically leading the young girls in the group. Along with the youth, she helps lead small groups with their women’s ministry.
SPA Women’s Ministries is another group Arlene dedicates her time to. Geared towards women struggling with any type of addiction, Arlene helps encourage women who are navigating life while recovering.
In a more recent venture, Arlene helped coordinate the construction of an all-inclusive playground for all ages and abilities in her neighborhood! She joined the planning committee for the playground, that was just built in the fall of 2019. The mayor, whom Arlene knew very well, reached out and asked her if she would be interested in being a part of it. “Of course I couldn’t say no! I absolutely wanted to be a part of it.”
“I got to help choose the equipment they installed. It’s an all-inclusive park, so we got swings for bigger children, a merry-go-round that can have wheelchairs go on it, there are ramps, and they also got braille and musical equipment, as well as objects with different textures on them for individuals with developmental disabilities.”
Arlene felt called to make sure that the park could be enjoyed by people of all ages, able-bodied individuals, and wheelchair users. She loves the fact that the playground is accessible for adults, whether they are able-bodied or not. She felt it was important that parents, specifically parents who may use a wheelchair, were able to use the playground to join in on the fun with their children.
Advice to Other Young Women Who Roll
“Get connected with other women, period! Other people help you to keep moving forward, to keep reaching your goals and to encourage each other. It helps you be a part of society and bring out the best in you.”
Arlene encourages women to connected with other able-bodied women and those who use a wheelchair. “It is good to network and find out what has and hasn’t worked for others who roll.”
Arlene’s Love of Cure Medical!
Arlene said she loves Cure Medical and uses the Cure Catheter.
“The firmness of the catheter makes it very easy to handle and insert. I love that it’s a good quality product.” she says.
Since Arlene has a latex allergy, she is very thankful that all of Cure Medical catheters are latex-free! “I am so glad I don’t have to worry about my allergy with Cure Catheters.”
To request free samples of the Cure Catheter® or any Cure Medical catheter, contact your local distributor of quality healthcare products, or click here.
Arlene goes on to share about her thoughts on Cure Medical donating 10% of our net income to paralysis research in pursuit of a cure. “I love that Cure Medical donates to the research of paralysis. I think it is an incredibly important research that needs to continue. So that we can advance technology and find a cure for this! It is highly important.”
Founded by a quadriplegic, Cure Medical supports research programs in pursuit of a cure for urinary retention, paralysis, spinal cord injury and central nervous system disorders.
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