Curious about the image at the top of the page? You might ask why I’m sideways. To that I would respond, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?”
The world may never know.
Before the MRI:
I was raised on a farm in Ohatchee, Alabama. I loved to ride dirt bikes, skateboard, knee board, and I walked on my hands almost as much as I walked on my feet. I was home-schooled through the 6th grade and I spent most of my life outdoors or with family.
When I was 13 years old I had an MRI procedure done to see why I wasn’t growing as fast as my friends. I was the size of an 8 year old at age 13. At the time no one knew I was actually allergic to gadolinium, which is an ingredient in MRI contrast dye. I had an anaphylactic reaction which caused me to go into respiratory and cardiac arrest for 45 minutes. I died that day, and you can learn more about this incident by reading a paper I wrote during my freshman year in college called 45 Minutes.
How It Affected Me:
I am now blind, I can’t speak above a whisper, I use a wheelchair, and I have limited range of motion with my limbs. My life has definitely become harder, but I have also met some amazing people all over the world that I probably wouldn’t know if not for my incident.
The Logan Project:
The Logan Project started because math was inaccessible for me and I needed tools to allow me to demonstrate my ability to do math well. With the help of Ann Gulley and Jordan Price, who work with the Learning Center at Auburn University Montgomery, I was able to do just that. We created a method for teaching and assessing college level math called Process-Driven Math. A lot of people were interested in this method and it led to opportunities to present at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the CSUN Assistive Technology conference. We are currently collaborating with Rice Universtiy to continue working with this method to help other people with disabilities have better access to math education. We will be funded through July 2019 by a grant award from the NSF. To learn more, visit The Logan Project website.
Who I Am Now:
I am an active and social person. I get to travel to many different conferences to explore what the accessibility community is like. I jump out of airplanes for fun, because what’s the worst that could happen? Flying fully aerobatic airplanes (under supervision of course) is something I wish I could do more often. I’ve always loved horses whether I was riding them or not, and thanks to a program called MANE (Montgomery Area Non-traditional Equestrians) I get to ride once a week. I participated in a Marine Corps Marathon for the first time in October 2017 through an organization called Ainsley’s Angels. Hunting is still a big part of my life and I am able to provide food for my family more often than you would imagine.