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The Phoenix Attitude Blog

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Sensory-Friendly Shopping

2019-07-18 Posted By Emily Nantel


Blazin' Soccer Dogs showed me how every day things that many of us take for granted - like signing up for a soccer team or even buying groceries - can be much more challenging for individuals and families with ASD. Therefore, a few months ago I approached my manger about the possibility of offering "sensory friendly shopping hours" at the store. To my delight he was completely onboard with the idea and the conversation immediately went from, "Should we do this?" to "How do we do this really well


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Baseline!

2019-03-20 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


Little by little this word continues to give me my power back in my quest to become the best version of myself. It let’s me try new things and gives me the opportunity to get back in the saddle of old decisions that I made to be more healthy - mind, body and spirit - but got discouraged and quit. It gives me the gift of rising from the ashes


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Home is Where the Potential is

2019-03-11 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.


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Your Medical & Motivation Account

2018-10-31 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


The Medical & Motivation Account is made up of 9 sections coming together to give you the ability to engage with your health in a meaningful way: In Case of Emergency; Need to Know; Doctors; Medication; Symptoms; Surgeries/Procedures; Before My Appointment; My Appointment; Motivation. Each section not only helps you create a foundation of knowledge of how to make the most of your healthcare experience, it helps you to determine what works for you and what doesn't.


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Come Fly With Me. Let’s Fly, Let’s Fly Away

2018-10-23 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote featuring Mike Lomberg


when we break down the barriers in our own minds, and then in the minds of others, things that were seemingly impossible, become possible. Sometimes all it takes is a changed way of looking at things, or a small adaptation, or an aid, and suddenly the potential and passion of an individual, seemingly severely limited by one or other disability, can be given wings and fly.


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How I Got My Identity Back

2018-10-09 Posted By Kristina Shelden


Eventually I started fiddling with the piano again, noticing that although my left hand has weakness, I could still write a decent treble line, and keep my bass line simple. This was a game changer for me; the most phenomenal thing happened to me since that day I broke my neck: I wrote a song


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Thumbnail for Let's get Ready to Roll: Jenna's Packing List for Accessible Adventuring

Let's get Ready to Roll: Jenna's Packing List for Accessible Adventuring

2018-09-27 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


I have spare parts (screws and/or nuts etc.) and travel-approved tools (when I was in the London airport the rule at security was that my tools had to be six inches or less, so I made sure to bring my tiny screwdriver)


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Thumbnail for To be or not to be...Accessible - Here are my Questions

To be or not to be...Accessible - Here are my Questions

2018-09-25 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


You: Thank you for your honesty (it’s good to reinforce honesty, because people can get very creative with their answers about accessibility). I have just a couple more questions for you. Are the bathrooms on the main floor? (I can’t believe how much this comes up but when people are boasting about offering an accessible dining experience they forget the old saying - what goes in must come out - and therefore, the bathrooms need to be accessible, too).


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Accessible Adventuring (for YOU)

2018-09-19 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


All joking aside, though, everyone wanting to try some air travel and have their own mobility device, ask for a door tag when you check in! Otherwise they send your device to baggage claim and you have to trust a complete stranger’s driving skills with a communal chair (and I’ve been dropped down a flight of stairs, being “helped” off a plane before - but that’s a story for another time). On that note, welcome to the ever-evolving world of Accessible Adventuring (trademark pending).


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Let's Talk...About Strength

2017-01-25 Posted By Jenna


Growing up with Spina Bifida, I’ve learned that there is a large majority of kids, who around the age of 10, get diagnosed with depression. This was was the case for me. At 10 years old I was diagnosed with off-the-charts depression. At 10 I had to start learning that I had to take care of myself from a mental health perspective. At 10 I started to learn that taking care of myself from a mental health perspective could come in the form of: medication, therapy, making time to do things that I lik


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Q+A with Claire Moscone

2017-01-19 Posted By Jenna


As I ramp up for my sheTalks appearance on the 28th (get it? “ramp up”?), I’m reflecting on my own shifting definition of “strength” but also exploring what my journey has looked like from the perspective of those who know me best (the good, the bad, and the stubborn).


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Thumbnail for The Countdown to sheTalks is On!

The Countdown to sheTalks is On!

2017-01-13 Posted By Jenna


I’m so grateful that so many of you will be there supporting me as I take you on the journey I took to figure out: what “strength” really means and whether you can actually pin a definition on it. The answers I came up with really surprised me and I’m interested to hear what you think.


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Thumbnail for Another Obstacle, Another Opportunity to Shine - Paralympics 2016

Another Obstacle, Another Opportunity to Shine - Paralympics 2016

2016-08-22 Posted By Jenna


These athletes shouldn’t have had to face these obstacles for nothing, “So much for parity! I always feel second best to my Olympic counterparts! This is simply unacceptable!” says Jon-Allan Butterworth, three-time Paralympic silver medallist winning cyclist. He’s right. It’s time to change the way the Olympics and Paralympics are laid out. Call me crazy but...


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Thumbnail for Tough Lessons Learned from Tough Mudder

Tough Lessons Learned from Tough Mudder

2016-06-30 Posted By Jenna


10 months of training all came to a head on Saturday as a crazy idea became reality. I knew my big mouth would probably get me killed one day, and I was pretty sure that that day would be Saturday. I won’t lie, I found this blog pretty different from the one I thought I’d be writing, and that you probably thought you’d be reading.


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Meet My Tough Mudder Team

2016-06-22 Posted By Jenna


So, you’re probably getting tired of hearing about little ol’ me so I want to cleanse your palette and have you meet my team! (We’re going to reveal our team name soon…) We’re all entering the first-time Tough Mudders club together knowing that we’re (probably) in for more challenges than your average Mudder (but then again, we’ve all got something)!


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Thumbnail for Q+A with Jenna's Tough Mudder Trainer, Adam of Revival Fitness

Q+A with Jenna's Tough Mudder Trainer, Adam of Revival Fitness

2016-06-20 Posted By Jenna


I had never trained a person in a wheelchair before so I didn’t know what to expect. But Jenna is different. She has a great mindset. So, we modified exercises as need be. She had no problem accepting her limitations and came ready to work each week. It was actually quite a treat to train someone so motivated. In my opinion that's the hardest part for most clients: finding motivation. She had that from day one.


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Thumbnail for Everybody’s Got Something. Everybody Has a Story.

Everybody’s Got Something. Everybody Has a Story.

2016-06-17 Posted By Jenna


My journey to Tough Mudder has been…tough. I’m not going to claim that I’m the first person in a wheelchair to tackle it, because that’s a lie, and I won’t be the last. But I will say that I would have loved to read more about the experiences of those who have come before me to know a little bit more about what I was getting myself into.


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Thumbnail for Hello, Challenge, My Old Friend

Hello, Challenge, My Old Friend

2016-06-15 Posted By Jenna


To be honest, though, what keeps me up at night isn’t me wondering whether or not this adventure is too big for me to handle or if I’ll be able to tackle every obstacle - not technically. Right now what seems to be standing in my way is


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My First Time...In an Ambulance

2016-04-08 Posted By Jenna


Well, I do have to confess that before the ambulance came I had packed a bag of supplies, tidied up my room (which my mother now realizes takes a medical emergency and the potential of good-looking paramedics to get me to do) and jumped up onto the gurney faster than they could offer to help. Nothing shoots a nearly lethal amount of adrenaline and stubbornness into my system faster than when I know people are going to assume/know I need help


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Thumbnail for To Record or Not to Record - That is the Question!

To Record or Not to Record - That is the Question!

2015-06-29 Posted By Jenna


Since I don’t know the specifics of each of your individual cases, let’s talk about how I approach this conversation with new practitioners and see if any of it resonates with you.


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#PhoenixAttitudeSchoolTools - Surviving Bullying

2015-06-19 Posted By Jenna


I truly believe that we don’t start off life wanting to question other people’s abilities. Buying into society’s expectations of us and how we’re supposed to meet them is what does us in. Trying to feel like you belong can come with such intense pressure, because the alternative is just plain awful - feeling like you don’t (a scary thought for children and adults alike). If we don’t create opportunities to discuss how we’re seeing the world around us (and the people in it) with people who will s


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#PhoenixAttitudeSchoolTools - When I Realized I Could Let People In

2015-06-10 Posted By Jenna


But back to me and when I FINALLY realized I could let people into my life without feeling like a victim or a burden. I was fighting a very bad common infection, a UTI (urinary tract infection), over Easter weekend 2010 when this little…bugger… would. not. let. go. I was in my dorm room trying to appreciate the rare silence of nobody being around to try and sleep, not having kept a thing down for three days straight and my temperature RISING - I was into trouble. The most obvious solution took a


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Thumbnail for Phoenix Attitude - School Tools

Phoenix Attitude - School Tools

2015-06-08 Posted By Jenna


Parents and kids alike - another school year is coming to a close! And yet Phoenix Attitude wants you to know that we’re here to help make the next year better!


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Thumbnail for Life Is Like A Box Chocolates - Are You Going To Let Yourself Eat Them?

Life Is Like A Box Chocolates - Are You Going To Let Yourself Eat Them?

2015-06-03 Posted By Jenna


We all have something - you’re not alone. We all struggle - cut yourself some slack. Whether it’s obvious like being in a wheelchair, or invisible like depression - life isn’t going to let you off scot-free! But you know what, the tough times in life - they’re what make it interesting; they’re what make us stronger!


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Attention all Humans!

2015-05-31 Posted By Phoenix


Gather round, sit, stay! I have a tail…sorry, tale, to share with you about my first week in my new home and learning an important lesson about my health - for my sake and my family’s sanity.


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Above and Beyond

2015-04-30 Posted By Anika


Let me back up and introduce myself. My name is Anika and I am a Healthcare Social Worker. I'm someone who has used the healthcare system and I am a friend of Phoenix Attitude's Medical & Motivation account creator, Jenna. I have lived in Canada, Rwanda and England and for various reasons, needed to access the healthcare systems in each place. In Canada I was diagnosed with Cancer and underwent chemotherapy and an amputation.


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SideStix - Ain't No Mountain High Enough

2015-03-13 Posted By Sarah Doherty


Asking questions can help us to see things from a different perspective. Often, with a new perspective we can come up with practical and creative solutions that have been right in front of our eyes, just waiting to be recognized. In the book, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger gives insight into the fact that our height of questioning occurs at our 4 year old self and as we age, we ask less and less questions, and become satisfied with the status quo.


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Traveling at the Speed of Light

2015-03-11 Posted By Jenna


I’ll admit, this was essentially my reality from about 10-19ish. Then, very slowly, I started drawing people in that saw the potential in me - patiently waiting for me to see it in myself, drowning the doubt. I started owning my unique experiences and skills, learning how to utilize them to help me stand out from the crowd (my way). All of the sudden (ok, not as suddenly as that) I found myself having essentially come full circle - prepared to be more open without shame, more focused on what wor


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Thumbnail for Your Medical & Motivation Account in the “Care vs. Cure” Debate

Your Medical & Motivation Account in the “Care vs. Cure” Debate

2015-03-08 Posted By Jenna


Well, I learned a lot from that video from Bucky! Among other things, whether you believe money should be spent on care or a cure, (in most cases) the cure’s not here yet and you need to take care of your body (if you want to be the best candidate for that cure when it comes)! Taking care of yourself (physically, emotionally, mentally & psychologically) can help you get ready for a potential cure (if that’s your goal).


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Accessibility Hits the Web

2015-02-27 Posted By Kim Phillips


To be honest, online accessibility wasn’t something I had thought much about until quite recently. I always knew our sites were up to standards, complying with “best practice” programming, but there is always room for improvement. What I didn’t realize was that some of our sites could be alienating people trying to view them. Knowing what I know now, I see this as a big obstacle that must be addressed by all website owners and creators.


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What I Want You to Know

2015-02-23 Posted By Jenna


Our last blog, “Scars - What Story Does Yours Tell?” got a lot of great feedback, and it started an awesome dialogue. We can get so consumed by what others think of us, and their perception of what we go through; but when do we take the opportunity to stop and think about how we truly feel about ourselves, what we’ve been through, and what we can accomplish? How often does this happen, honestly? And when it does happen, are you giving yourself credit or tearing yourself down?


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Scars - What Story Does Yours Tell?

2015-02-10 Posted By Jenna


I know that there are people worse off than I am in the scar department, and, of course, in life, but I’ve become fascinated by the psychology of the scar. I’ve become fascinated as to how we come to terms with this mark on our body that can tell the world of a great tragedy, an epic battle, or even bringing new life into the world. There’s a lot our scars have to say. And just like in life, there may be more than one side to the story.


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Thumbnail for I’m a Healthy Teen - Hence, I know Everything - so Phoenix Attitude has Nothing to Offer Me. (Or Does It?)

I’m a Healthy Teen - Hence, I know Everything - so Phoenix Attitude has Nothing to Offer Me. (Or Does It?)

2015-02-09 Posted By Lia


As a basically healthy and strong person, I’ve had it made for eighteen years - and that’s not just compared to my sister, Jenna, who’s had to deal with Spina Bifida for twenty-four years. When you look at the history of my health, regardless of the yardstick you’re using, I’ve had it made. Sure, like everybody, I’ve had the occasional cold, but the biggest health problem I’ve ever had to deal with was getting my tonsils and adenoids removed at the age of sixteen.


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The Icing on the Cake - Updates!

2015-01-31 Posted By Jenna


I’m sure updates will keep on happening based on important feedback from you, and our continued dedication to keeping the Medical & Motivation account a dream tool for navigating the medical system - mind, body & spirit. If there’s a feature you want to see added to your account, send us a note (info@phoenixattitude.com) or give us a call (604-428-9530).


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Can A Medical & Motivation Account Work for You?

2015-01-31 Posted By Jenna


I remember thinking at the beginning of this venture that if no one else found it useful, I’ll at least have created a dream tool for ME to use while navigating the medical system. But we’re our own worst critics, as I was happy to find out as soon as it launched.


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Punishment or Potential?

2015-01-29 Posted By Jenna


But seriously, if I’m really being honest with you about how I learn my lessons, it’s that it usually has to be done the hard way to really learn them meaningfully. And maybe that’s the same for you, and that’s ok. Except for learning not to eat the yellow snow, when you’re told that - you listen!


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Share the Strength

2015-01-28 Posted By Jenna


We first introduced the "Share the Strength" campaign in November, as it seemed to be a tough time on a lot of people, wanting to encourage turning adversity into opportunity (not to mention reminding ourselves of the power of inner strength). It was such a success that the Phoenix Attitude team has created video versions of the "Share the Strength" posters on our YouTube channel


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From my Head to Yours

2015-01-26 Posted By Jenna


But in all seriousness, it’s been 8 years since my last shunt surgery, and I don’t know if it’s the feeling of security that I’ll probably never have another one (did I just jinx myself?), my work at the hospital and hospice, or that fact that I’ve grown up, but 3 years ago I made the decision that I was going to donate my hair.


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#ShareTheAware

2015-01-12 Posted By Jenna


"I write because I know there will come a day when I’ll be unable to write anymore — a day when I won’t be around to explain Ceci’s disability to others. And when that day comes, I write this to ask a favor or two of you: Please accept, encourage and support her. Please tell her how much potential she possesses — how much beauty and good she has to give to the rest of the world. And above all else, please love her.” - Ali Cummins


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Thanks for Changing my Perspective

2014-12-05 Posted By Jenna


I see a pretty awesome car parked next to mine. I make a point of noticing it because I want to make sure I don’t ding it putting my chair into the car. And, of course, if the pressure isn’t already on, I see the driver come out of the gas station, standing and staring at me as I start taking my chair apart. Oy! So, more carefully than usual, I take the wheels off my wheelchair, recline the driver’s seat, lift the body of my wheelchair over me and into the passenger’s seat, and throw the wheels


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Mission: FREEDOM (Finally…)

2014-12-04 Posted By Jenna


A picture is worth a thousand words, but this one just needs one: “stubborn.” Ya, I’m going to go with “stubborn.” I’ve been stubborn my whole life, and sometimes it has helped me persevere, while other times it has forced me to learn lessons the hard way. Enjoy one such…lesson!


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Hot Wheelz

2014-11-28 Posted By Jenna


“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?” - Ian Wallace


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It Made a Difference to THAT One!

2014-11-18 Posted By Jenna


It means embracing the fact that we are all unique, and that there is more than one way to make a meaningful difference in this world. And not only that, every difference we make (big or small) does have an impact. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.


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A Push in the ... Direction

2014-10-27 Posted By Jenna Reed-Cote


I’ve been pushed a lot in my life. I’ve been pushed by people who want me to become the best possible person I can be. I’ve been pushed around (figuratively) by people who want to get a rise out of me (for reasons I can contemplate until the cows come home). And finally, some people just plain push me - literally.


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What’s with “What’s Next?”

2014-10-15 Posted By Jenna


One thing that I always strive for is balance. Now, I won’t lie and say that I achieve it all the time, or most of the time…but I do see its unbelievable value and try and get closer to it every day. That still counts, right?...


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Phoenix Attitude is born

2014-10-14 Posted By Jenna


Ahhhh, the AHA! moments in life! I have luckily found myself in the nirvana of an AHA! moment once or twice (apparently, you don’t have to be Oprah to have one), and I wish you the same opportunity. What I’ve found, in order to have one, is that it helps to be open to putting yourself out of your comfort zone with the intention of personal growth or to help someone else. You also have to be willing to hear some hard truths (rats!), learning to see them as tools to help you and not hold you back.


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“Overcome the notion that we must be regular... it robs you of the chance to be EXTRAORDINARY ”
Uta Hagen
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