Sunday, August 10, 2008

Inspiring news from my cousin's blog

In May I wrote about my 28 year old cousin Chris McCulloh, who had a spinal cord injury in January (C6-C7 subluxation, for those who know such things). This happened as he was about to enter Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

He's been blogging occasionally about his recovery. I was inspired to receive this from him last Thursday - a wonderful story of the classmates he hasn't met yet.

Spinal Cord Injury and Healing

A special thanks..

Posted: 07 Aug 2008 07:37 PM CDT

Recently, I received a package in the mail from Cleveland, OH. It had been something I was expecting, as I'd been told by a few folks in the admissions office that something was on the way. But I had no idea what was inside, and so I anxiously awaited its arrival. When it did come, I was beyond surprised.

When I first opened the box, I found a bag with the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine logo on it. About the size of a laptop, looks like it'd be perfect for carrying one to and from classes. There was also a batch of materials that had been from Second Look Weekend, since I had unfortunately been unable to attend due to the injury. Those were all pretty cool, but they paled in comparison to what else was in there. I pulled out a t-shirt, and the first thing I saw was the Case Med logo:

This alone was exciting, as I had tried to order a shirt with the medical school logo on it after I was accepted. Unfortunately, the only shirts available online from the Case school store only have the basic CWRU logo on them, and no mention of Case Med. So having a shirt with the medical school logo on it was awesome. Then I unfolded the shirt and saw the rest of it.

All over the shirt in silver marker were signatures and notes from the entire Class of 2012, the group I was to join this summer in matriculation at Case. I saw the names of people who have contacted me since the blog URL was given out to the students, and there were very touching notes from people I didn't know. I was blown away.

The front of the shirt:

(Click to enlarge)

The back of the shirt was even more awesome. In addition to all the other signatures and notes, the students had printed "Dear Chris, Welcome to Case Med! Class of 2012″ in big letters.

The back of the shirt:

(Click to enlarge)

I cannot even begin to express how moving it was to see all of the names. It was one of the few times I've ever been left speechless, and I have been sharing it with family and friends that I've talked to since then. They've all been equally as blown away by the thoughtfulness of the students.

Mr. Essman and Dr. Mehta made it very clear to me that it was entirely the students' initiative to create and send the shirt. And this is precisely the reason I chose to attend Case - the people. The student body and the entire community as a whole are truly a supportive group, and the school lacks the cutthroat competition so prevalent at other institutions. I felt something special when I visited the school during interview season in all my dealings with students and faculty, and I've felt that even more so now. The warmth has really made me feel a part of the community, even from nearly 500 miles away.

To all the students of the Class of 2012 at Case Med, I thank you with my whole heart! I cannot tell you how much the gift means to me, and how much I cannot wait to get out to Cleveland to meet you all at some point. It is truly special to be one of your peers.


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