Sammie Barrett is RSDSA’s New Special Events Coordinator
My name is Sammie Barrett. I am the new Special Events Coordinator for the RSDSA. The RSDSA has been near and dear to my heart since a year after I was diagnosed. I was diagnosed with RSD/CRPS 9 years ago after spraining my ankle in ballet. I danced 5 days a week for a minimum of 4 hours per night as well as teaching some classes. But once this “sprain” didn’t heal correctly, that all changed. Five doctors later, someone finally was able to diagnose me. Unfortunately, this doctor told me I would never walk again, and that I absolutely would not dance again. As a thirteen year old little girl, my world had been turned upside down. But, I’ve always liked to defy the odds. With my team behind me, and months of PT, I was able to walk again and was even granted permission to dance in one more recital. As I have gotten older, my RSD/CRPS has spread through my left side and beyond. While I may be in and out of a wheelchair, I try to use my zebra print cane the most. I was able to get through four years of college and graduated summa cum laude in May from Nichols College.
RSD/CRPS changed my life and changed what I wanted to do with my life. When I was 14, I created Rock for RSD to help raise awareness for RSD/CRPS and to help raise funding for research among other things. I donated all of my proceeds to the RSDSA. My concerts were my pride and joy. I used them as a way to cope with my “new” life. I wanted to make a difference. As a part of my college experience, I was required to do an internship. It was like the RSDSA called my name. Since May 2014, I have been working on the various special events. I’ve been able to help plan (and attend) conferences, dinners, walks, and events held by our amazing volunteers!
Now, as the full time Special Events Coordinator, I am here to help YOU. Whether you want to attend an event with us, or if you would like to create your own, I can help you. We have so many incredible events coming up within the next year. I am excited for what the future brings. If you want to plan your own event, I am here to help you brainstorm, listen to your ideas, and help you along the way to make your event a success! Walks, races, concerts, auctions, and whatever else you can imagine can be done!
Events are the way that we can make a difference. Events for the RSDSA raise awareness for RSD/CRPS and help us get closer to better treatments and research that could change the way we all live. Every day, I am able to talk to different people in the RSD/CRPS community. Through different RSD/CRPS related events, I have met some incredible people that have become friends of mine. Having people that understand what you are going through can be life changing. As someone that has been a member of this community for almost a decade, I understand how frustrating it can be and how you want something to help change how we function daily with RSD/CRPS. Together, we can make strides towards a better future, not only for ourselves, but for other people with RSD/CRPS.
If you want to discuss more with me, email me at SBarrett@rsds.org and we can get started! Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do yet, we can start brainstorming! Or, I can give you information on upcoming events. Don’t be shy, I love meeting new people! I hope to see your names in my inbox and yourselves at some events in the future!