Share My Story helps assisted living facility resident tell -- and share -- his past successes as one of Florida's top attorneys in the 70s & 80s
Ronald Dion is living a quiet life in Central Florida. Not bad, not good, just, well, living. In the assisted living facility that he calls home, he shares a room with another patient, one who has quickly become his best friend. Quite often, he leaves their room -- mostly for an organized activity or a meal. A popular resident within the facility, he comes across many others, be it fellow patients, staff, doctors, or even guests.
Ron, though -- like so many others who call the facility "home" -- is confined to a motorized wheelchair. Due to an aneurysm that put him in a nine-month coma when he was 35, he lost the use of the entire right side of his body, as well as most of his vocal cords.
Now 63, he is unable to walk, relying solely on nurses and staff to transfer him safely to-and-from his wheelchair. Because of his difficulty speaking, he often chooses silence, opting for hand-gestures, instead.
And yet, Ron has the most amazing, positive attitude one could have. Always sharing a smile, and always sharing a wave, to each person he passes in the hallway.
But even with all his friends [that live alongside him, and just down the hall from him], and the doctors, and nurses, and staff who visit with him and take care of him, they still don't know him. They don't know his story. They don't know his background. They don't know his life. They don't know him -- the Ronald Dion who, prior to the very moment the blood vessels burst in his brain, was considered one of Florida's top attorneys. The Ronald Dion who was selected to try a case at the Supreme Court of the United States. The Ronald Dion who, as a young boy, was a United States rollerskating champion, an actor, and a veteran of the United States Coast Guard.
They just don't know. They couldn't know.
"I have a life story to tell, but no way to share it -- until now," Ron explained. "Because it is difficult to speak, many friends, fellow patients, care-givers, and even family members do not even know much about me. But with 'Share My Story,' I now have a voice. Now, I can tell -- and share -- my story."