I was asked to write about three milestones in my life for a magazine article. Here are the three I chose.

Milestones: K.D.Rausin

1. Being on the set of the movie, Ghost, with Patrick Swayze: I grew up in a small town with big dreams. When I was nineteen I took a plane to LA with absolutely no plan. I got in a cab and said, “Take me to the beach.” A few weeks later I was on the Paramount Studios lot as an extra. They sent me to wardrobe and put me in three inch heels. As I wobbled back to the set, a trailer door swung open and a shirtless Patrick Swayze called out for….well, I don’t even remember because I couldn’t breathe. There in front of me stood the star of Dirty Dancing. Even though the entire scene we shot that day ended up on the cutting room floor and I never saw myself on screen, that moment, seeing Patrick Swayze will forever be a reminder that dreams are worth chasing.

2. My first day as a classroom teacher: I stood in front of my open door with a huge smile and a queasy stomach. I had spent the past three months learning, preparing, decorating, and memorizing names. I don’t know who was more nervous, me or the twenty seven third graders that called me, Mrs. Rausin. My first day teaching was the beginning of a journey filled with love, compassion, frustration, patience and respect for all those who want to make a difference in the life of a child.

3. Finding the Reeve Foundation and becoming an ambassador to advocate for those with spinal cord injuries: I will never forget the phone call that changed my life. Watching my ten year old daughter lying in bed, crying, because she couldn’t feel or move her legs was devastating. Five years later hearing that my daughter as a wheelchair athlete could not participate in or even wear her school track uniform was infuriating. The Reeve Foundation showed me incredible support as I advocated for my daughter who eventually was allowed a position on the team. It is my hope that one day Florida will permit disabled athletes to compete on school sports teams along with able bodied athletes.


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The Picture Book Review

Reviews of Children's Board Books, Picture Books, Activity Books, and Graphic Novels

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