We are so excited to announce that Polly Venard is the recipient of our first ever “Heightsman Award”! Polly is always bringing us smiles at the clinic as she strolls in on her scooter with beautiful purple flowers tied to the front.
Polly was nominated and chosen for the Heightsman Award for her commitment to health, and keeping a positive attitude. That positive mindset and determined work ethic has proven to give Polly great improvement over the years.
Polly was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 36. Quickly after being diagnosed, the disease went into remission for years. She was still able to chase around her 4 children, ski, and enjoy her every day activities. In her mid 40’s though, Polly’s MS started to exacerbate again and she started to slow down. She started Physical Therapy to help with the lack of function in her legs, and eventually had to quit skiing about 15 years ago and decided it was time to use a wheel chair at that time. Even though MS is a progressive disease, Polly keeps a positive attitude and is determined to not let it get the best of her. She has even started skiing again through the Crested Butte Adaptive Sports program.
Polly began attending PT at Heights just over 2 years ago, however “I wish I started PT (with Heights) when you first opened. The growth in the first year has been incredible. When I first started coming I couldn’t stand up on my own, and now I walk a mile on the Alter-G treadmill”
While we love feeling that we were apart of Polly’s success, we know that it is her own hard work that has gotten her to where she is today. Polly stays active, attending PT 2 days a week, swimming 2 days, working out 2 days, working at the her family owned veterinary clinic, and visiting a nursing home every week to spend time with the residents there. She feels that she’s “not handicapped” and can do a lot.
When we asked Trent and KayLynne why Polly is a good candidate for the Heightsman Award, their response was: “She never quits, never gives up. She’s always positive and looking for ways to help others instead of herself…Through her hard work and determination she pushing through an illness that normally has negative progression.”
While having MS is not an ideal situation, Polly says the “silver lining” is that she has been able to create a lot more relationships while on this journey. We are so thankful for that and our relationship with Polly! She brings joy and laughter into our clinic each week, and her story is truly inspiring.
Check out this cool video of Polly riding a horse a few years ago.
***The Heightsman Award will be awarded monthly to any member of the Gunnison Valley that has had a positive influence on the community. Have someone you’d like to nominate? Send their name and why you’d like to see them win this award to Trish@HeightsPerformance.com***