Schreiber Pediatric Center - I Love Schreiber Essay Contest winner: Libby Lucas

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June 29, 2016

I Love Schreiber Essay Contest winner: Libby Lucas

Posted by Dan  Permalink 


Libby Lucas, 18

Libby Lucas suffered a severe pulled neck muscle that left her with pain and restricted movements. After seeing little improvement with four different traditional physical therapy centers, she came to Schreiber. Here is the story of how Schreiber made a difference in her life, in her words.

Libby Lucas, center, visits with Amber Sullenberger, left, and Lisa Stachler Volk, two of the therapists who helped Libby during her therapy at Schreiber.

In February 2014 I was diagnosed with amplified muskuloskeletal pain syndrome following a pulled neck muscle a month earlier during an intense dance convention. Before I was recommended to Schreiber, I went through programs at four different therapy institutions. The love and compassion I felt at Schreiber was unequaled anywhere else. I appreciate this opportunity to thank everyone from the lady at the front desk who always had the biggest smile on her face, to the loving kids who showed me how great they are at coloring as we waited for our therapists and finally thank you to Amber, Kristie, Lisa, and Megan for the support they lovingly exhibited from Day 1 to the day I left.

My wonderful therapists wanted success for me as much as I wanted it, and that is what made the difference. I will admit that I was lacking hope in the beginning, and some days it was hard for me to get out of the wheelchair and attempt to walk. However, they all supported me and knew that I was going to do it. With their help, I did. I had the biggest cheerleaders by my side during therapy as well as anytime I needed their support. I stood on the treadmill at the beginning of every therapy and stared at Amber and told her I could not run. She stared right back and said, "I believe in you." She knew I could do it when I didn't think I could. Incidentally, they say laughter is the best medicine. Well, my therapists practiced that extensively and it helped make things easier. From our conversations about shopping to the new famous gossip, we were always laughing.

Schreiber's impact on my life is tremendous. When I left Schreiber in 2015, a year and a half later, I was scheduled to attend what was known as a very grueling program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Because of what I accomplished at Schreiber, I knew I could persevere through the CHOP program and come out the other end with a smile on my face. I was discharged from CHOP after an intense 30-day inpatient program in late July 2015 and am functioning like a normal human being again. My outlook on life is amazing and I am now looking forward to conquering new challenges such as college in the near future. I had some great conversations with my Schreiber therapists about how amazing life is and how a healthy mental outlook is critical to getting better. They were there to talk with me at the worst moments of my life, and they were there during my best. A big contributor to children's and parent's stress at Schreiber can revolve around getting school work completed. After all, missing school due to pain happened more than I would have liked. But Schreiber was always there to motivate me and discuss the different ways we could accomplish getting my schoolwork completed.

Schreiber pediatric rehab center has such a huge place in my heart and when I heard about this essay I was overjoyed to share my feelings. The huge hearts found in the human beings working at Schreiber are amazing. Frankly, I have no idea how they do it. The non-judgmental and empathetic environment they expertly create seems to also be a part of their secret sauce. As a result of my experiences at Schreiber, I have come to appreciate how everyone is dealing with something in their life. Despite us all having different circumstances with unique needs, Schreiber is thankfully in our community to help us overcome our struggles and return to our faces those much sought after smiles and positive outlooks on life.

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