Feb 15, 2005

Dear Friends, Swimmers, Family, Acquaintances, Well-Wishers, Parents, Coaches, Pets and anyone else who has contacted me in the last week,

Somehow I feel like I've left a few of you out and I hope you can forgive me. The response I have received from the swimming community as well as anyone else who may have heard my story has been overwhelming. I never could have imagined that so many people know who I am, and still knowing who I am, care about me so much. This has been particularly interesting to me because so many of you have only seen one side of my personality. While I like to think I'm a fun-loving easy going spirit, there is also a determined side, a goofy side, competitive side, and sometimes down right mean side of me. And still, the cards, flowers, e-mails and messages have poured in to lift up my spirits. Most of you will be happy to know that the Nursing Staff here at Poudre Valley have also been exposed to all of those sides, and I'm happy to report that only one nurse has been seriously injured with a bedpan.

This new way of life is challenging, there isn't a doubt (Just try sitting on a physio ball and putting a sock on with one hand while holding your leg up with the other hand) but I'm adjusting very quickly. The pain is going away, and now things are just awkward.

I've heard several times how inspiring it is that my spirits are up. Thanks to all of you I don't have a choice. I've received nearly a thousand e-mails to date. All of them lifting me up a little higher. Even though I may be in a wheelchair for a while, my spirits will remain standing at six foot three due to your endless support and prayers.

I have to thank the Auburn Swim Team for graciously letting Coach Marsh come out here to see me. His wisdom and presence really helped ease my family and my transition into my current state. Dr. Salo has once again proven he is a friend before a coach and took several days off to be with me and help me joke and banter with the staff. Rumor has it his paraplegic dog, Sprint, will be joining me at CRAIG for rehab. Jessamyn Miller came the moment she heard the news to be by my side as my assistant and comforter. She left on Sunday, and I already miss her. Jeff Somensatto has been organizing visits to come see me. Thanks for organizing that Jeffo. I wish I could sit here and thank all of you individually, but it would seriously take me years to do so. I absolutely without question have to thank Glenn Mills and Greg Busse (or G and Bus as they are known on the street) for putting together davedenniston.com. It is simply awesome. I look forward to filling all of you in on my progress there in the near future.

My first installment will be my account of what really happened in the accident.

Thank you all so much for your kind words, your encouragement and especially your prayers. Please continue to pray for me. I'll continue to be strong and do what I can to get on my feet again. Chin up, Chest high!

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