Interview With Frankie: An Inspiring Soul

Today, I would like to share a very special interview with someone who I am honored to know.

Frankie LaMacchia.

For those of you who may have not read my initial post about this inspiring gentleman, you can find it here.

Last month, I had the immense pleasure of meeting Frankie in person, when we got better acquainted over a cup of coffee. During our one-hour chat, I asked Frankie if he would be willing to share his story via an interview on my blog, and he agreed.

As I’ve shared with you before, being in Frankie’s presence is like being surrounded by beacon of positive energy. You can’t help but feel that all is well in the world and that whatever challenges we encounter in our lives, we have the power to turn them around; transforming them into a learning experience.

*an excerpt from Frankie’s bio

“My name is Frankie LaMacchia. On December 6th 1998, I was faced with
the biggest challenge of my life. I was in a motorcycle accident that left me
paralyzed from just below the chest down. Of course in the beginning it
was extremely difficult but I had overwhelming support from my great
family and friends. I really didn’t have a chance to be depressed. I kept
saying to myself that somehow, some way I was going to get through this.
Here I am 12 years later exactly where I am supposed to be in life.”


Welcome Frankie! Thank you so much for agreeing to share this interview because my readers were extremely anxious to meet you.

*What were your immediate thoughts when you were told of your paralysis?

My immediate thoughts were that this wasn’t happening. Like I was in a dream. A dream that I couldn’t wake myself up from. I sustained so many injuries that it was really hard to comprehend what I was being told. After having 5 surgeries, a hematoma and blurred vision, it was like I had no control over my mind and body. The room was full of doctors, nurses, family and friends. I literally had no idea what was going on. The doctor comes walking in with a pin and starts to pinch me. He starts at the bottom of my feet and works his way up. He’s asking “can you feel this” “how about this”? Until finally, around my stomach area, I began to feel. Then he turns to me and tells me that due to my accident, I had sustained a spinal cord injury at the T-5 level which was from just below the chest down. He said that the chances of me walking again were unlikely and that I would be confined to a wheelchair. I was in complete shock. It’s like the life was sucked right out of me. I went completely numb. I started to tear up. It was the most devastating information an individual can receive. It’s like all that I thought life was about, totally changed in a blink of an eye. I wept for some time with my family. After all my family and friends telling me that I was going to beat this, I got this overwhelming strength and confidence that I was going to beat this. After the 3rd or 4th doctor came in, I was like, “yeah doc… I know… I’m not going to walk again. In my head I was saying, they don’t know me very well. I was going to get through this.

*Did you ever go through a period of anger or self-pity?

I honestly never felt any anger or pity. Believe me, it was extremely difficult to learn that your life was about to completely change. There were some long nights that I would lay there and cry and think that this can’t be happening. There were only a few and they didn’t last long. I had overwhelming support from my family and friends. I had the help of God and this inner voice that would always assure me that things were going to be ok.

*Please share about the support and love you receive from your family and friends.

I received overwhelming support from my family and friends. The ED was always full with family and friends. It got to a point where the staff was asking if people would come back later. It didn’t stop there. Months after my accident, I always had a full house with people stopping by to express their love and support. It was absolutely amazing. I was so blessed to receive the love and support that I did. It was such abundance that I didn’t have a chance to feel down or pity for myself. I always had someone there telling me that if anyone can get through this, it was me. There was a day that I saw my mother crying. I said to her, what’s wrong?? She said that she always knew that I was a good kid and that people loved me but she had no idea that there were so many. That might’ve been my proudest moment at that time.


*How challenging was it to adjust to your wheel chair?

Getting use to the wheelchair was extremely challenging. It’s not just a matter of sitting in a wheelchair and wheeling around. It’s actually learning how to sit up and gaining your balance. It’s having to learn your center of gravity again. It’s being able to wheel without losing your balance and falling out of the chair. It took some time but I eventually was able to get around well. The other challenges were the accessibility issues. Something we all take advantage of. Now it’s not just a matter of getting around but am I able to… Is this place wheelchair accessible? Are there stairs to get in? Is it wide enough for me to get by? Are the bathrooms accessible? Are there curb cuts? How will I get in? How do I get on the beach? Things I never had to ask myself. Ultimately, you learn what your limitations are and just have to plan ahead.

*Is there anyone you admire, who keeps you inspired to stay so positive?

I am inspired and reminded by people every day. From the days shortly after my accident, I remember sitting in a room talking to a patient who couldn’t taste his food. I remember seeing a patient in a hospital bed that couldn’t move from the neck down and was being feed by a nurse. It was at that moment when I felt blessed and inspired. It took the expression, knowing that it can always be worse to a whole other level. It’s the people with disabilities that have it worse than me. They are my inspiration.

*What has most changed about you from before and after your accident?

I like this question. I get asked it all the time. My answer remains the same. “What you see is what you get…” Outside of the physical aspects that changed my life, I am the same person. This disability has not stopped me from being the person I want to be or the person I choose to be. I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life. So whether that’s walking or wheeling through life, I am where I am supposed to be.


*If you could share the biggest thing you’ve learned from this experience, what would it be?

One of the biggest things that I learned throughout this whole experience is that there are really good people in this world. People are always going out of their way to help and accommodate me. Whether it’s holding the door for me, asking if I need help breaking down my chair as I’m getting in my car or simply asking if I need help with grocery shopping. People are always willing to help. With all the bad things and negativity you hear about, it’s hard to see it sometimes.

*In conclusion, is there anything you would like to share with my readers?

All I can say is that I look at what happened to me as a blessing. I never once questioned why it happened. Sometimes you must go on and not ask why. You have to be thankful for everything you get. Never look at what you can’t do. Be grateful for what you can do. Always have a positive attitude. Love and respect the people around you. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Live each day like it was your last. For you never know what the future holds.


Thank you so much for sharing this interview, Frankie. It has been an absolute honor to have you on my blog. You da' man!

Note: Please feel free to comment to Frankie directly and openly, as he will be delighted to respond to each of you.

Frankie’s links:

*Facebook
*Videos
*Fitness Blog
*Philly’s Most Sexy Singles

99 comments

  1. Hi Ronnie and Frankie,

    What an incredible dude you are, Frankie. I tell you; not everybidy can take adverisity and create a new life with wisdom and grace. I am sure that you have seen others who have decided that anger and hate would be their companions. Not you.
    This interview started a bit of a conversation with my husband and I told him that even though we are able bodied we set limitations. I really mean that. I can and people in my family bitch

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  2. continued...
    and moan about this oe that and don't have the courage to TRY. I most thourougly enjoyed reading Ron's interview. Thank you for sharing and Thank you Ronnie, too.
    Have a great day and see you soon,Ronnie.
    xo

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  3. It's not easy to accept your lot in life but when you do it makes life so much easier. You are an inspiration m'dear. Wishing you much happiness. x

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  4. Thank you for opening your life up to us! You are an inspiration to all of those who face daily challenges.

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  5. That is one beautiful man. Outside and inside. Thank you Frankie and Ron for starting my Monday off on an incredibly positive note!

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  6. Frankie makes me want to be a better person...great interview, Ron. Nice way to end it...hot man holding cute little puppy...how in the world am I supposed to concentrate on work this morning!

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  7. Hey there Tracy!

    " Nice way to end it...hot man holding cute little puppy...how in the world am I supposed to concentrate on work this morning!"

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You are too damn funny!!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl! Have a great week!

    X

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  8. Hi Frankie (and Ron, of course). Frankie, I just want to say how inspirational you are. I wish other people in similar situations could read this (and with permission I will pass it on) since it might encourage them to look beyond their disablement and move on with their lives in happier mood. It's sad that the accident should happen to a good looking guy like yourself but, hey, what has looks got to do with it? Well, I'm of the opinion that it's your inner self shining through. Thank you, Ron, for posting your interview with an incredible man. Best wishes to both of you. Have a rewarding week.

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  9. Good morning Valerie~

    Yes, by all means, please pass this interview on, as I know Frankie's words will inspire MANY others.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kinds words.

    Have a super week!
    X

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  10. Good Morning, Ron!

    Hello, Frankie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this inspirational and humbling post. I really needed a self-check.

    I have a herniated disk in L4, L5 and have been dwelling on things that "I will never be able to do again". These things are so insignificant. I need to be thankful for those things that I CAN do. I feel like a true ass.

    Frankie, you are blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who love and support you.

    Thank you again for sharing this!

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  11. Hi everyone!

    Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by and sharing your kind and supportive words to Frankie.

    Truly, it's been an honor having him on my blog. He's altered my way of seeing things.

    "Sometimes you must go on and not ask why. You have to be thankful for everything you get. Never look at what you can’t do. Be grateful for what you can do. Always have a positive attitude. Love and respect the people around you. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Live each day like it was your last. For you never know what the future holds."

    Amen!

    Thanks again, everyone!

    X
    .

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  12. Rob LenihanJanuary 16, 2012

    Ron, thank you so much for posting this fabulous interview with this wonderful man. It really touched a nerve here because I know that I have a tendency to feel sorry for myself over some incredibly minor things. Here's a man who suffered such a terrible loss, yet he describes it as a blessing and says the biggest lesson here's learned is that "there are really good people in this world." Once again, my thanks for introducing me to Frankie. Take care, buddy, and all the best!

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  13. Hey there Rob~

    You are so welcome. I am so happy and excited to share Frankie's story. It's an honor. And I can honestly say that something has 'shifted' inside me, since meeting him.

    "It really touched a nerve here because I know that I have a tendency to feel sorry for myself over some incredibly minor things."

    Ditto, buddy. And I think we all do at times.

    "yet he describes it as a blessing and says the biggest lesson here's learned is that "there are really good people in this world."

    I know, that has really cause me to OPEN MY EYES.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy! Have a great week!

    X

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  14. Wow! Frankie, what an inspiration you are. Too many people in your situation would be bitter and angry at the world. I admire your ability to stay positive and upbeat. You are truly inspiring. You make me realize that things I might see as "problems" are actually very minute blips on my life map. THANK YOU!

    And Ron, Thank you SO much for sharing this wonderful and inspiring young man with us. I see why you are so inspired by him.

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  15. Hey there Peg~

    You're so welcome.

    It was an honor. Truly!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear friend.
    X

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  16. Hey there Barb~

    (((( You ))))

    Thank you for stopping by!
    X

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  17. Hey Lady Nitebyrd!

    And YOU for stopping by.

    X ya, Sis!

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  18. Hey there Diane~

    *waving*

    Thank you for stopping by, girl

    XOXO

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  19. First, let me say THANK YOU to both you, Ron, and to Frankie for this interview.
    Frankie, that you never felt pity or anger or even questioned why it all happened is amazing. I'm sure that having a great support system of friends, family, and medical personnel was very helpful initially and continues to be, but if you don't have that inner strength then much of what you've gone through would be so much more difficult.
    In addition to reading the interview here, I also watched the videos... Day in a Life and Kitchen and Community Mobility. WOW. I was just mesmerized. It was very inspiring to watch you move through parts of your day. And salmon, on top of that delicious looking salad, are ya kidding me??!! We had pizza last night because I didn't feel like cooking. I feel ashamed. :(

    Some questions came to mind...
    Your home is so clean and organized. Were you always like that or was it something you had to learn as you adjusted to life in a wheelchair to make life easier?
    Did you ever have contact after the accident with the person responsible?
    My husband has a motorcycle and I'm always nervous when he goes out for a ride. Of course all sorts of accidents happen every day so I guess if you were meant to have a life-changing event it would have been something else that happened, would you agree?
    The next one is a little personal, but do you date? How easy/hard is it to be in a relationship?

    Thanks again, Ron, for an inspiring post and Frankie for sharing some of your life with us. It was a pleasure to read about you. Wishing you a very happy 2012!

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  20. Hey there Mary~

    First, thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.

    Second, thank you for watching Frankie's video.

    Third, "Some questions came to mind...
    Your home is so clean and organized."

    HA! GREAT question! And it's so ironic that you shared your observation of how clean and organized Frankie's home is, because I thought the SAME THING! In fact, that's one of the questions I wanted ask him myself. His house is METICULOUS, isn't it?

    Anyway, I'll allow Frankie to answer that himself when he stops by to respond to everyone's comments later today.

    Wonderful questions, my friend! Thank you for asking them!

    X ya!

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  21. When I first read this sentence:

    "being in Frankie’s presence is like being surrounded by beacon of positive energy."

    I thought it said, being in Frankie’s presence is like being surrounded by a BACON of positive energy. Clearly, I'm hungry.

    Anyway…


    I cannot even imagine waking up from a tragic accident and being told I would be paralyzed for the rest of my life.

    Frankie is blessed to have had so much support from friends and family, I don't know if I would have been able to avoid the self-pity & depression stages.

    Yanno, I forget how accessibility can become such an issue for those confined to a wheelchair. I take my legs and mobility for granted.

    I love the fact that Frankie does NOT allow this accident or his disability to DEFINE him as a person. That is amazing.

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  22. I read "being in Frankie’s presence is like being surrounded by beacon of positive energy" as "being in Frankie's presence is like being surrounded by BACON of positive energy." That, of course, led to an entirely different (and confusing) interpretation of this entire post until I realized my mistake.

    I love your positive outlook, Frankie! Especially the fact that you're convinced this is exactly where you were meant to be. That truly is the definition of inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing your story, and Ron, thanks for the stellar interview!

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  23. Frankie, you are truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story with us via Ron.

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  24. Hey there Meleah~

    "I thought it said, being in Frankie’s presence is like being surrounded by a BACON of positive energy. "

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG....that's hysterical because if you read Marks comment below yours, he read it the same way....BACON!!!

    And come to think of it, it DOES look like the word BACON!

    Anyhoo....thanks so much for stopping by, girl! I agree...I love the fact that Frankie does not allow any of this to define him as a person. And you can really see that when you're in his presence.

    X

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  25. Howdy Mark~

    OMG....that is so funny, because Meleah (the comment above yours) read 'beacon' as BACON too!! HA!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, buddy. So glad you enjoyed this interview because it was such a joy and pleasure to put together.

    X

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  26. That's wonderful.

    You did a GREAT job with this interview Ron!

    Thanks for sharing his story with us.

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  27. Thank you. And you're so welcome.

    X

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  28. Katherine KrigeJanuary 16, 2012

    Ron thank you so much for sharing this inspirational true story with us. There are so many people out there that are terrified of adversity and comment to others who are going through it that they could never do it. Frankie, I think you are an excellent example of the fact that we all have our crosses to bear and we ALL can live and grow from these challenges. And really, I see your story not as a hardship, but as a gift that you have grown from. You sound so positive and upbeat, hence it is impossible to feel sorry for you. You are the best in what an individual can strive for and an inspiration for us all. Thank you so much for taking the time to remind us that life is worth living, every day and every way.

    Blessings to you both.

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  29. Hi Barb,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my interview and a big thanks to Ron for allowing me to share my story with everyone. You're right. I’ve seen others who have turned to hate and pity as their companions. It’s easy to be turned but much more rewarding to prove to yourself that you can beat it and still aspire. It’s ok to bitch and moan. I do it too but just under my breath :) We’re all human and take things for granted sometimes. Trust me; I take them for granted too.

    It was a pleasure meeting you!

    Frankie

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  30. Thank you for the kind words and allowing me to share. Wishing you all the happiness as well!

    Frankie

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  31. Greetings Katherine~

    "You are the best in what an individual can strive for and an inspiration for us all."

    Amen! Yes, I TOTALLY agree...he is!

    Thanks oodles for stopping by, dear friend. LOVED your comment!

    X

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  32. Thanks for the kinds words. The truth is that we all face challenges in life. It doesn’t matter is you have a disability or not, we all face them. It's surmounting them that counts.

    Take care!
    Frankie

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  33. Hi Tracy!

    Thanks for the kind words (blushing). We are all good people. We can all do better for ourselves. Sometimes we just need a lil kick in the butt (or a sign) to make us acknowledge it.

    Nice meeting you!
    Frankie

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  34. Hi Valerie!

    Thank you for reading and expressing the kind words. I believe that it’s up to the individual for how they choose to live their life. It’s easy to let an illness or disablement take control of your body and mind. It’s accepting and understanding it that’s the challenge. For me, I see others who have it a lot worse than I do. It those individuals that help me stay focus and maintain a positive attitude and never sweat the small stuff.

    Pleasure meeting you!
    Frankie
    PS. I’m sure you’re an incredible women too.

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  35. Hello Diane,

    Thanks for your kind words and allowing me to share my story. You know what?? I need a self-check every now and then too. And it’s ok. We all do. I get those days when I see myself getting short or losing my patients. But thank god I notice it right away and change my attitude immediately. No need to feel like an ass. I take things for granted too.
    Oh and I did have overwhelming support from my friends and family and I still do. It honestly makes a world of difference.

    Nice chatting with you!
    Frankie

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  36. Hi Rob!

    Thanks for reading the questions. I’m glad it touched you. As I mentioned in a previous reply, I too take things for granted. The second I start to sweat the small things, I get a grip and come to my census.
    Case and point Rob. Good people in this world! You and everyone on this blog is a prime example of them.

    Thanks for proving my point!
    Frankie

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  37. Hi Peg!
    Thank you for the kind words an allowing me to share my story. There is a common theme that people seem to not realize how fortunate and lucky we are to have what we have but yet we all seem to take things for granted. I think that’s ok. I think it’s just what we humans do.
    Staying positive and upbeat has been my ally. It has helped my coop and deal with all the challenges that I faced. Being positive and seeing the good in everything actually helps relieve stress allows you to get a good night’s sleep ;)

    Take care!
    Frankie

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  38. Hi Ron and Frankie!

    Frankie, thank you for letting Ron share your inspiring story. Ron has such a gift for finding the most beautiful souls. You're so blessed to have such an incredible circle of family and friends. I, too, hit the jackpot in that category and I'm grateful every day.

    And if it's not out of line, you are one HANDSOME man!

    So nice to meet you~
    Chrissy

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  39. Herman TurnipJanuary 16, 2012

    It's amazing how many things the fully capable take for granted. I thought I'd skim over the video, but once I started watching and listening to Frankie describe in a "matter of fact" tone what he does on a daily basis I was hooked. Why can't reality TV be this engrossing?

    Great post, and great interview!

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  40. Hello Mary!

    You are very welcome and thank you so much for reading and watching the videos.

    I never questioned what happened because I was never one to question something that really had no answer. Things happen and you have to accept the fact that they did. Sure it can be extremely difficult but you must face reality.

    I did have an extremely great support system and of course some great doctors, nurses and rehab therapists.

    I’ll be glad to give you the salad and salmon recipe. It’s quite easy actually. By the way, I don’t cook like that every night! Although, I do have a passion for cooking.

    Here are the answers to your questions (thanks for asking!):

    Your home is so clean and organized. Were you always like that or was it something you had to learn as you adjusted to life in a wheelchair to make life easier?

    I was always like that. I think it had to do with growing up. My parents are Italian and every Saturday morning, we (my brother, sister and I) had choirs to do. We always had to keep our things neat and tidy. Since then, I guess it stuck with me.

    Did you ever have contact after the accident with the person responsible?

    Sad to say - yes. Not actually me but my sister and sister in law did. They found out when the guy lived and knocked on his door. Apparently, there was this overwhelming smell of marijuana that hit them right in the face when he opened the door. They said that they wanted him to know that the guy on the bike that he hit was paralyzed. His reply was – so?? - what do you want me to do about it?? They said the driver had no pity or remorse. They were so upset with his attitude and response that they rushed away. I honestly never felt any hatred towards the driver. Even after hearing about their encounter with him. My philosophy is that what goes around comes around. Karma is a bitch and it bites HARD!

    My husband has a motorcycle and I'm always nervous when he goes out for a ride. Of course all sorts of accidents happen every day so I guess if you were meant to have a life-changing event it would have been something else that happened, would you agree?

    Yes. I do agree. Motorcycle or not, things are meant to be and happen for a reason.

    The next one is a little personal, but do you date? How easy/hard is it to be in a relationship?

    I certainly date. I have definitely had my fair share of relationships. I don’t necessarily think that it’s hard. It’s more of finding the right person. As for my particular situation, I believe people who see more than a guy in a wheelchair are the people I want in my life anyway. Those that don’t see past the chair are doing me a favor and don’t belong in my life.

    It was a pleasure meeting you and thanks again for the questions. They were some really good ones!!

    Stay well.
    Frankie

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  41. Hi Meleah!

    All this talk of bacon is making me hungry!!

    Thanks for reading and sharing your kind words. At first it was quite overwhelming to learn of my fate. You would be surprised of what inner strength and power you have when you are faced with a life changing challenge. The truth is that I said the same thing before. If I saw or heard that someone was faced with a disability, I would say that I don’t think I can handle it. Well you know what? I was faced with it and I handled it (thank God).

    The accessibility part can be a pain in the butt sometimes. It just means that I have to plan things more in advance. Even if the place is not accessible. That doesn’t stop me. If it has a few steps I’m like ok, grab a few people and let’s get in.

    Thanks again for reading and replying! And YES this disability has not defined me.

    Have a great week!
    Frankie

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  42. Hi Mark!

    I think you, Meleah, Ron and I should go to lunch and all have BLT’s with all this bacon talk!

    Thanks for reading and replying. I’m glad it inspired you.

    Great to meet you!
    Frankie
    PS. I agree with you. Ron did a stellar job with the questions and making this interview happen. I can't thank him enough.

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  43. Hi Suzi!

    Thanks for allowing me to share my story and sharing your kind words.

    Have a great week!
    Frankie

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  44. hi Ron & hi Frankie :)
    such a great interview. Sometimes blogging feels very arms length and this post was all about being real and getting to the heart of the matter. Thanks for your candor. The part you shared about your mom was so touching and the reflections you shared at the end are a good reminder of the importance of perspective and gratitude. Thanks for including me in your pretty darned big circle of FB friends....and....did I read correctly that your birthday is coming up very soon? Again, thanks to you both - a great job collaborating on this wonderful blog project - I have a much better appreciation for the positive energy that you (Ron) referred to before. Seems I can feel it from here :) xoxo, diane

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  45. Hello Katherine!

    I can only echo and agree with all that you said. You are definitely someone that gets it!

    Thanks for reading and sharing your heartwarming kind words!

    Frankie

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  46. Hi!!
    I appreciate your kind words and dropping us a line. You certainly have me blushing as I type this. I’m so glad that Ron and I were able to start your Monday on a positive note.

    I hope you have a positive year!
    Frankie

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  47. Hey there Diane~

    "I have a much better appreciation for the positive energy that you (Ron) referred to before. Seems I can feel it from here ."

    See!!! Didn't I tell ya?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Your words and presence on this post are very much appreciated!

    X to you and Cristybella!

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  48. Howdy Herman~

    Aren't Frankie's videos faaaaaaaaaaaabulous? I watched them all weekend before I published this post and was hooked too!

    Thanks for stopping by, buddy! Hope you had great Monday

    X to you and the family!

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  49. Hey there Chrissy~

    (((( You ))))

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by and for your sweet words.

    X ya, girl!

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  50. Hi Chrissy!!

    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to reply. Ron is a beautiful soul hence having the ability to find it in others is a gift that he certainly possesses.

    I am very blessed to have the love and support of my family and friends. I thank God every day. I am so glad to hear that you are surrounded by great family and friends. For without people, we really are nothing.

    Thanks for making me turn red like a tomato ;)

    It was a pleasure meeting and chatting with you.
    Frankie

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  51. Hello Herman!

    Thanks for taking the time to view the videos. That was one project that I am truly glad and honored to be a part of. Those videos are going to have such a huge impact on newly injured patients. I wish I had videos like those when I was first injured. Hearing how to do things and seeing them is a world of difference. I’m glad the videos engrossed you. I hope they have that effect of everyone that views them.

    What can I say? Ron is the man and I am so glad that I met him and that he did this interview.
    Take care!
    Frankie

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  52. Hello Diane!

    Thanks so much for your kind words and thoughts. You really hit the nail on the head. This is more than just a blog. It’s good people being real people! My mom is my #1 fan and supporter. I don’t think I could’ve done without her. She brings a whole new meaning to the words unconditional love.

    You can never have enough friends or people in you live. As I express in a reply earlier, without people, we really are nothing.

    Yes. My birthday is just a few days away. I’m one of those celebrate all month types ;)

    I can’t thank Ron enough for collaborating on this. He does an amazing job with this blog. He’s just a great guy and I’m glad we were able to pass some of that positive energy to you.

    Stay sweet !!
    Frankie

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  53. To my man Ron,

    I could not express the gratitude that I have for what you have done for me. To think that 2 months ago, I was a complete stranger and yet you wrote an inspiring blog about me. I am grateful and humbled to consider you my friend. You are truly an amazing, gifted person. You see people for who they are. It’s you Ron, who is inspirational. Look at what you’ve done! You brought people who didn’t know each other or never even seen each other together. That’s pretty remarkable!

    I sincerely want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my life with some extraordinary people. You included Ron. This is a result of your work. I can’t thank you enough. All I can say is:

    Ron, you ROCK!!!

    See you this week pal!
    Frankie

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  54. Frankie.....

    ((((((((((((( You )))))))))))))))

    I have no words.

    But.

    Thank you for your words.

    And I say that......VERY teary-eyed.

    See you this week pal!

    X

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  55. Okay--the puppy is too cute! And look at the dimple. He's gonna steal someone heart big time!

    I watched the videos (I'm snoopy like that....LOL) and I clicked on links. Yup--he's got that specialness to him. And I agree with Frankie, Ron. You attract what you radiate and probably have little clue that you even possess. (We tell ya and tell ya and TELL ya...but do you listen?!...LOL) I don't find it surprising that the two of you crossed paths and connected--kindred souls, I'd say.

    Frankie has an awesome mom. I'm clear he knows that. And an awesome support system. He didn't have to walk through all of this alone--no one should have to, but to be surrounded by all that love and light....only good comes from that! He's a testimony to that.

    I like the attitude muchly--mostly because it's the one I found through the 'trials and tribulations' that life doles out. You either use it to become all that you are, or you let those things 'define' you. He's so much more than the circumstances in his life--and he lives that. AND he has dimples. LOLOL AND a cute puppy.

    And clean.....ohmygosh he's a clean freak! AND he cooks!
    He's gonna steal someone heart big time!

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  56. Goooooooood morin' Mel!

    "I watched the videos (I'm snoopy like that....LOL) and I clicked on links. Yup--he's got that specialness to him."

    Aren't Frankie's videos freakin' faaaabulous? And he's such a natural in front of the camera! I agree...he's got a specialness.

    "I don't find it surprising that the two of you crossed paths and connected--kindred souls, I'd say."

    And I feel very blessed for that. Who would have thought that TWO years ago, when I first saw Frankie wheeling through my store and admired his awesome energy, that one day we'd meet and he'd be sharing his story on my blog.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, dear lady. Frankie will be by sometime later today to respond to your comment, and I'm sure he's gonna love it.

    Have a terrific Tuesday, Mel!

    (((( Mel ))))

    X

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  57. It's a pleasure and an honour to meet you Frankie. You are a fortunate man surrounded by a beautiful family and great friends.

    You're a an inspiration to me and to everybody else around you.

    I hope Ronnie will allow you more space on his blog so we all can get to know more about you !

    Cheers !

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  58. Good morning Jaffer~

    "I hope Ronnie will allow you more space on his blog so we all can get to know more about you !"

    You bet! In fact, I would love to have Frankie share on my blog throughout this next year. I know there is much more we can all learn from his example.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Always FAB to see ya! Enjoy your day!

    X

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  59. Pamela D HartJanuary 17, 2012

    Ron, what an inspirational post! I’m so glad we got to meet Frankie, who is not only handsome on the outside, but beautiful on the inside!

    “It took the expression, knowing that it can always be worse to a whole other level. It’s the people with disabilities that have it worse than me. They are my inspiration.”

    Through my challenges, I’ve learned to tell myself the SAME thing. I think it’s important to realize this because there ARE people who DO have it a lot worse and when you see those people and see that they are happy and living life to the fullest, they really are an inspiration.

    “This disability has not stopped me from being the person I want to be or the person I choose to be. I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life.”

    I love Frankie’s attitude! And he’s right. We are only limited by the limitations we place on ourselves. I also say I am where I’m supposed to be…it’s a “plan”.

    “Be grateful for what you can do. Always have a positive attitude. Love and respect the people around you. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Live each day like it was your last. For you never know what the future holds.”

    I used to be negative; always waiting for the next shoe to drop, so to speak. Then I decided to change and have a positive outlook. I try to find the silver lining in the dark cloud and to be honest, now that I do that, it’s difficult to be negative. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have moments when I feel “down”, but they don’t last long because the positivity is now so strong.

    Thank you, Ron, for sharing your interview with this amazing man. Too bad Frankie’s attitude couldn’t become infectious! What a wonderful world we’d have! People feeling good about themselves and others.

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  60. Hey Frankie, oh yeah - and you too Ron

    Frankie, in all the times that Ron has mentioned you to me he never once said anything about how handsome you are, downright hot actually
    I guess that says something about how your inner self is even more lovely
    I am reminded to be more grateful and positive by you, thanks for that
    I have some physical limits caused by socoliosis and an ankle injury and I sometimes get very frustrated - with myself and the world
    I do try to catch that and now that I "know" you I will add thinking of you as an extra point of inspiration
    thank you for that

    I love the puppy

    oh - and in case I didn't make it clear - holy crap! you're hot

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  61. Hey there Pamela~

    You are so very welcome, my friend. So glad you enjoyed Frankie's interview. Isn't he freakin' inspiring?

    "I used to be negative; always waiting for the next shoe to drop, so to speak. Then I decided to change and have a positive outlook. I try to find the silver lining in the dark cloud and to be honest, now that I do that, it’s difficult to be negative."

    Good for you, Pamela! And trust me, I too can at times get "down", and over the silliest things. But, like you...I don't stay down long.

    "Too bad Frankie’s attitude couldn’t become infectious! What a wonderful world we’d have! People feeling good about themselves and others. "

    AMEN!

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, Pamela. Hope you're having a super week!

    X

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  62. Hey there Lady Dianne~

    I. LOVE. YOU.

    Thanks for stopping by. And I can't wait until Frankie reads your comment!

    X

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  63. whenpigsflyJanuary 17, 2012

    Frankie
    I'm so thrilled that Ron was finally able to meet you and share your story. It's so like Ron to go that extra mile and connect with someone he's never met on such a personal level.
    Your story is so inspiring. There are days when I get down about something so unbelievably trivial and I have to remind myself how amazing my life is. I realize it's all relative but I think we all need to give some thought to what other people are going through each and every day.
    All those corny lines you hear like, "Don't sweat the small stuff" are so true. Life is short and precious.

    Ron
    Thanks so much for getting this post written and up on your site. I'm going to share it on my Facebook fan page. I want other people to hear Frankie's story.

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  64. Hi Ron - What a great post. Then all of your posts are great :)

    Frankie, what an inspiration you are. Goodness oozes out of you in your videos and I've no doubt you are a great help to many, many people. Being grateful for what we have is so important and you so obviously are.

    Nice one Ron :)

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  65. Hiya Jen~

    Aw....thank you, my dear friend.

    (((((( You ))))))

    Not only for you kind and supportive words, but for also sharing Frankie's story on FB. He'll be so touched, I know it.

    As always, it's a delight to see you. Hope you're having a wonderful week.

    X

    P.S. Let's catch up via phone sometime this month because I would love to hear what's going on.

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  66. Hey there Babs~

    Thank you. I was so excited to finally have the time to share Frankie's story via our interview this month. It was a BLAST putting it together.

    I know Frankie will be very touched by your sweet comment. I can't wait until he reads it.

    Thanks oodles for stopping by. Very much appreciated and enjoyed.

    Hope you're having a splendid week!

    X to you and Mo!

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  67. Hello Mel,

    Thanks for reading and replying! The dog is actually my nieces. He was only a few months old there. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I think you captured it perfectly. And you are right about my mom and my support system.

    I am a clean freak. I’ll admit that but I’m like not crazy person about it. I just like things neat and a certain way. Cooking is a passion of mine. I was in the restaurant business for 8 years before my accident so I know how to dance around in the kitchen (or should I say wheel around :))

    As for stealing someone’s heart… We’ll just have to see about that!

    Thanks again and have a great night!
    Frankie

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  68. Hi there Jaffer!

    Thanks for the thoughtful kind words! You’re right. I am a fortunate man and I’ll also add blessed. I hope you are surrounded by great family and friends too.

    Have a great night!
    Frankie

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  69. Hello Pamela!

    Thank you for being so considered and thoughtful in your reply. I am so glad to see that you have shifted to a positive attitude. I truly find it to be a much better way to live your life. You just have a better outlook and it relieves any stress or drama in your life. I try to stay stress free.

    You’re right; we are responsible for setting our own limitations. You can conquer and achieve whatever you put your mind to. Oh yeah, on the days that I start feeling down or what I like to call – being tested, I just step back, get a grip and change my attitude asap. So don’t worry. It happens to me too. I think it’s called being human.

    You have me speechless with your last comments. Thank you! It truly made my day! I’m sure you are an amazing women also.

    On this last note, I’ll leave with this quote that I saw on a friends facebook. “Attitudes are contagious – try to surround yourself with the positive ones!”

    Have a great night!
    Frankie

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  70. jennifer kaneJanuary 17, 2012

    Hi Ron, and Frankie (my Frankie)...This interview is so beautiful. I am proud to say that i consider myself a friend of Frankie's (lucky, huh??) If you know this man, i'm sure you'd agree, it's as if this wheelchair doesn't exist...i never see it when he's around, i only see Frankie...he's amazing!
    Frankie you are so loved by so many people...xo

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  71. Hi Dianne!

    Okay… You certainly have me blushing over here. Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to get to know me. I am reminded everyday by people I see as I go through my day. People who have it worse than I do. They are an inspiration to all of us.

    Sorry to hear about your limitations but I’m sure it doesn’t stop you. Sure it can be frustrating at times but it’s at those times that we have to be hard and demanding of ourselves. Only you can prove to yourself that you can do it. Trust me; after you do that, you’ll be an inspiration to others.

    BTW, the puppy is my nieces.

    Great meeting you!
    Frankie

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  72. Hiya Jennifer~

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

    OMG....I am sooooooooo happy you stopped by to share a comment, and I bet Frankie will be too!

    And thank YOU for introducing us, for without YOU, there would not be this interview; allowing others to be deeply touched by Frankie's life.

    He's got a new fan club here!

    Thanks again for stopping by! See ya work next month!

    ((((( Jennifer ))))))

    X

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  73. Hi Jen!

    Thanks for reading and replying. I deeply appreciate your kind words. The truth is that we all get down on the things that usually matter the least. I think it’s just human nature. Don’t worry; I catch myself doing it to. But I always seem to stop myself and give myself a kick in the butt.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff in one of my favorite saying. I use it all the time because it’s sooo true.

    I’m on facebook so feel free to friend request me. And please share with whoever you like.

    Thanks again and have a great week!
    Frankie

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  74. Hi Babs!

    Thanks for all your kind words. I like your description too! You are so right. I am so grateful and have a fantastic support system. I know that those videos are going to help many individuals who are and have gone through what I have. I really hope they make a huge difference, especially for the newly injured patients.

    Wishing you the best!

    Frankie

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  75. Jennifer my love!!!

    You are the best!! What else can I say? You hit the nail right on the head (your Frankie ). I’m the lucky one, we are all lucky to have such a sweet, considerate person like you that we can call our friend.
    As Ron mentions, if it weren’t for you, none of this would’ve happened. We are blessed to have you in our lives. You’re an amazing, beautiful person.

    Frankie is loved by so many… What a about Jenn!? Yes Jenn… You are loved by so many. I’m one of them.

    I’m so happy and proud to have a friend like you in my life. Thanks for being responsible for all this.

    Love ya honey!
    Frankie

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  76. jennifer kaneJanuary 18, 2012

    OMG.....i'm in tears....xoxo

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  77. Wow, what a nice guy!

    Frankie, you're truly an inspiration. We all face challenges in our lives, and I've always said we have to play the cards we're dealt, but it has been difficult sometimes to live by those words. You truly do! Next time I'm faced with a health challenge I shall think of you. Thanks for sharing your experiences and philosophy with us. :)

    And thanks to you, too, Ron! I always enjoy reading your blog, whether it's a humorous post or a serious one. This post will stay with me a long while.

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  78. Hey there Jay~

    It was such a joy and pleasure to get together with Frankie and publish this interview.

    Yup...isn't he an inspiration?

    Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by and for your sweet and supportive words, my friend! Hope you had wonderful Wednesday.

    X

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  79. ...I would think if one were to look up the word, "inspire", there would be Frankie's picture. :o)

    ...I loved this: "This disability has not stopped me from being the person I want to be or the person I choose to be. I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life. So whether that’s walking or wheeling through life, I am where I am supposed to be." - *sigh* Awesome. ;o)

    ...Thank you so much Frankie for sharing you, your life, your story. And thank you too Ron for introducing us.

    ...(((Ron))) & (((Frankie)))

    ...Peace & Blessings to you both. :o)

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  80. Hello Dearest TJ~

    Thank you so, so much for stopping by, sweet lady.

    ((((( You ))))))

    And I can't wait until Frankie reads your comment!!!!

    Hope you're enjoying a wonderful week. Always a treat to see ya!

    And btw, did SNOW there yet? It hasn't here yet. :(

    I WANT SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Peace and blessings, and X.

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  81. Hey Ronnie (and Frankie)! Frankie seems like a pretty amazing soul. Hearing things like this makes problems in our lives seem so petty. Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story!

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  82. Hey Shae~

    You are so welcome, my friend. Sharing this post with Frankie was an absolute delight.

    " Frankie seems like a pretty amazing soul."

    Yup...he is. And his positive attitude is contagious.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Shae! Hope you're having a wonderful week!

    X

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  83. WHAT AN AMAZING INTERVIEW. Frankie, you are an amazing man. Thank you for this opportunity to learn about you, to become inspired and to count my blessings. It is all too easy to wallow in your own problems. I have gastroparesis and have so many foods I can't eat now. But I often remind myself there are others with GP that are on feeding tubes, and I'm not, and am indeed blessed. I need to remember that when I think I have problems, there are always others who have more difficulties to face. You ROCK!

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  84. Good Morning Katherine~

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a comment, dear lady!

    YOU rock too!

    Have a grrrrrrrreat weekend!

    X

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  85. seriously, you want people to comment after reading this. *wipes tears* wow, what a great interview. thank you ron and frankie for sharing your story. frankie you have an amazing attitude and from the people around you and willing to help shows how much heart you have and what a great person you must be. disabilities do not define who we are... it just means we have to go around adversity or difficulties, not stop living.

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  86. Hey there ladyV~

    I can't thank you enough for stopping by and sharing your beautiful and touching words in your comment, girl.

    Frankie will truly enjoy it.

    Thank you again.

    (((( You ))))

    X

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  87. oh and i love that you are so neat, frankie. ;)

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  88. Thanks Ron (and Val) for bringing this amazing fella to my attention.

    Frankie - thank you for sharing your story. You're an inspiration.

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  89. Greetings Mister V~

    You are so welcome. It was a joy to share this interview.

    And thank YOU for stopping by and sharing a comment!

    Isn't Frankie an inspiration?

    Again, thank you for stopping by.

    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  90. Wow! What a great attitude and an all around great guy! I am truly impressed! Even though I have health issues, this makes me appreciate life and what I HAVE. Thank you.

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  91. Greetings Pat~

    You are so welcome. And thank YOU for stopping by for a read.

    Isn't Frankie awesome? His positive attitude is truly contagious.

    Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend!

    X

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  92. Hi Jay!

    Thanks for reading and the kind words. You're absolutely right!! We all get dealt a hand. Sometimes you have to make a choice. Do I play or fold? I always choose to play it out. Sometimes you are dealt a pair sometimes it's a full house. You have to take good with the bad.

    Great meeting you! Have a great week!


    Frankie

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  93. Hi TJ!
    Thanks so much for your thoughts and kind words! I appreciate it.

    Nice meeting you. Have an awesome week
    Frankie

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  94. Hello Mister V!

    I appreciate your kind words! I'm glad you feel inspired. I'm inspired everyday by others who are less fortunate that me.

    Take care!
    Frankie

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  95. Hello Shae!

    Thanks for stopping by and hearing about my story. We all have problems. We just need to put them in perspective to realize that they're actually not problems at all. Merely bumps in the road.

    Thanks for the kind words. Have a great week!
    Frankie

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  96. Hi Katherine!

    Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share my story. Sounds like you and I are a lot alike. We don’t sweat the small stuff and it can always be worse. Count your blessings my dear!
    Pleasure meeting you!
    Frankie

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  97. Hi LadyV!

    Thanks for reading and the kind words. Never let a disability define who you are. We all have disabilities. We just have to make the best of them. If you’re willing, there is always a way.

    I have to thank my mom for my neatness. I'm slightly ODC :)

    Take care,
    Frankie

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  98. Hi Pat!

    Thanks for the kind words! As I mentioned before, we have to count our blessings. It can always be worse. We all have problems. It's dealing with them and and proving we can beat them.

    Thanks again for the comments! Have a great week.

    Frankie

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  99. Hiya Jennifer~

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

    OMG....I am sooooooooo happy you stopped by to share a comment, and I bet Frankie will be too!

    And thank YOU for introducing us, for without YOU, there would not be this interview; allowing others to be deeply touched by Frankie's life.

    He's got a new fan club here!

    Thanks again for stopping by! See ya at work next month!

    ((((( Jennifer ))))))

    X

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