"If you're going through Hell, keep going."
-Winston Churchill

Jun 7, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride

The last 24 hours has been truly been a roller coaster ride. Since I know there are those that follow me on here that are not on Facebook, please allow me to fill you in. Last week I was contacted by someone in the marketing department of Facebook. They came across Help Katy Back to Rehab and were very interested in helping by sharing my story on a Facebook page called “Best of Facebook Stories.” I, of course, was very excited and honored to do so. I understand that since my injury I have a new role as someone people look up to. Sometimes I laugh to myself when I think about it, I really don’t think I’m anything special and I am just handling the situation the only way I know how. Nonetheless, I feel very blessed to be able to be an inspiration and it is something I do not take lightly or try to take advantage of. I’d like to think people can relate to me because just barely over a year ago, I was like everyone else with no disabilities living their life. I lived on my own, held a job for years as a waitress, had a serious boyfriend, hung out with great friends and looked forward to getting back into school. Just your typical 24-year-old woman harmlessly minding her own business and in an instant everything changed. Back to the subject at hand, I was contacted on the evening of June 3rd; the next morning I immediately got on the computer and typed up my story. There are so many different components to my story that it is difficult to type it out, the most detailed account would be this blog entry - We must be the change we want to see in the world - I was so excited about my story being featured on “Best of Facebook Stories” since they have nearly 62,000 followers. Then I discovered they also shared my story on another Facebook page called “Non-Profits on Facebook.” WOW, I thought… This page has only 448,000 followers!!! By this point, my phone was blowing up with Facebook notifications. So many genuine messages of sweet words of support and encouragement, tons of friend requests by people who were inspired by me, and the Help Katy to Rehab page instantly started jumping up in numbers. In a brief moment of senselessness, I decided to add anyone who requested me. I figured what harm could it do. I was so giddy I was beside myself, I think my upper body even tried to jump out of bed! How could this go wrong? My story of overcoming the odds with a positive attitude was being spread to hundreds of thousands of people; after all, the whole purpose of the page was to spread awareness and gain recognition. My roller coaster was slowly coasting to the top.

So many people were reaching out and I was trying my best to respond to each one because I was truly touched by all the support I was getting. That is when things started turned sour. I was informed that somebody “liked” my Facebook page, Katy Blake- Public Figure. The problem with this was that I had not created that page and did not know who did. My roller coaster had a quick and drastic drop. Right away I went into panic mode. I immediately “liked” myself (kind of funny to say) and posted on “my” wall that I had not created that page or knew who was behind it. Within a minute, my post was deleted and I was blocked from leaving any further comments. That was when “Katyland Security Advisory System” went off the charts. It is like when you have your car or your house broken into, you feel violated that somebody else has invaded your personal space. I felt sick knowing someone else was impersonating me and talking to people posing as me. Very, very bad went to much, much worse when I thought about the fact that they could use my story to scam people for money. I was in a full-blown level 10 freak out mode. Luckily, I made friends with the girl who contacted me from Facebook marketing. I told her the situation and asked if there’s anything she could do to help have it deleted. At the same time, I posted a link to it on my personal Facebook and my friends and family wasted no time in reporting it as being a fake profile. By 11 PM it was deleted.

It was not an hour later that another fake profile was created. This time, however, it was an actual personal profile. By this point, I had accepted nearly 200 people as friends without a fleeting thought. But this new fake profile had personal information that one can only access if they were on my friends list on MY Facebook. Now I knew that whoever was behind this had befriended me and I had no clue who it was. They had my education information, birthday, hometown, likes and interest, and used my profile picture. I tried to befriend “myself” and informed whoever it was that they had already been reported and that the page was going to be deleted. They, of course, did not respond. I contacted my new friend who works at Facebook and explained that it had happened again. It was getting close to midnight and all she could do was tell me that it would have to wait until first thing in the morning, as everybody who works for Facebook was now off of work. By noon today, the fake profile was gone. Now I have four individual contacts who work at Facebook for any further inconveniences, definitely not a bad connection to have! To prevent another “Public Figure” page from being created, I went ahead and did so myself: Katy Blake Public Figure There is no purpose to this page except to direct people to the correct Help Katy Back to Rehab page and to prevent anyone else from trying to impersonate me.

One final thing that I discovered last night was that not only was my story published on “Best of Facebook Stories” and “Non-Profits on Facebook,” a combined total of 509,603 people, it had also been published on Facebook’s “Facebook” page, which at this exact moment has 44,733,051 followers. I think my heart skipped a beat, dropped to the pit of my stomach, and stopped all at the same time. 44,733,051!!??! That is absolutely insane! Let me briefly mention one great aspect that has come from creating the Help Katy Back to Rehab page- it has restored my faith in humanity. I think you can all understand where I’m coming from when I say this, but it seems like everywhere you turn, you are met with some disgusting and shocking act of another person. It could be at Walmart, it could be driving, it could be on Facebook, but really all you have to do is turn on the news. There is so much violence, hate, crude and lewd behavior in today’s society it is sickening. You have politicians that can’t keep it in their pants and mothers who murder their children (or vice versa) without a second thought. Sometimes you wonder what mankind is coming to and what ever happened to good morals?

Since creating my Facebook page, I have had hundreds, if not thousands, of people  reach out to me in support. People who never met me wanting to donate, participate in fundraisers, or just to say a prayer for me. There are so many wonderful stories and great people out there and it is a shame that society focuses more on scandal and negativity. Back to my original point, when I discovered my story had been shared on the official “Facebook” page, I just had to go check it out. The last time I looked, my story had received 3,241 comments. Now I can only imagine this was how a celebrity feels like with Perez Hilton or other celebrity gossip websites. You’re not sure you want to see what everybody says, but curiosity gets the best of you and you decide to look anyways. Needless to say, I saw a little bit of everything. And I do mean everything. All sorts of different languages, people looking for hot girls or hot guys, spammers, people complaining about game requests, a lot the mumbo-jumbo that had nothing to do with the story. But then there are also different kinds of comments that did relate the story. There were lots of people who commented that they were inspired, I touched their hearts, thanking me for sharing my story and that they were supporting me and praying for me. Then there are comments on the whole other side of the spectrum. I guess that is the beautiful and ugly thing about the Internet, especially Facebook. It is a free forum for anybody who has any sort of thought in their head to spew it out of their mouth. I think the most degrading comment I read was that I, “was beautiful but it’s too bad that now I am a cripple. Does her mouth still work?” I was flabbergasted! It is almost like I was punishing myself, because I kept reading more and more of the comments and was feeling so insulted and hurt. I finally had to stop. I wanted so badly to defend myself, but I knew better, it definitely would not do any good; in fact, it would probably only fuel the fire. As much as it bothers me, by the same token it does not even phase me. I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful family, great friends, and a fantastic support system of people who have never even met me. I have overcome so much more than anybody expected and I am not going to let some stranger’s immature and inconsiderate comments slow me down. Like they say, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Except in my case, it was the bottom of the creek that broke my bones!

Whew, that was quite a lot to get off my chest. I told you it has been a crazy 24 hours! Despite all the craziness, there was a bit of really good news this morning. Before I woke up, Mom was contacted by the Frazier Rehab in Louisville, Kentucky. I made initial contact last week expressing interest in their Spinal Cord Injury Research Program. For those who do not know, this is where they made a significant breakthrough in the recovery of paralysis a few weeks ago:Paraplegic man stands on own and walks with assistance. So, needless to say, it is a fantastic facility and I would be thrilled and honored to go there. I am waiting on paperwork that I will fill out and return and then wait to hear back. Please keep me in your prayers as I hope to be eligible to be a research candidate.

The Southern Belle fundraiser has also been going well. We received the second batch of orders last week, which was sooner than we expected, considering this order has roughly 1,050 shirts. We will be having a distribution this Friday, June 10, from 3 PM- 6 PM at Hinman Chiropractic, located on Market Street in Pascagoula. Please understand it is nearly impossible to accommodate every body in regards to finding a time to distribute. If you are unable to make it this Friday, the shirts will be available anytime after this weekend at Hinman Chiropractic, Monday-Thursday between 9 AM-5 PM (not available between 12-1:30). If you are unable to come during those times, please contact me at katy.blake@ymail.com and we will set up a special arrangement. If you are having your shirts shipped, they will be sent Saturday morning, June 11. If you have not ordered a shirt and would like to, please visit http://www.rehabforkaty.formyfriends.org/tshirt.html for all the information and order forms. Deadline is June 26 and this will more than likely be our final order. You’re not just buying a T-shirt, you’re helping to change a life!

I hope this blog was not too scattered like my mind has been all day. I really enjoy writing these blogs and really appreciate those who take the time to read them. I cannot believe the 13th will be my one year anniversary of my injury. No one believes me when I tell them I want to have a swimming party! What can I say, that’s just the kind of person I am! God bless you all!!


  1. You are a beautiful young lady and I'm so glad that our paths have crossed!

  2. i hope you get better i really do when i heard about ur story i nearly cried and it takes a lot for that my heart goes out to you and i will keep you in my prayers and dont let immature fucks get you down they only say things like that kuz there life sucks and they wish they was half as strong as you are you are a inspiration to us all and i hope everything goes well for you

  3. I'm so proud to know u.As I said before, U are an inspiration. God bless u. love you<3