Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for August, 2010

FRESHMEN ORIENTATION

Okay, I have no idea how long I spoke. I aimed for my allotted seven minutes, but in reality I could have been on stage for anywhere from four minutes to fourteen; I did not keep track and there was no Academy Awards-like music to indicate that I had run over. In reality, I am not sure it mattered. What matters most is the message.

I was one of three speakers for the concluding part of the program to welcome new student-athletes to Notre Dame. The other two were fantastic: no notes, relaxed and engaging. If they were nervous, they didn’t show it. I was nervous, but not for the reasons you might think.

It was actually interesting for me to address this group. For the first time, I had no qualms about public speaking. There were roughly 500 people in the auditorium and I was not at all nervous about speaking in front of them; I was nervous because I wanted to do a good job. I was nervous because these student-athletes are about to embark on the most challenging, rewarding, developing and exciting four years of their lives – of their careers. And they are doing it at Notre Dame. I was nervous because I wanted to make sure I was able to articulate how special that is, how lucky they are to have this opportunity to be surrounded by the people who make the institution so great. My goal was to share how lucky I was to be at ND during my greatest challenge, in spite of my struggles and because of them as well.

It was an honor to speak to these families and to share with them how Notre Dame has defined my life. It will define their’s too, and I look forward to following their careers over the next four years.

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  • 44 YEARS

    Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad! Today they celebrate 44 years of marriage. 44 years of happiness, sadness, joys, tears, but above all love and family. Certainly my accident and injury was a defining event in their marriage and in the life of our family. Thankfully, because of my parents’ love, our family has emerged stronger and – if possible – filled with even more love. I know I have.

    But my accident was not my parents only bump in their 44 year journey. 20 years ago this fall, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was found during her first mammogram and was, thankfully, treatable. It wasn’t an easy battle, but it was filled with love and support from many friends and family. Two years later those same friends and family rallied again to support and love our family. My mom and I have spent the last 20 (and 18) years doing what we can to repay the kindness. Our journey continues this October.

    On October 8 – 10, my sister, mother and I will walk 60 miles in Washington, D. C. in honor of my mom’s 20-year diagnosis and in support of breast cancer research. The 3-Day Walk is a celebration of those who have fought the fight, lost the battle, survived the journey – and for all those who hopefully will not have to.

    I walk because I can, to honor a mother who walked my journey with me.

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  • 7 MINUTES

    This weekend I was asked to speakto the new freshman student-athletes at Notre Dame (and their parents). To welcome them as they begin their journey is a huge honor. Notre Dame hosts a freshmen orientation, as all (or most) colleges and universities do; but ND also holds orientation sessions specifically for student-athletes on compliance and the services that are available to athletes.

    Because of the full schedule for orientation, each speaker is allotted seven minutes to speak. Seven minutes to share what Notre Dame means to me, what it meant to me during my time as a student-athlete and what it still means to me now. Wow! Writing a 7-minute speech has been tough. I’ll let you know what I end up saying…

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  • SEPTEMBER

    We just recieved class lists for my children’s school – and I just realized that school begins three weeks from today. Summer has gone by fast, but we still have 21 more days to enjoy a slower pace.

    This has been one of the first summers in a few years where I have had the opportunity to truly relax without deadlines. Between writing, editing and publishing my book – and being in graduate school last year- the past several summers have been “working” summers. This time at the beach has been just what I needed: a respite from an over-scheduled schedule.

    However, September is rapidly approaching and it is busy already. I have several book talks scheduled- and one more came in today. That’s awesome and I look forward to getting back in the groove of sharing the inspiration.

    But we all need a break. We all need to take time for ourselves and to recharge so that we can function in an over-scheduled schedule. That time for me is now – and it’s just what I need.

    Happy August everyone!

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  • DR. GARFIN

    My family and I had dinner with Dr. Garfin and his wife this weekend. I have now known their family for 18 years – and our relationship has changed. What was once a family/daughter – doctor relationship, it has now evolved into a friendship of mutual admiration. Dr. Garfin, in many ways, gave the life I have now: the ability to have children, the ability to run and play games with my children, and the gift of living a life pain-free. Not very many people can touch a life that way, so intimately, for so long. I will be indebted to him for the rest of my life.

    This is what makes it easy to visit San Diego without the horrible memories or emotions from the summer of 1992. That part of my life is over – and yet it is that part of my life that has given me my life today. Going to the beach with my family and watching my sons jump the waves, body surf and boogie board does not remind me of my summer in the hospital and recovering. Watching them reminds me of my own childhood – of the good and happy memories, in addition to the ones we are making today. That includes dinner with the miracle worker. Thanks, Dr. Garfin!

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