ODESSA, Texas —
Amanda Fry knows how to push her limits. The weight of her diagnosis doesn't stop her from pushing forward.
At 2-and-a-half years old Amanda was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and she's been a fighter every step of the way.
"My parents raised me to be strong, independent,” Amanda said. “I don't let anything stop me. Because if you do, then you have no life. Your attitude chooses your life."
Amanda battles stiff muscles and pain. While her path in life may face obstacles, she embraces it.
"It's fun, I make it fun,” Amanda said. “I do have back pain, leg pain. Just the ins and outs of getting up every day can be tough, but I make the best of it.”
It is more than her positive attitude that lifts her up. Her therapy at the Permian Basin Rehab Center means living life on her own terms for her family.
"I have an amazing husband and two kids, 12 and 4,” Amanda said. “So they're my reason why I go every day."
It's a balancing act, being a mother, a wife and a substitute teacher, but Amanda's husband keeps her steady.
“He lets me do my thing and then if he has to help, he will,” Amanda said. “But that's also where therapy comes in for myself, so that later on in life, I can still do for myself.”
Amanda's therapist, Pat Fierro, knows the challenges she faces.
"She has to work twice as hard,” Fierro said. “You know, whether it's driving the kids to school or getting them ready in the mornings, getting herself ready in the mornings, you know, things like that we take for granted.”
Amanda and Fierro have become buddies. Working together over the years, they have built a special bond.
"He is one of my best friends,” Fry said. “Pat pushes me more than I push myself. He believes in me. He knows that I can do it."
Fierro said their work together also benefits him.
"She may not know it, but she does, she inspires me as well," Fierro said.
And while the sessions may stretch Amanda to her limits, they are worth it.
"It just loosens me up to where I can function in my own way,” Amanda said. “That's what people don't understand is we can do things the same. It just gets done differently."
With her therapy, living an independent life is within reach.
"I don't have to rely on my husband so much as to help me go up steps, or to take the groceries in,” Amanda said. “I do things more on my own. My oldest plays baseball, so I'm at baseball games, and our youngest plays T-ball as well, so I'm able to go, and do, and sit for longer periods and not be in pain."
Knowing she has support takes a weight off her shoulders.
"I think that the funds that come into this place, you see what comes out of it,” Amanda said. “I mean, we're better people, we're stronger. You know, we're not afraid to face life.”
From the Permian Basin Rehab Center, on to her journey.
“But you're also helping people that may not be able to afford something like this,” Amanda said. “Everybody's not so fortunate.”