Kevin and Cindy Cain (Cane, Kane or Bain) & Crouse

Anybody know what an Ethernet cable is? Me neither, but my computer wants one, which it’s never wanted before. All I know is that I can’t get on the Internet and don’t know why but the nurse has gone to ask somebody else, as he’s an Apple man and doesn’t know either.

Meanwhile, I’d like to give big thanks to Kevin Cain (or maybe Cane, Kane or Bain—we didn’t exactly exchange business cards under the circumstances).

My power chair was sitting here beside my bed plugged into the charger, so I unplugged it, hopped in—well, okay, I sort of crawled/lurched in, and went downstairs to the cafeteria where I got a pulled pork sandwich, then went outside. I did not go far, which is to say I got as far as the on-street book sale and then stopped and stayed. Then I did a little here-ing and there-ing, then ended up at the CVS drugstore.

Now here’s the thing about my wheelchair: it has five settings for speed—I use 5 as my outdoor speed and 3 as my indoor speed. It also has nine lights—three green, which indicates full power; four orange, which means you’re losing it, and two or three red, which means “I hope you wore shoes.” The book says I can go twenty miles; experience says five miles, but yesterday, after going more like five blocks, I suddenly see that my green lights are all out.

Okay, so I turn the speed down to 1 and head directly back to the hospital but within about a block all the orange lights are out. This has never before happened in my history of wheeling. Always before, if I’ve turned down to 1 then I’ve been good for at least eight more (very slow) blocks. So now picture this: it is the dark of night and I am on Crouse Avenue, in the street, on S.U.’s Alumni Weekend, in front of the Varsity restaurant. It is immediately following the Clemson football game and about a thousand people—mostly men—are on Crouse/Marshal Street, all in an indeterminate state of sobriety.

And I’m in the street in the dark, sick, scared, calling out for help and not being heard. I sat thusly for what seemed like an eternity, then pulled out my cell phone and called 911. But before 911 arrived, Kevin Cain (Cane, Kane or Bain) walked up and asked me if I needed help. I gulped “yes” and in an instant he was on the job. He said he’d been in the Varsity waiting in line for pizza for about twenty minutes when he realized that I wasn’t moving and came out to see if I needed help.

Kevin sort of walked around my chair, found the switch to convert it to free-wheeling, and pushed me and my 250-lb. chair back to Crouse. This meant going uphill, which was a struggle, and downhill, which scared me for fear the chair would get away from him. All the while, he kept calmly assuring me that he was okay, that we were okay, and that I was okay. Indeed, in Kevin’s hands, I was okay.

Kevin said that he grew up in Syracuse but is now attending the University of Buffalo, and—guess what?—his mom Cindy was a floating RN at Crouse for 27 years and now is in Testing.

I don’t know if Kevin is one in a million but Saturday night I discovered that he literally is one in a thousand. I wanted everybody, especially his mom Cindy Cain (Cane, Kane or Bain), to know that Kevin is special: he helps others.

Thanks, Kevin.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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