Celinda (CC) Rechsteiner, born with a physical disability (Cerebral Palsy), has experienced rejection due to being different. She also has experienced being accepted by others once they understand that her disability is no big deal, and she is just like them. Therefore, through Apollo, she wants to share her experiences with young children. That is, even though people look different from others, they are very much the same. Despite, CC’s experience of rejection, she has a great group of friends, graduated from a University with a BA degree and from Trinity Law school, ran the L.A. marathon, and the Disney half marathon, is a Deaconess at her church and works for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Where I’m coming from and how I am accomplishing my dreams!
Hi, my name is Celinda Rechsteiner. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a physical disability. Despite having a physical disability I have accomplished a lot of my goals, and I am looking forward to accomplishing more. How? Attitude. Let me explain.
My parents were a big part of my attitude. From the day I was born they had to make a major decision that would form my attitude forever. Do they do everything for me and make my handicap my identity? Or do they let me do what kids do and let me be human and let that be my identity? They chose the latter.
As a kid I would climb trees, wrestle with the dogs, go swimming, play with my friends etc. Mom made sure I was at every therapy session and did my exercises. At my elementary school, St. Paul’s, there was an end of the year picnic. The upper grades had the option to bike or carpool to the park. Well guess what I wanted to do? Yep, you guessed it, I wanted to bike. My dad got a tandem bike, and we biked with the rest of the group to the park. Neither of my parents ever told me that I could not do something because I was disabled. From this, I learned that I’m a human who happens to be disabled. Not a disable who happens to be human.
I went through the Lutheran school system: St. Paul’s, Lutheran High and Concordia University. I participated enthusiastically in class; I was involved in study groups, and just hung out with my friends. Never once was I treated differently. One thing I also wanted to do since 8th grade was go to law school, and I did just that! I went to Trinity Law School.
The LA Marathon was one of my ultimate goals! My coach Bob had someone run with me, Abbey. She was awesome! She stayed with me the whole time. It took me 9 hours and 50 minutes. I dragged this disabled body in all its pain across the finish line whether it wanted to or not, but I did it!
At Concordia I was an English major and I happened to take a class on how to write children books. My current book, “Apollo In Colorland,” started as my class midterm but it turned into so much more. Publishing this book was a dream come true and now I’m onto my second book, “Apollo with his Friends in Colorland.” It will be coming out soon.
As you can see, from the day I was born I was treated as a human who happens to be disabled. With that attitude and my belief in God, if I want to do something, I will do it!