About 8 years ago I was still in the Army, jumping from airplanes and helicopters and doing things that soldiers do. Then one day it all changed. I had been having pains and other issues. I had a few injuries and found out I had a bones disease and a hereditary heart condition. In one day my life in a special Ops unit was over. Somehow I'd been doing things I never should have been able to do. The next 3 years would be spent in and out of various hospitals. During this time doctors discovered injuries I'd been carrying for a while. Suddenly I was on meds I wasn't used to. BI was poked and prodded many times daily and my health was deteriorating. I lost a lot of muscle mass and was being given steroids in the hospital that were supposed to help. I went from 186 pounds solid to 245 pounds soft.
I ended up being medically retired after 25 years of service. Once all surgeries, hospital stays , rehab and fights across the country were over I was now home for good. At 1st my wife could just sit me on the couch. Because I was not used to taking meds on a daily basis it took about 6 months for the docs to get just the right combination that would not make me a vegetable. Once I was stable and clear I wanted to do more. But I still had a serious issue with severe central vertigo. I had basically a 15 minute time limit. That's how long I go without being actively involved in something before the vertigo got so bad I had to be put to bed. My son suggested prop building as a form of physical therapy. I tried building and making things for cosplay. I soon found out that it not only helped keep my vertigo to a manageable level, it was also great for my hands, as I was struggling with nerve damage issues. I now had a renewed zest for life and something to look forward to each day. I worked hard to learn all I could and in 2 weeks I made an Iron Man suit.
When my niece (Sellexie cosplay) found out I was doing this she convinced me to go to a con. I was reluctant at 1st but I eventually gave in. My wife Barbara who has stood by my through all this had to drive me there because I can no longer drive (remember vertigo ). When we got there it was amazing! The people were so awesome. And so caring. They never even blinked at the fact that I was cosplaying from a wheelchair. It was a whole new world.
After my 1st con experience, designing and building were always on my mind. I was hooked. The more I worked the better I got. As a cosplayer the world suddenly opened up to me. I saw things in a whole new light. Everything around me became something I could transform. And as a person who likes to recycle this was awesome! I'm now being invited to speak at cons, and the cosplayers are wonderful. From the very young, to the very....well more advanced young, all together discussing their favorite cosplay. Or their favorite anime or what ever. It's so amazing how our love for cosplay overrides our individual differences. I am now known as aracknoid3 Cosplay........
......and I live to cosplay...... because Cosplay gave me my life back.