Friday, May 28, 2010


AAPD: A second chance at success
After arriving in the DC airport, coming from what seems like another country, Madison Wisconsin, I was filled with a brand new and unexpected fear that was foreign to me. How am I going to make it in a city that I know nothing about? I was completely lost! I got off the plane and had to ask the security guard to explain how to get my luggage off, how to flag a cab, and where am I supposed to go? Luckily the Washington DC security was more than accommodating to me, they even explained where South Hall (My new home) was located and put me in a cab destined for F street. Unfortunately I had forgot that my keys were not located at the Dormitory. So I began my journey to the housing headquarters, completely lost and with now hurting back. I began to feel sad and scared, could I actually make it in one of the biggest cities in America, with a debilitating anti-immunity disability Ankylosing Spondylitis. I had 10 dollars left in my pocket after cab fare (Thank GOD!) and I had no clue how to navigate through the gridlocked street addresses. The people at student housing were so kind, they got me registered for my dorm, and gave me a map to start learning my location.
I was still in terror of a city 5 times the size of my hometown, Madison WI. I spent the first night trying to convince myself I CAN DO THIS. AAPD has given me an opportunity…Car Pa Diem…I will make the best of this amazing opportunity, I will not fail. After Meeting Sarah Peterson, My world became much more understandable. Sarah was amazing. I don’t know how to explain exactly what happened after talking to Sarah, but I knew I would be able to succeed if I listened to the instructions carefully. I have only been here for 5 days and I feel so much more comfortable. THANK YOU AAPD!!!
- Justin Patterson


  1. Hello,
    I enjoyed hearing about the last leg of your journey. It must have been tough with your illness carrying all those bags! I am coming late, but have to do the same journey from the airport so I appreciate your comments.

  2. Hi Justin,

    Congratulations on making the successful jump from Madison, WI to DC! We at SAA are cheering for you and looking forward to your next blog post.

    Spondylitis Association of America

    ps: feel free to share your blog on our facebook page. Search Spondylitis Association of America on Facebook - our page should be the first one.


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