My father suffered a severe spinal injury when I was only five years old. It would be almost three years before he would walk without the aid of special made shoes with big steel braces that came up to just below the knee and strapped to his leg. Even then, it wasn’t that he didn’t need them, he just refused to wear them any longer. He walked with a cane to steady himself and learned to get along very well. My father knew his limitations but never looked at himself as a cripple.