“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor12:9)
My name is Angela Maile. I’m a Catholic school teacher at Our Lady of Victory, and a former University of Michigan soccer player. I was always very active, even after my college athletic career was over. But in 2011, I started experiencing intense leg pain and losing my balance during my workouts. I went to the doctor and through a series of tests, they discovered I had two benign brain tumors.
One was removed via surgery, but the one deep in the right side of the brain was not operable. Despite trying different medications, therapies, and seeing numerous doctors, the weakness, headaches, and nerve pain continued. I was frustrated and frequently needed a cane to help with my walking. I felt like it showed a weakness, when in reality it was an opportunity for the Lord to shine through me. A friend had a cane custom made for me with the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) That verse reminds me that my strength doesn’t come through any physical accomplishment, but through Jesus.
The Lord continues to show me His love and compassion through this path in life. I'm beginning to learn why the Saints could "give thanks in all circumstances..." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) My gratitude lies in how God continues to deepen my friendship with Him and gives me an amazing opportunity to pray for others. I continue to be remarkably blessed by the people God puts in my life to guide me in this journey.
One of my greatest joys comes as I watch students in my classroom learn more about the love of Jesus. Strengthened by Jesus in the Eucharist, when I come to school, I want more than anything for the students to know the Father's personal love for them. Although the headaches continue, physical therapy lessens the nerve pain in the left side which helps me continue to teach.
I started a specific type of training at Barwis Methods in Plymouth four years ago through the neurological re-engineering program. This is from their website: BARWIS helps people regain motor function through Neurological Reengineering — the process of using the cutting-edge BARWIS Applied Scientific Techniques and the BARWIS Methods to increase a person’s neuromuscular activation and control.
My trainer works on isolating muscles in the left leg, which strengthens my gait. Many workouts involve me going past the point of fatigue and needing a spotter to help me finish exercises. This helps decrease the nerve pain in the following days. The therapy combined with massage and boxing over the past few years has helped me go from using a cane frequently to running. No marathons yet, but through the grace of God I'm a long way from where I started. The strength I build through workouts at physical therapy helps me in the classroom. Teaching is more than a job for me, it is a special calling from God to serve His children and help them to know how much they are valued and loved. Some days the pain is more intense than others, but I know every day is an opportunity, as St. Therese says, "to love Jesus and make Him loved"
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know well the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans for welfare not for woe. Plans for a future full of hope”. I have always wanted to be someone great for Jesus, yet I never thought it would come through an illness. I’ve learned to be thankful for all the Lord leads me through, trusting His providence and care for me especially on the difficult days and when the headaches persist. I hope to continue to grow in love, being someone who shows others that, ‘with God all things are possible.’ Jesus is continually teaching me, that my pain is not just a cross, but a gift; an avenue to bring people closer to Him.
I work with a trainer two days a week, and unfortunately these sessions are not covered by insurance. The cost is $70.00 per hour. Donations can also help pay for boxing to help with my agility and massages to help relieve the strain on muscles, due to the left sided weakness.
I am so grateful for your generosity and for choosing to be a part of this journey with me. May God bless you.