Patient Spotlight: Tiffany Keener

Meet Tiffany

Portrait of adult woman

I am an adult with cerebral palsy who lives in Georgia. I believe in choosing kindness as much as possible and I’ll be the first to say, it’s the harder path. Yes, it is worth it. Life is hard. There is no such thing as too much genuine love or kindness, ever. I hope to earn a Masters in Teaching or a Masters in Psychology this year before my next future hip replacement. Thanks to the excellent care at the Weinberg Family CP Center, my body is on a path to healing, my quality of life is nearly what it was before I started to lose my ability to walk independently. My mind, emotions, and heart are healing as well. 

How did you find the Weinberg Family CP Center?

A colleague of mine shared an article spotlighting a teacher with cerebral palsy who found healing and restored quality of life after she had surgery performed by a Weinberg Family CP Center provider. I was beyond thrilled at the prospect of seeing a provider who knew, from experience, about truly helping adults like me! To know there were doctors and surgeons who wanted to listen to me, and believed I and my quality of life were worth restoring, was music to my ears and my heart.

How has the Weinberg Family CP Center impacted your care?

The CP Center is imperative. Many people with CP need vital, expert care in this loving and life affirming place. By the time I met Dr. David Roye and Dr. Roshan Shah, who performed my hip replacement, I was traumatized from past experiences and had nearly no fight left in me. I appreciate the help of Dr. Charles Popkin, post hip replacement. When I had my initial appointment with him, I was mentally prepared to hear I needed a knee surgery. He prescribed physical therapy to help my knee get stronger and a knee sleeve to help with overall strengthening and knee pain relief. Every provider I have ever worked with at Columbia/NYP is excellent. Excellent means: an active listener, excellently skilled within their specialty, professional, respectful, kind and compassionate.   

What is one thing you would like people to know?

Reach out and advocate for yourself. If a treatment or provider is not a good fit, you need a new treatment or a new provider.  If your provider is not listening to you, call and speak with someone at the CP Center. Please don't take no for an answer or accept disrespect. I learned the hard way that speaking to different people at the same place can be key for getting urgently needed help.      

Why led you to give monthly to the Center?

I received the gift of my new hip on December 15th, 2017.  An anonymous donor surprised me by covering what I owed related to my surgery and hospital care! I now give what I can monthly to the Center from a place of deep and abiding gratitude for the many miracles God did to get me in to see the providers at WFCPC, and to provide for all the details related to my total hip replacement surgery. Giving is joining in with the beautiful and miraculous happenings within this Center and hospital system.

What are you up to now?

Woman walking dog outside suburban home

Taffany and her dog, Reesie.

This year, I am learning to walk my dog, Reesie. He became my dog while I was using a rollator.  It has taken physical and mental therapy to trust I can safely walk my dog. In 2020, I began giving blood regularly. I give blood because I know I’ve received blood and because I can now give blood. I want to give blood six times in 2021.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy yoga, listening to (and singing along with) music, reading books that nurture empathy, love, and help me become a better educator, watching films with redemptive themes, quality time with loving and kind people (especially my nephews), drinking chai tea, and traveling internationally (eventually). I also enjoy sleeping in and eating a variety of delicious foods with others. I am also invested in loving and praying for someone at NYP/Columbia regularly. Sometimes this means sending encouraging messages to providers.