Beloved Local Author Passes in her Sleep
Allison Wetherbee December 8, 1970 – July 21, 2016
Allison Wetherbee, age 45, of Muscle Shoals, AL died July 21, 2016 at her home. She was born December 8, 1970 in Selma, AL. She was a public relations counselor with Camp ASCCA and a member of Camden Baptist Church. She is survived by her parents, Charlie Dial Wetherbee and Gloria Ott Wetherbee of Camden, AL; two sisters, Megan Dial Wetherbee of Birmigham, AL; and Dana Wetherbee Kittleson of Coloierville, TN. Funeral services were held at Camden Baptist Church on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. with Rev. Chris Wells officating. Burial was in the Choctaw Corner Cemetery in Thomasville, AL. Active Pallbears were: Bo Bishop, Hank Ott, Steve Kittleson, Brett Kittleson, Mal Mosley, Thomas Ott, Laura Furman Soper. Condolences may be offered at www.obryantchapelfh.com Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.
My childhood was spent in South Alabama. I was born in Selma and raised in Camden. I had a great childhood full of love, laughter and fun times. My memories seem to contradict themselves however, because I also experienced the pain and confusion of being born with no arms or legs. Early on, my parents made the resilient decision to raise me as “normally” as possible. I wasn’t treated any differently than my sisters, Dana and Megan, or my peers. I learned to do things by using what I have. I learned to write with a pen in my mouth. I open doors with my chin, shoulders and mouth. I use a dowel stick to type on the computer and prop the mouse on books so I can reach it with my chin. I operate my cell phone mainly with my nose! Blessedly, my parents knew I was capable of becoming anything I wanted to be. So, rather than overprotecting me or setting me aside, I was registered in “regular” classes with my able-bodied friends in first grade. I went on to graduate from high school with that same group of kids. An attendant accompanied me to school until the 5th grade. Then, my classmates began helping me which allowed me to go to school by myself. After high school, I began college at Auburn University Montgomery. I moved from my parents’ home to Montgomery and have been living independently, away from my parents or family members, since that time. I’m able to do this with the help of Personal Care Attendants who assist me in my home and take me wherever I need to go. My biggest dream as a child seemed like an insurmountable mountain … simply to live as independently as possible. It’s wonderful to know that dream has been a reality since I was 18 years old. I began college in the Fall of 1989 and graduated in the Spring of 1996 with a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling. In the Fall of 1996, I was offered a job to work as a mental health therapist in Russellville, Alabama. I relocated to Russellville and rented a home for the first two years. I then bought my own home in 1998, which fulfilled another childhood dream. In all, I worked as a counselor at Riverbend Center for Mental Health for eleven years. In the Winter of 2005, I began writing stories about my childhood and my faith for an online blog, which I would eventually turn into a book. Being in the nostalgic mood, I looked up several old friends from childhood and reconnected with a place called Camp ASCCA. Two years later, I was given the opportunity to completely change professions. I accepted the offer to become the Director of Public Relations for Camp ASCCA, sold my home, and moved into a house on the campus on December 22, 2007. After several years of writing, I completed my autobiography. In January 2009, I Was Born This Way, was a self-published release. It’s been very successful and I very much appreciate the ongoing interest. In the summer of 2011, I made the decision to relocate from the Camp ASCCA campus. This decision was supported by the ASCCA Board of Directors and Administration. Throughout my four years of living at Camp ASCCA, I had experienced significant difficulty with Live-In Personal Care Attendants and was unable to maintain a stable independent living environment. On October 31, 2011, I bought a home in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and relocated soon thereafter. This area of Alabama is rich with history, festivals, music and a tremendous personal support system. My work as the main spokesperson for Camp ASCCA Easter Seals continues under a new title, Director of Community Relations. I travel extensively throughout Alabama giving presentations for civic clubs, churches, schools and any group interested in hearing an inspirational message about myself and Camp ASCCA.
I first heard of Alison on YouTube over two years ago. her telecast appeared one day as I was going through the YouTube sites. being curious, I wanted to know more about her. and I was not disappointed. she was promoting exercise at muscle shoals training club. i was impressed. she did more exercise than most people I’ve known. here’s the funny thing. i never knew she passed away until today. i always thought she was alive and well. i felt sadness when I heard of her passing. i felt as if I lost a friend. Alison is my friend and will be missed.