Profiles in CMT: Interview with Christine A. Hook

Christine A. Hook’s Interview with Melinda Lang

You recently received an award from the CMTA, tell us about your award and how you were nominated.

Yes, I recently received the National ‘I am a STAR’ award, for everything I have tried to do to raise awareness of CMT, and money for research…through the CMT blog, Grace Lines,  I write, and the Art de Cure gallery I co-coordinate, which benefits the CMTA.  My parents nominated me for the award, and I’m still shocked that the CMTA chose me. It’s a great honor!

Christine A. Hook receives the  CMTA "I'm a Star" award

Melinda Lang Christine Hook

Explain how CMT affects your daily life?

Having this disease forces you to adapt.  Not only do you have to adapt to losing muscle and function, you have to adapt the way you do the simplest of tasks…like getting dressed, using utensils, turning keys–the list is
endless. I also have had to get used to permanent retirement, as my CMT has progressed to the point where I can no longer work without suffering from pain and exhaustion.  Sometimes all the changes you face can be a lot to deal with!

How has the Upstate NY CMT Support group helped you?

It has helped me in so many ways!  Before 2010, I never met another person who had CMT, and understood exactly what I dealt with every day.  Whenever I told people what I had in an effort to explain my differences, I heard questions like “What’s that?” or “You have a problem with your teeth?”  I still hear ridiculous questions like that and more, because we have such a LONG way to go in raising awareness…but now I have friends who hear the same silly things.  I don’t feel so alone anymore.

What does the  online CMTA community mean to you?

Almost as much as the local support group…it’s support from a distance!  Not only can I share my frustrations with CMT-ers around the country, I can support them when they deal with their own.  And my blog, Grace Lines, has reached people with CMT around the world, which is exciting!  It’s nice to know you can provide support and answers to those who may be feeling very isolated as they live with this disease.

You are much more than your CMT. How would you describe your self ?

I would first describe myself as an artist, as art has always been a part of me, and a writer (though not yet published).  I am also a former special education/literacy teacher, an avid reader…and always a devoted cat mom!  These things are all a part of me…and I also happen to have CMT.

What else would you like us to know about you?

I guess I’d want people to know that my sense of humor helps me face my daily obstacles, more than anything else. I’ve learned over the years to laugh at myself and the crazy, frustrating and often difficult situations I find myself in…because if you can’t learn to laugh at life, it can really be hard to live.

Christine with parents

Christine with parents

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This entry was posted in Art de Cure, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, CMT, CMTA, Health CMT, neuromuscular disease, peripheral neuropathy, personal stories, STAR and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Profiles in CMT: Interview with Christine A. Hook

  1. Al Davis says:

    I have always admired Christine’s talents since first meeting her . She has many gifts , and uses them all to either inform , teach , entertain , or bring her own personal insight , and situations in life , to the betterment of all those going through the same crippling decease as she , or in fact , to all people struggling with any kind of disability . To be able to accomplish daily , what she , and all those with this disorder , does , with the acceptance , nobility , sense of humor , and grace , is truly remarkable. I applaud her , and each of you for the abundant work you do to champion your cause , and fighting daily to surmount the challenge to get “CMT ” nationally funded , and worked on like other similar disorders , so that we can both identify a cause ….. ” and a cure ” !
    It’s through Bloggers like you , and this type of interview , that captures peoples attention !
    Thank you Ms Lang , for this very informative interview , I found you both to be very informative , and ready for the Sunday Morning Health Shows on TV !

    Let’s also give some credit for some very special , and well earned awards won by this duo !
    As mentioned in your interview , Christine Hook won an “I am a Star ” award from “CMTA ” , a very special honor [ explained very well in the interview ] . Also for the month of September , Christine Hook had 3 pieces of her “Art ” selected to be published in the September 2012 issue of the international “Artist World Magazine “….. whose creative theme was to depict a way to represent your feelings of “CMT “though the use of your art . Ms Hook won ; “Best Abstract ” ; Best Use of Color ; and
    “Best in Mixed – Media “…. congratulations Christine !

    And a very talented photographer, Ms Melinda Lang , also entered the contest , and she to was distinguished from the rest , and won ; ” Best Photo — Surrealism ”

    There’s no uncertainly in my mind , that with people like you , dissemination of information from the growing world of committed bloggers such as yourselves , and a ” community ” behind you
    that will support you financially …… and with legislation ……that I feel nothing but forward motion !
    I was a ” doer ” in the mid sixties ……… and “CHANGE ” can come from commitment – spirit – and always believing in your cause ……. no matter what !
    Thank you for a wonderful read ………..
    Al Davis

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    • cmtny says:

      Thank you Al for your wonderful praise of Christine and her accomplishments. Also we really appreciate all that you do to support our efforts, from making beautiful jewelry for our Art de Cure silent auction, & purchasing art work, helping to raise funds to find a treatment for CMT. Looking forward to seeing you at our December 7 event.

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  2. What a great interview. I really admire and respect Christine, so I am very glad to read this. Thanks -and my every good wish and prayer to all.

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    • cmtny says:

      Fran, thanks for responding and recognizing how lucky the CMT community is to have Christine working for us. Christine never fails from doing anything I ask her to do, from writing to representatives, to reaching out to someone who needs encouragement with new helios leg braces, entering Art for CMT contests, printing info for our CMT meetings and supporting me when I’m overwhelmed.

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  3. Thank you so much for posting about me on your blog! I’m glad for the opportunity, and I love the pictures–especially the one of the two of us, which came out great! 🙂

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