Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to make something out of my life and help others. For years I thought I was “stuck” where I was. I thought because of my disability I couldn’t get to the place I had wanted to be. Now that I’m older I have realized that I can achieve what I want and be happy with the best I can do. I feel like it’s my mission to talk to and help others. Helping others makes me happy. I have started writing so I can reach out to hundreds, maybe thousands. You may not agree with what I write but I just write what I feel, and what my opinions are. I hope to motivate as many as I can.
I have Spina Bifida, which means “Split Spine.” Spina Bifida is a condition in which the spine does not develop properly before birth and can cause varying degrees of disability. A diet with sufficient levels of Folic acid taken in the months before and during pregnancy can help prevent Spina bifida. Click here for more information about pregnancy issues.
In my case, my mom’s pregnancy was a surprise and she did not know about Folic acid. Spina Bifida was also something that was passed down to me from my dad’s side of the family. As I stated in my first paragraph, I thought that I couldn’t achieve my dreams because of it. Now I look at my disability as a blessing rather than a hold back.
With my disability, I have a certain knowledge of things to teach, help, and motivate others on their way to success. I wouldn’t change the circumstance that I’m in because it has brought me to where I am now. That’s part of my identity. Without it I wouldn’t be me. My disability makes me stronger and stronger each and every day. I may not say to myself, “Okay, today I’m a lot stronger because of my disability.” but everyday I learn something new and realize that everyone has their own “disability” to deal with.
When I get the chance to look back on two or three years previous, I do take notice that I have matured, and have been able to handle most situations in the way that they are supposed to be handled. For example, every time I am about to have surgery, I know how react to it because I’ve been through it before. Every day is a learning process, for myself, and for everyone else.
I have achieved a lot. When I got the chance to be part of the Utah Jr. Wheelin Jazz last year, it boosted my confidence that I can get where I want to be. I am living my dream being part of the team. I am grateful to have been introduced to Wheelchair Basketball. Back in the 7th grade I got a “taste” of what basketball was like for the first time. When I held the basketball in my hands and started shooting for the first time in my life, I instantly fell in love with the sport.
Now that I’m part of a National sport, I couldn’t be happier. From the first practice that was held, to now, I have improved a lot. I love the fact that I’ve gained so much knowledge and get to improve each and every week. Not only are the Utah Jr. Wheelin Jazz a team who gets to shoot around and make baskets, but our mission is be role models to others and let people know that there is a chance to achieve your dreams. It’s also about letting
others know, that even in our situations, we can play sports just as much as the able bodied. The actual definition of disability is: not being able to perform something because you’re lacking physically or mentally. In my case, I can’t run, jump, or tip-toe, while someone else wouldn’t be able to do the splits, or even dance. Everyone has a disability, even though that’s not what most people see.
I want others to know that even if you feel like you are at rock bottom and can never rise up, you can. You can do anything you desire and be happy, as long as you don’t give up. If you do feel like giving up, don’t. Every time you try hard, it’s something that is worth while. Trust me. When things get out of control, go do something about it. Whether it’s out for a run, a roll, shooting hoops, anything that’s active can help you feel a lot better. I have always found that basketball takes all the emotional pain and stress I have during the day and puts it into something good!