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How Caring for Others With Disabilities Helps Me Cope With My Condition

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I have a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. It causes tumors to grow on nerve endings externally and internally. Two of my daughters also have this disorder, and it has caused them several medical issues. Life with this disorder is often not easy. Depression,  anxiety, chronic pain, learning disabilities, deformities, and cancer can be a few of the side effects.

I have struggled with jobs most of my life, until I got into caring for those who need help caring for themselves. I found caring for those with physical and developmental disabilities to be rewarding. It helped me take the focus off my disability and provide love and care to people who needed my help. I have learned more from those I care for than anything I ever taught them. I have seen way too many friends I cared for pass on over my many years in the field.

Just because you yourself have a disability, that does not mean you cannot help someone else. We all share in the pain and the joy, and often we can share empathy because we understand what each other are going through. What I’m saying is, don’t focus so much on your own disabilities, but rather see how you can help someone else. By doing so, you might just see how strong you really are.

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Originally published: March 29, 2017
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