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How My Hospital Stay Changed the Way I View Life With SMA

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Precious smiling in her wheelchair.

Growing up with a neurological disorder, spinal muscular atrophy type II, has never been easy. I have never, nor will I ever be able to crawl, stand, or walk, for my muscles are weaker than the “norm,” and will progress as I get older. Though at times my illness has come in the way of me completing my goals, I have never let it stop me from eventually achieving those goals. I for one believe, in order to achieve, you have to believe.

Like any person trying to find their their purpose in life and discover who they are, I also went through a stage where I was lost. I did not care. I did not see a purpose in it, having spent the majority of my life hospitalized. And although I had continued to persevere through my many hospitalizations, and graduated with both my associate’s and bachelor’s with honors, I was still not able to understand my purpose in life.

Two years ago, I went to the hospital for a minor surgery, and woke up scared and confused because I was intubated. For a person who struggles with respiratory difficulties, being intubated is a very scary thing. During this scary moment in my life, I did not know if I will be able to breathe or eat on my own again.

So, I made a promised to myself, that if I made it through this experience healthy, I will live my life.

I promised to enjoy every moment of my life. I will take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way, and I will inspire not only others, but myself. There is only one life — it’s mine, and I deserve it!

After this beautiful, tragic event — beautiful because it was a moment of realization of appreciating life — I have held to that promise. I made it my mission to do right by myself. I found an appreciation towards life and everyone in it. During the process of living each day of my life to the fullest, I took an introduction to a special education course during my first semester in the master’s program, and fell in love with it. While studying in this program, it has motivated me to create a blog called “Born to Stand Out.” It is for all people who have felt lost in any way, different, outcast, or unattractive. It is place of acceptance, to find inspiration and motivation, to help others feel comfortable within their own skin. We are all beautiful inside as well as out. So far the blog has been doing well, and I truly enjoy being able to assist those who partake in the blog, for they all inspire me as well.

Nothing in life is impossible. As long as you believe, you shall achieve.

Follow this journey on Born to Stand Out

Originally published: September 20, 2016
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