It seems kind of crazy, but I want to play women’s football. And I know that will be tricky because you have to use your balance for everything. And so maybe I’ll be a backup dancer for a pop star, or something like that. I don’t know which one, but I know I have to put it in perspective.
I’ll find a way to do it, disability or not
Fortunately, I don’t plan on doing extreme sports or anything that would be significantly affected by my disability. I plan on being a writer. I think if I find something I am really passionate about, I’ll find a way to do it, disability or not.
A full scholarship to college
The most rewarding thing is to be able to set challenges before you and surpass them, even with my weakness. My greatest accomplishment was being awarded a full college scholarship.
I’ve been involved in a writing team, and I’ve given speeches to my school and another school about disability rights and what I’ve gone through and I think it would help others to know about self-advocacy and that disabilities aren’t just one thing, because we all have had something we’re not able to do, so I’ve advocated for myself in that way. It’s made me feel a lot better about who I am and able to accept myself, especially when I first stopped walking. I was depressed because I didn’t know how to handle not only cerebral palsy, but not being able to walk, and it’s just something I dealt with. Even though it’s hard, I wanted to appreciate my body as it is and accept it for what I can do instead of deny it and think about what I can’t do because that only brings up negative thoughts.
I’ve always been optimistic because I grew up in not the greatest household in the world. I grew up with, “You’re not going to do this. You can’t do that. You can’t do this. You can’t do this. You can’t do that.” I got told at eight years old that I was never going to graduate ever. Once I heard people tell me I’m not going to graduate, my Irishness kicked in and I was like, “Tell me I won’t again!!” If you tell me I won’t get my high school diploma, I’m going to do it just to aggravate you. I could have finished high school one year early, but I stayed an extra year because if I left early they would have given me a coded transcript. I didn’t want my transcript coded because if I could do it the normal way, I’m going to do it the normal way. Whatever that is…