Someone asked me the other day, "not to be offensive, but how you are considered disabled, I mean I get why someone in a wheelchair is disabled, but I don't see you as disabled...?"
I understand where her question comes from; however, I also believe she is mistaken in her definition of disabled. So I decided to challenge her. I responded "Although my condition is not visible, I would argue that it is as much of a disability as being in a wheel chair..."
She wasn't buying it, so I elaborated.
Would you consider a person who has to spend the rest of their life in a wheel chair, disabled?
Would you consider someone with a learning disability, disabled?
What do both of these types of people have in common? Well, on a basic level, they both have medical issues, that present them with challenges. These challenges can be overcome in a variety of ways, but at the end of the day these medical issues make their life harder. In my own words, that is the definition of a medical disability.
Well, given this explanation of disability. My Crohns Disease, is a medical condition that makes my life incredibly difficult. On their own, my symptoms, my pain, nausea, fatigue, etc can be debilitating symptoms, but when combined, they can be unbearable. Each day, I am presented with challenges and each day I must overcome these challenges in order to reach my goals.
This is why I am disabled. But, I do not believe that disabilities have to hold people back, it just means we have to get creative in how we overcome the challenges presented.
On April 1st, I am throwing a fundraiser here on Hanover's campus. Not only is the goal to raise money for the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, but it is also "Redefine DisABILITY."
I want to show Hanover's campus that being disabled, does not mean I am damaged, or incapable, or any less of a person. I would argue the opposite. Being disabled has made me strong, confident and determine. I am proud of what I have accomplished, despite, my disability.
I have never asked for money on my blog before, but i've learned that if you don't ask, you often don't receive. Therefore, please take a moment to review my fundraiser page and consider making a donation to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation.
Because although I am disabled, I choose to be defined by my abilities, not my inability, in my not so normal life.