Help Paint Kindness for Parkside School – Salisbury MD!

Help Paint Kindness for Parkside School. We can gift art! Image of the KRS art kits; lots of supplies are in the art kit. Illustration photo of Dominique holding art and school supplies; she is smiling and wearing a tan, brown sweater and blue jeans. She has dark brown curly hair and wears glasses
Image Description: Help Paint Kindness for Parkside School. We can gift art! Image of the KRS art kits; lots of supplies are in the art kit. Illustration photo of Dominique holding art and school supplies; she is smiling and wearing a tan, brown sweater and blue jeans. She has dark brown curly hair and wears glasses

Right now, you can help Parkside School in Salisbury Maryland get art kits from KRS Community Project! If we make it to $500, these kits are completely FREE for anyone who wants to participate in this fun community project!

The thing that I love about the KRS Community Project is that it’s inclusive for everyone, no matter their abilities! If we manage to get to the $500, they’ll be free so costs will not be a burden. Right now during this pandemic, our students need us more than ever.

I may have been able to go trick or treating, but I hope to offer my friends over at Parkside this beautiful treat! Watch my Youtube video for more info below:

You can donate and or share here.


Video Transcript:

1st clip: text that reads: The Kindness Rock Project

Brush Strokes of Kindness 

Help us Gift Parkside Art! 

There are rainbows moving in the corners; the background is pink. At the center is an image of Kind Commissioner Stephanie Willey and Secretary of Kindness, Grace Foxwell-Murdock next to the Kindness banner; Grace has arm outstretched to display the banner. 

2nd clip: THE ART OF INCLUSION! There is an image of the kindness banner. There are faces of hand painted rocks, all smiling. Little images of hands raised and pictures that say “hello!” At the corner is a picture of the KRS Community Project Kit

3rd clip: Photo of Dominique, a woman in a power chair, in an inflatable wearing a face mask. Standing next to her is fellow Kind Commissioner, Pastor Martin. Little girl is posed behind her smiling with a painted face

4th clip: Audio clip begins speaking. Dominique is a pink power chair. She is wearing a leopard print, short sleeve shirt and black leggings and a pink Apple watch. Behind her is a black tote bag. Her arms are crossed. She is wearing KIND SBY shoes. Behind her is water, boats. She filmed this in outside Salisbury during mid afternoon. 

Audio transcript: 

“My name is Dominique Sessa and I’m reaching out today to you friends for you to hopefully donate Parkside School to get these art kits. I believe art is for everyone, including people with disabilities. People who may not be able to afford these kits and you donating to the GoFundMe just proves that. This pandemic has been hard for everyone especially our students. And I think that you donating to this is just proof that art is healing, and you can make a difference for our Parkside students. Salisbury is a city that welcomes everyone and it’s the First World’s Kindness City. As a Kindness Ambassador, as a Kindness Commissioner and as someone who loves kindness, I hope you’ll donate today because I think art is inclusive for everyone. And I hope that you donating even a dollar, you just hope some kindness and love into our Parkside students. Thank you! 

5th clip: Photo of Dominique, a woman in a power chair, in an inflatable wearing a face mask. Standing next to her is fellow Kind Commissioner, Pastor Martin. Little girl is posed behind her smiling with a painted face

6th clip: Text reads I’m asking from my heart! It’s animated and a large red animated heart is beating and moving. Photo of Dominique, a woman in a power chair, in an inflatable wearing a face mask. Standing next to her is fellow Kind Commissioner, Pastor Martin. Little girl is posed behind her smiling with a painted face

7th clip: Text reads: Tell me about these art kits?

The KRS Community Project Kit includes everything you need for an inspiring and impactful installation and event.

For our Parkside students, they’ll get $500 worth of art supplies such as postcards, workbooks, 

and more! Art that EVERYONE can enjoy! 

Image of markers with KRS logos; these are in the art kits. Bottom image of KRS art kits with lots of supplies in it

8th clip: collage of images of people painting the Kindness Banner. Text reads: the creator of these kits also created the kindness banner we brought into sby! 

9th clip: Mayor Jake Day joined in on the fun too! Photos of Mayor Jake and Secretary of Kindness, Grace Foxwell-Murdock together. They are posing together with the part he painted for the Kindness Banner and a sign that says “kindness is magic”

10th clip: text reads: Our Kindness Banner brought so much joy to SBY—of all ages! Images of City Administrator Julia Glanz is painting on the Kindness banner; a crowd people is also painting 

11th clip: Art is for everyone. 

It connects us all especially during this pandemic! Through the KRS Community art kits, the Parkside students can connect and express themselves and channel all of their feelings! 

Photos of Salisbury residents, Kind Commissioners, SBY Councilmembers, and youth all painting; some are even in wheelchairs. 

12th clip: The Art of Kindness

Learn more about KRS Community Project by visiting their site krscommunityproject.com

Images of painted Kindness Rock. It’s yellow

13th clip: Image of Dominique with Sec. of Kindness, Grace, and Pastor Martin at top

Text reads:

Please donate! 

Can’t donate? I understand! Please consider sharing this video so we can help Parkside! 

A share is a sign you care! 

You rock! Don’t forget [underneath are photos of painted kind rocks on banner]

Celebrating #NDEAM on Maryland’s Eastern Shore!

Image Description: There’s a photo of Leslie. She is smiling, waving. She has black straight hair, is wearing a black waffle knit sweater read black pants. She is waving and is a rigid, manual wheelchair user. Underneath her is a quote of Leslie’s during the video: “I can do all of that from my wheelchair. I don’t have to be able to walk around to do that. And neither do you. – Leslie Jefferson.” Text to the left reads: “Celebrating National Disability Awareness Month on Maryland Eastern’s Shore!” The next clip is an image of the #NDEAM (National Disability Employment Awareness Month) logo. The image features a map of America with many people on it including able-bodied. Text to the right reads: “Thank you Pohanka of Salisbury for celebrating #NDEAM everyday! We love you!” There’s also NDEAM’s official #NDEAM” logo

It was the so wonderful and exciting thing to celebrate #NDEAM with Pohanka Automotive who is leading the way on inclusion – in the workplace and with customers who have disabilities! I’m grateful for the partnerships that exist in my community.

On the Eastern Shore, we are better when partnerships happen!

I was so happy to get a chance to make this video with my friend, Leslie, to share about her career as a disabled woman. Leslie is an amazing disabled Marylander and is doing so much for our Maryland spinal cord community here. Our Lower Shore is so lucky to have her!

To join Leslie’s group, please click here.

To find out more about Pohanka and their business, please click here.

To watch the video, please watch below and share below:

If you need the video transcription, please read below. It has been completely transcribed:


Video transcription: 

The video begins with a clip of Leslie talking without sound. She has black straight hair, is wearing a black waffle knit sweater and black pants. She is a rigid, manual wheelchair user. On the clip is text that reads: “Celebrating inclusive workplaces, accessible businesses and disabled employees on the Eastern Shore!”

The next clip is an image of the #NDEAM (National Disability Employment Awareness Month) logo. The image features a map of America with many people on it including able-bodied. The text on the map reads: “ America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” NDEAM, visit www.dol.gov/ndeam.

Leslie begins to talk (with sound). She is in the Pohamba of Salisbury deanship. Around her are couches and chairs, plants, etc. While talking throughout, she uses her hands and is very moving and animated; speaking and moving poetically.  

Leslie is very animated while talking. 

The text goes as following: 

“Hi everyone, this is Leslie Jefferson. I am actually a buyer for Pohanka Automotive Group. I have been here for going on 10 years and I am a T12 spinal cord injury survivor. So what that means is a little less actually a little less actually than a year ago I was in a car accident that broke my spinal cord on the very low level, which prevents me from having feeling from the waist down. And when that happened, I went into a panic. What am I going to do? Who am I? Can I still work? Can I drive? The things I knew I no longer knew because I couldn’t feel below my waist. But what I found over this past year is that none of these things matter because of the support around me and my employer. I’ve been able to still continue my everyday life, still be able to continue and still be able to drive which is like a really important thing for me even though I can’t use my legs. When I got injured, it was never a question n whether or not I was still going to have my employment. I was still going to have my job. I was still going to my career. My bosses and the people around me just wanted to make do. What do we have to do? Do we have to get you a bigger desk? Do we have to change your position? It was never a question of whether or not I’d be able to do it. There’s a matter of the question of when are we going to do it? When are going to get there? They make sure that at first all I was focused on was physical therapy and getting myself better so that physically and mentally I could come back to work and do the same exact things I did before my injury. And look at me now. I’m still doing that. So I’m still able to roll across Pohanka’s parking lots, show vehicles to customers, executes sales for customers, buy people’s cars. So that’s recently what I’ve been doing. I’ve been buying vehicles from people and I can do all of that from my wheelchair. I don’t to be able to walk around to do that. And neither do you.”

Next clip has text. It reads:

Disabled employees are valuable employees every day! Thankfully, Pohanka honors the contributions of disabled employees and treats them with respect. Inclusive workforces are the best workplaces to foster! More businesses can take notes on how to foster inclusion in the workforce from Pohanka!

There’s a photo of Leslie. She has black straight hair. It’s a selfie. She is pointing to the Pohanka Hyundai building behind her. 

Next clip begins with Leslie at work. It reads: “Leslie at work!”  Leslie is demonstrating a car and testing its accessibility for customers with disabilities. She wears leggings, a printed top, and is a rigid manual wheelchair user. The video shows her her transferring into the vehicle to test its accessibility and shows how she transfers into cars as someone who is a paraplegic and or a person who uses a wheelchair as an example. The video goes through the process of a transfer, and shows a glimpse of what it looks like. 

The transcription goes as following: 

“I’m Leslie with Pohanka Hyundai. And today we’re going to start off by showing you a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe X R and we’re just going to see if I can get in it. We’re really inclusive at the Pohanka and I just wanted to show everybody the difficulties and the pros and cons to different vehicles. So today, we’re going to try this one. I haven’t been in it yet. So let’s see. So for starters, for me, this one, the XR version comes with running boards. For me, in a chair that makes things a little more difficult, but it does look really good. Good! I like the handrail. That was super simple. So yes for this and paraplegic and accessibility, I give the ability to get in the new Santa Fe XR all of the thumbs up. 

Next clip is a photo of one of the Pohanka buildings. It is a glass building. Text on image reads: “Thanks Pohanka for being a local business that’s leading on inclusion!”

Next clip is a photo of Leslie. She is wearing dark lipstick, her hair is black with blonde higlights, and she wears a black dress. It is a closeup photo. The text reads: Leslie is incredible and compassionate! 

She loves supporting fellow disabled people of any age in finding a career.

She leads with honesty when sharing her daily life struggles that come from having a spinal cord injury. .

She’s also co-founder of the Quad Squad. It’s a Delmarva spinal cord injury FB group. Leslie Jefferson.”

Next clip says: “Thanks for watching the video! Subscribe to my channel for more disability content!” There is a Bitmoji of Dominique; she has olive skin, dark curly hair, wears jeans, a sweater, and checkered Vans. At the bottom is the The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair logo

Final clip reads: “Contact me and let’s talk!

Email: thegirlinthepinkwheelchair@gmail.com

Website: thegirlinthepinkwheelchair.com 

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter: @TheGirlInThePinkWheelchair

@TheGirlInThePinkWheelchair

@DominiqueSessa

Thank You to Those Roll Up Their Sleeves: Words from the (FULLY!) Vaccinated

background is a person wearing a white lab-coat and blue medical glove. They are holding a syringe in their hand. On the image is text that reads, "I want my community to be safe. Without all of us doing our part together, it is simply not possible to be safe. We won't be safe until all of us step up and do the actions necessary - even if it means being brave and doing something we don't want to do. Sometimes the bravest actions require doing something scary for the greater good. Thank you if you are willing to do that." At the corner is the logo of The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair.
Image ID: background is a person wearing a white lab-coat and blue medical glove. They are holding a syringe in their hand. On the image is text that reads, “I want my community to be safe. Without all of us doing our part together, it is simply not possible to be safe. We won’t be safe until all of us step up and do the actions necessary – even if it means being brave and doing something we don’t want to do. Sometimes the bravest actions require doing something scary for the greater good. Thank you if you are willing to do that.” At the corner is the logo of The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair.

I received my second vaccine on the 6th of April. I cannot put into words what I feel. None of us thought we would live during a pandemic. I imagine that our ancestors felt this way as they braved pandemics, too. Yet – they survived, too.

Each time that I rolled up my sleeve, I met the nurse who was vaccinating me with such gratitude. I do not recall ever feeling so happy to be this vaccinated before.

I have survived over a year with isolation. I would be lying if I said that I did not feel the isolating aspects of a pandemic. The need to always disinfect, the fear associated. There is a reality of being disabled and living in a pandemic that is unforgotten.

It seems never-ending– and yet, here we are. We have a solution. People are signing up to do vaccines, people are taking them – despite reservations, and people have hope.

I did not take photos of my vaccine nor of the vaccine site. I chose not to share this because I know many people require and NEED this vaccine and cannot get it yet. We have barriers to overcome. We have to overcome the physical barriers, the language barriers, the barriers of caregivers who may not allow their disabled family members to get them (this is a reality), and so many more. We need to dismantle them all.

Those photos should greet you with feelings of warmth if you are scared. I know it can be hard to show you something if you feel that it is out of reach for you.

Instead, I am writing you words. These are words I pen from my soul and my heart. These are words written by a young woman who is asking you to please listen.

Some disabled people who live with immunodeficiency have it to extremes and cannot make vaccine antibodies. When they get a vaccine, they do not produce the antibodies. When you choose to be vaccinated, you are protecting those people. I have a mild immunodeficiency and NMD– and the common cold (if you believe COVID-19 is one) is a killer for me.

When you take a vaccine, you are doing it for a lot of people. Even if you choose it because you want to simply live your life again, you’re making life safe again for our vulnerable populations.

That’s the thing. Sometimes our most vulnerable can’t say “YES” – even if they want it. They wish that they could be in your shoes for a day to get in line for that vaccine! No matter how deserving they are of that vaccine, they may not be able to access it. It’s not fair, but it’s a reality. Vaccines are not always ready and available for our vulnerable populations. Yet when you take one, you help protect our vulnerable populations.

The people who can’t be vaccinated – even if they’re qualified and want to roll up their sleeves. Not everyone can do this act. However, if you can: this is an easy way to protect those of us who need you.

These are the same people who ask you to please wear a mask, even if you don’t like it. You may hate it, but it means a lot for those of us who want to see you, laugh with you, and hug you.

And if you’re scared to be vaccinated, I am not mad at you.

Being scared during a pandemic is normal. New medical procedures are scary. I am at the doctor’s office a lot. The life of disinfectant; the life of hearing about masks is frightening. Nobody wants to live like “this” anymore. I get that. The thing is, our anxiety is at an all-time high.

That small business owner is pretty darn nervous, I assure you. Your neighbor is feeling anxious, even if you may not see it. We are all feeling that fear. If you talk about it, you will see that your feelings are normal. It’s not You vs. Them. We’re all feeling the pressure.

The way to overcome fear is by deciding that we can fight the pandemic together. Let’s agree not to let it swallow us whole. Let’s agree that we can trust science, listen to medicine, and believe that lives are worth more.

Have questions about your vaccine or risks? Your friend who practices medicine will answer them. Talk to your friends and family who were vaccinated. When people trust fear, they forget how strong their faith is. They start disregarding facts. A lot of harm comes from fear-based information. The division is easy.

I didn’t think twice after my specialist told me to get vaccinated. I didn’t get a choice, but to isolate myself. And I refused to miss the choice of being vaccinated.

An EX (!!!!) friend told me last year that “the weakest link would eventually die off,” and that I was causing the pandemic to continue; causing the lockdowns. Ultimately, I was to blame. I was horrified. How could anyone see disabled people as to blame– during a pandemic? Unfortunately, I see a lot of rhetoric where people forget that many disabled people rely on others to make conscious choices.

I’m so appreciative of every person wearing a mask and choosing to get the vaccine even if they hate it, even if they’re scared. If you’re doing the right thing, I am grateful for you.

Please keep doing it.

If you have questions, please don’t be scared to ask them. Learning isn’t anything to be ashamed of. We won’t bridge these gaps unless you ask those questions. Don’t be afraid to say, “I saw this article posted online. Is it true?”

If you want to discuss the vaccine, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Vaccine hesitancy isn’t abnormal. We are are all adjusting, but you rolling up your sleeve makes a difference. It helps protects others– and brings us back to normal. For those who don’t produce vaccine antibodies, it won’t be normal for them. They can’t do that, but you can. Would you say “NO” when it comes to giving blood? Think on that; ponder it. We are still living in a pandemic.

If you still feel scared about rolling up that sleeve, it’s okay. Please just wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands. Do the conscious thing. Be a good human being. Kindness is all we have to keep us moving forward.

Thank you if you will roll up your sleeve. If you are still feeling unsure, please don’t feel scared to talk to me, those you trust, community leaders, and others. At the very least – I hope my words make you think of those whose life won’t yet be “normal,” and those don’t always feel comforted by images. I see you. I feel you. I hear you. Most of all, I hope you hear me. I am not mad or sad. I just want you to hug you, love you, and keep spreading love.

I want my community to be safe. Without all of us doing our part together, it is simply not possible to be safe. We won’t be safe until all of us step up and do the actions necessary – even if it means being brave and doing something we don’t want to do. Sometimes the bravest actions require doing something scary for the greater good. Thank you if you are willing to do that. I am grateful for you. When you roll up that sleeve, you are doing something pretty darn incredible, even if you don’t see it that way. I see you. And everyone else sees it too.

Nothing brings me happiness like seeing people I love being vaccinated. I love seeing strangers being vaccinated. I love seeing vaccines being given out – period. It means that I can breathe a little easier now. There is a sense of calmness in this storm for me and my community is safer. You have no idea. It means I can keep serving others in the way I am called in my life to. It means that I can love others.

And most of all – thank you to the vaccinators for getting the vaccines into our arms.

Celebrate Harriet Tubman as an Icon of Black Disability History

To the left is Harriet Tubman. She is a Black woman. She is looking at the camera. She is not smiling, but looks direct and pensive. She is wearing a Victorian outfit. Her hands are crossed together. To the right is text that reads: “Celebrate Harriet Tubman as a Black & Disabled woman. She’s an icon for all especially Marylanders.” logo at bottom
Image Description: To the left is Harriet Tubman. She is a Black woman. She is looking at the camera. She is not smiling, but looks direct and pensive. She is wearing a Victorian outfit. Her hands are crossed together. To the right is text that reads: “Celebrate Harriet Tubman as a Black & Disabled woman. She’s an icon for all especially Marylanders.” logo at bottom

February is Black History Month. If you want to see how Salisbury is celebrating Black History Month, just click here. It includes lots of creative content, a partnership between Fenix Youth INC., and even a focus on locally owned Black small businesses. Love it! Water’s Edge Museum opened this month. Its goal is to tell the stories of Black founding families of the Eastern Shore. It recently also won an award from the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism. Great job, Water’s Edge!

I believe it’s so important to remember during Black History Month the stories of Black Disability history. It can be hard to find these stories. It does not mean that they do not exist. It does not mean that they were not real or that African Americans with disabilities were not living. We have so many leaders in our African American community– whether it be today or then– with disabilities. Disability is a broad identity, as a reminder. African American history is there, just like disability history. 

Look at Dr. Henry Louis Gates, for example, or Harry Belafonte. Disability has always existed. The same way that African Americans are apart of our history— whether it be now or then. I think it’s vastly important to think of our history as one, not of separating identifies. I hope for a day when we will see archives of Disability History and Black Disability History, especially here in Maryland. 

In this post, I want to focus on an icon that is one of the true trailblazers of African American history. Not just here in Maryland, but globally. 

Harriet Tubman.

Harriet was born in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She was born into slavery and helped others escape slavery via the Underground Railroad. Let’s not forget, she even was a nurse and a spy during the Civil War for the Union. How cool, right? Can you imagine?!

Harriet lived an incredible life. She’s known best for her abolition, humanitarian and suffrage work.  

And she was disabled, too! Did you know that? If you didn’t, it’s okay. Sometimes our media doesn’t always do a good job of portraying or teaching that Harriet was a disabled woman. Sometimes her disability is wrapped into her simply having visions. What does “that” mean exactly? Let’s discuss it.

As a young girl, she sustained a traumatic brain injury. The injury is detailed in the authorized biography of her:

“The overseer caught up a two-pound weight from the counter and threw it at the fugitive, but it fell short and struck Harriet a stunning blow on the head. It was long before she recovered from this, and it has left her subject to a sort of stupor or lethargy at times; coming upon her in the midst of conversation, or whatever she may be doing, and throwing her into a deep slumber, from which she will presently rouse herself, and go on with her conversation or work.”  

BRADFORD, SARAH H. HARRIET TUBMAN, THE MOSES OF HER PEOPLE. SMK Books, 2018. 

After the injury, Harriet began to see what she described as visions from God. It has been interpreted by many the visions that Tubman had after her injury were seizures, not visions as she said. While we can’t know the diagnosis, we do know that she had a brain injury and neurological symptoms. Later in life, she required surgery to alleviate the pain caused by the injury.

Harriet attributed her visions from God as to how she kept safe. She believed these kept her safe while transporting people on the Railroad. Harriet was always adamant that her visions were a guiding light and centric to her work as an abolitionist working on the Underground Railroad. No matter what her visions were (seizures, another neurological disorder caused from her injury, etc): her disability was central in her work. And she didn’t see it as negative.

In summary, we know that she was having episodes caused from her traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) as a young girl that lead to having her neurological episodes. Some people see Harriet’s description of visions as a misdiagnosis, but I think we can look it as a narrative of her choosing — in her own terms — to reclaim her disability and body, as she sees fit and as she chose.

Harriet’s disability is a huge part of her story. She did all of her amazing work as a Black disabled woman. Like most of her life, Harriet was a trailblazer. By seeing her visions as positive and seeing her injury as something that didn’t define her negatively, she helped pave the way for all disabled people, and especially fellow Black disabled people. She defied the barriers of slavery, racism, classism and ableism, and sexism— as she fought for all people. She was a force of nature.

By seeing her disability as something that was apart of her and strengthening, she helped empower people for generations. Her stories are still empowering people to look at their identities with pride. Harriet reclaimed her life on her terms, nobody else. In 2021, her story is one that is empowering for all, especially Black disabled people.

Harriet is an icon of Black Disability History. It’s an honor to live so near to where she resided for a large majority of her life. How lucky we are to have this wonderful connection to her in the state of Maryland.

She managed to escape slavery and free 70 people. When we talk about Maryland women who lead the way, we cannot stop talking about Harriet. She was a person of color, a person with a disability, and a woman who defied odds. All aspects of her identities deserve praise, including her role as a disabled woman. 

Thanks to trailblazers like Harriet for paving the way– for all people. Her legacy is not forgotten.

If you’re interested in virtually visiting the Harriet Tubman and Maryland’s Underground Railroad Tour (safe and accessible to all), you can do so by visiting Eventbrite here. There are lots of links on Youtube too. 

P.S. Keep your eyes posted for one more post on African American-Disability history in honor of BHM! While I regret that this is a little late (darn scheduling), I am still excited to share this. These are stories that are relevant year round!

Wicomico County Residents: Use YOUR Voice to Make A Difference! Community Convos + Surveys for Funding! Join Along!

background image is black and white. Varying people are shown on a laptop on a Zoom call. Someone is on their laptop; their hands are visible. The text reads: “Wicomico residents, please use your voices! Attend Wicomico Partnership’s Community Convo on Feb 10th! Share their surgery’s with your networks! You’ll help map how our County gets funded by YOUR voice.” Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children’s logo is on the image
Image Description: The background image is black and white. Varying people are shown on a laptop on a Zoom call. Someone is on their laptop; their hands are visible. The text reads: “Wicomico residents, please use your voices! Attend Wicomico Partnership’s Community Convo on Feb 10th! Share their surgery’s with your networks! You’ll help map how our County gets funded by YOUR voice.” Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children’s logo is on the image.

Community Conversation (Feb. 10th, 5 p.m. – Virtual)

Standard Survey (English, Haitian, Spanish)

Plain English (Accessible)

Are you unfamiliar with Wicomico Partnership? They are our Local Management Board here in Wicomico County. They are currently mapping out their future for funding.

The thing is, we need input from our community members! As an advocate for the disability community, I can’t stress the importance of getting feedback from disabled citizens, for example. Wicomico Partnership made sure every member of our community could participate. This is a huge… and powerful opportunity!

The surveys are available in English, Spanish, Haitian and Plain English. If you need assistance in any way, I would be happy to if I can do so. Please share with your networks. Even if only your family and friends fill them out, it makes a difference for our community. Really!

On February 10th, they’ll be hosting a Community Conversation where I’ll be in attendance. I hope that some of my friends from the disability community show up to see me! These conversations will discuss real, important things affecting our community. They’re all held virtually, so no worries!

Your voice has the power to make an impact, give input, and encourage decisions! Please show up on the 10th. Not just because I will be there (ha), but because it’s important. Wicomico Partnership does strong work for our community – whether it’s rental assistance or helping our homeless friends! Their dedication to all is powerful.

If you at any point need help filling out the survey due to your disability or other reasons like language barriers (for example), I’m happy to help. Please let me know if you would like printed copies! The more people who fill it out, the better!

Will I see you on the 10th?

Love, Dom

Accessible Bookshelf: An Inclusive Bookclub! Join Along and Read With Me

A White appearing woman with olive skin tone is reading a printed hard back book. She has dark, short and straight hair that is bobbed.  She is wearing a dark sweater and dark pants. She is a wheelchair user. The text on image reads: "Accessible Bookshelf. An inclusive book club for all people." The Girl in The Pink Wheelchair text logo at bottom.
Image Description: A White appearing woman with olive skin tone is reading a printed hard back book. A smile is on her face. She has dark, short and straight hair that is bobbed. She is wearing a dark sweater and dark pants. She is a wheelchair user. The text on image reads: “Accessible Bookshelf. An inclusive book club for all people.” The Girl in The Pink Wheelchair text logo at bottom.

How to Read Along With the Bookclub:

Instagram

Goodreads Group

Facebook Group

Twitter Hashtag (Not sure how to use a Twitter hashtag? To keep active, you’ll always include the hashtag #AccessibleBookShelf)

Book club picks will be announced 1x per month on the 15th of the Month then meet via Group Zoom/Google Groups. Book discussions will occur via Facebook. I’ll also update on current reads on my Instagrams and Twitter under the social media handles. Look forward to blog posts for current picks and reviews! For more info: please go to the “Book Club” tab here on my site!

A dream of mine has been an inclusive, accessible book club. A place where everyone felt accommodated, book choices were diverse, and people didn’t feel uncomfortable by commentaries on how they needed to read. I dreamed of a place where inclusion was a prime choice from the start. Can you imagine? A book club where access is a priority, not a second thought! It came to me while staring at my shelves.

As a wheelchair user and disabled person, I can reach for so few books independently. Shelves, just like literature and many other things, are not always designed with access in mind. It doesn’t mean that your voice and opinions as a disabled reader are any less important!

If you are a disabled bookworm, you likely hear commentaries about how you read. I shared an Instagram post dealing with some of the ableism that I face.

I get met with people scoffing and judgemental sneers towards Kindle books.

People will say that reading via an e-book isn’t the same or share rude memes to mock those who use them. I can’t count how many times people have said that audiobooks don’t count as reading.

I’ve gotten invited to book clubs, even when the book is not available in an audiobook format or the venue has stairs. I had people make jokes that I don’t “look like the person who needs books for the Blind.” I had a stranger remark they were surprised when they saw me reading because they assumed I could not – as a person with a disability.

I wanted to create a book club where all people would feel welcome, included, and heard. Please feel free to let me know if you need more accommodations or if I can be more accessible in any manner. Are you read to read with me? Able-bodied allies and disabled people are both welcome to join along. I hope to also encourage education on how we all can promote more inclusion in our reading generation.

Have an idea for a book? Send it my way!

Please make sure it’s diverse & features disability

Love, Dom

Erb’s Palsy Awareness Week 2020: A Guest Interview Spotlight to Raise Awareness

To the left hand side is Arianna. She is a smiling toddler, has light wavy hair and is wearing a sunflower shirt. Underneath Arianna is a photo of Jaliyah. She wears glasses, a jean jacket, a shirt with writing and smiles at the camera. To the right hand side, there’s text that says: “October is Erb’s Palsy Awareness Month. A Guest Spotlight with Fellow Marylanders. Featuring a Wicomico County, Maryland family!” The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair
Image Description: To the left hand side is Arianna. She is a smiling toddler, has light wavy hair and is wearing a sunflower shirt. Underneath Arianna is a photo of Jaliyah. She wears glasses, a jean jacket, a shirt with writing and smiles at the camera. To the right hand side, there’s text that says: “October is Erb’s Palsy Awareness Month. A Guest Spotlight with Fellow Marylanders. Featuring a Wicomico County, Maryland family!” The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair

Today, I will be a featuring a local Wicomico family to help them with their goal of raising awareness for Erb’s Palsy! If you are a resident of the Eastern Shore, please feel free to reach out to me if you are doing disability events and need help with “boosting” it locally. I love to help!

Taylor is a resident of Wicomico County, Maryland. She had reached out to me about ways to celebrate Erb’s Palsy Awareness Month and Week which take both parts in October. 

Taylor’s daughter, Arianna, has Erb’s Palsy. As we know, I’m really passionate about knowing our disability community— including our littles ones! Our young ones with disabilities are our future advocates. I immediately jumped at how I could help with raising awareness for Erb’s Palsy with Taylor. Not only for our community on the Lower Eastern Shore, but in Maryland and nationally! In the state of Maryland, Governor Hogan has Proclaimed October has Erb’s Palsy Awareness Month.

Through Taylor, I have learned a lot about Erb’s Palsy, and am excited to share what I have learned! Taylor also introduced me to her friend, Nicole. She is also a resident of Maryland as well. Their daughters both have Erb’s Palsy. These two Marylander mothers formed a connection through both being parents and mothers. Nicole currently runs a Facebook support group and a non-profit group for Erb’s Palsy. Her work with Erb’s Palsy has gone far.

If you have Erb’s Palsy or are a parent/carer/guardian of a child with Erb’s Palsy, please feel free to reach out them for further connection!

WHAT IS ERB’S PALSY?

Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus palsy. It is named for one of the doctors who first described this condition, Wilhelm Erb.

The brachial plexus (BRAY-key-el PLEK-sis) is a network of nerves near the neck that give rise to all the nerves of the arm. These nerves provide movement and feeling to the shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. Palsy means weakness, and brachial plexus birth palsy causes arm weakness and loss of motion.

One or two of every 1,000 babies have this condition. It is often caused when an infant’s neck is stretched to the side during a difficult delivery. Most infants with brachial plexus birth palsy will recover both movement and feeling in the affected arm, often with daily physical therapy exercises. Parents play an active role in helping their child recover maximum function in the affected arm.

Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy) – OrthoInfo – AAOS.” OrthoInfo, orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/erbs-palsy-brachial-plexus-birth-palsy. 

Interview with Taylor and Nicole:

How did you and Taylor find one another? What has been the best part of that connection? 

Taylor: I searched for a support group on Facebook. I felt lost. I was scared. That’s when I met Nicole who created the group to help others cope and to let them know they are not alone. I’m forever thankful for her and all she has done.

Nicole: I started a support group for parents of kids that suffers from Erb’s Palsy called Arm’s In Motion. This is where Taylor and I met. It’s been a joy! The best part about meeting Taylor is her selflessness and willingness to help. She’s a beautiful person inside and out with an awesome family. 

What is one misconception that people have about Erb’s Palsy? What would you like people to understand more about Erb’s Palsy? 

Taylor: A misconception of Erb’s palsy is people say, ‘It’s temporary! It’s not serious!’ They put the blame on the mothers. Sometimes if a baby is big, it will happen coming out of the birth canal. Most of the time, a cesarean can prevent it. I want others to know that this is not easy for the child. It’s a life-changing thing. Surgeries, Botox, therapies, specialists– and I, mean, the list goes on and on.

Nicole: The biggest misconception about Erb’s Palsy is that Mom did something during birth. 

What would be one piece of advice that you would tell other parents (or carers/guardians) with a child of Erb’s Palsy? What was the thing that helped you during the journey?

Taylor: One piece of advice is that you’re never alone. We are in this together. Together we can make a change. Our babies will be awesome. Having my family, friends, and our Erb’s Palsy group support is what pushes us through.

Nicole: You’re not alone and this is NOT your fault. Take some time to yourself because you will be overwhelmed. Enter each challenge with your little one with your head held high because you’re fighting for your little’s one’s life. Ask as many questions as you need until you have an understanding of what’s going on. Educate yourself on Erb’s and never take, ‘NO, we cannot,’ for an answer! If you feel your child isn’t getting the best of care, get a second opinion.

How would you like other Marylanders to celebrate Erb’s Palsy Awareness Month?

Taylor: I would like for there to be yearly awareness walks in October or events that can continue to raise awareness.

Thank you to both Taylor and Nicole for taking the time to share their knowledge and raise awareness for Erb’s Palsy! I hope you have learned something new. I surely did! Most of all, I am thankful for these two Maryland mothers for making a difference for our younger generations with disabilities! If you want to connect further for ways that you can assist with their awareness projects this month, please feel free to reach out to them.

Love, Dom 

World Mental Health Day 2020: Mental Health Matters

Image Description: a drawing of a woman holding a globe, sitting next to plants. She looks forlorn, next to her are books, headphones and a bowl of food. She is wearing a baggy sweater and printed plants. Next to the drawing is quote that reads: "Your mental health matters. Always. You are entitled to sick days, just like anyone else. Take care of yourself, even if you need to rest today. The ADA entitles you to accommodations for your mental health disorder(s) because the quality of your life should always matter." Underneath is the text logo of The Girl of the Pink Wheelchair.

Image Description: a drawing of a woman holding a globe, sitting next to plants. She looks forlorn, next to her are books, headphones and a bowl of food. She is wearing a baggy sweater and printed plants. Next to the drawing is quote that reads: “Your mental health matters. Always. You are entitled to sick days, just like anyone else. Take care of yourself, even if you need to rest today. The ADA entitles you to accommodations for your mental health disorder(s) because the quality of your life should always matter.” Underneath is the text logo of The Girl of the Pink Wheelchair.

October 10 marks World Mental Health Day. During 2020 and our current pandemic, I think it’s especially important for all of us to talk about mental health and what that means. Mental health matters, but especially now.

Not only for our disability community but for all. This has been one of the scariest times for people to access the care that they need and rely upon. Let’s look at some statistics that the CDC has released from their study, just in case you were wondering how bad the numbers have been during this time. We often talk about how the pandemic has impacted our disability community. It’s always important to remember that the mental health community is apart of that, too.

“During June 24–30, 2020, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.

“Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, June 24–30, 2020.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Aug. 2020, www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm. 

Overall, 40.9% of 5,470 respondents who completed surveys during June reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including those who reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder (30.9%), those with TSRD symptoms related to COVID-19 (26.3%), those who reported having started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19 (13.3%), and those who reported having seriously considered suicide in the preceding 30 days (10.7%) (Table 1). At least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom was reported by more than one half of respondents who were aged 18–24 years (74.9%) and 25–44 years (51.9%), of Hispanic ethnicity (52.1%), and who held less than a high school diploma (66.2%), as well as those who were essential workers (54.0%), unpaid caregivers for adults (66.6%), and who reported treatment for diagnosed anxiety (72.7%), depression (68.8%), or PTSD (88.0%) at the time of the survey.

“Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, June 24–30, 2020.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Aug. 2020, www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm. 
During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use. ANXIETY/DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS 31%. TRAUMA/STRESSOR-RELATED DISORDER SYMPTOMS 26%. STARTED OR INCREASED SUBSTANCE USE 13%. SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED SUICIDE. 11%. *Based on a survey of U.S. adults aged >18 years during June 24-30, 2020 in the 30 days prior to survey.* For stress and coping strategies: bit.ly/dailylifecoping -- cdc.gov -- MMWR
Image Description: During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use. ANXIETY/DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS 31%. TRAUMA/STRESSOR-RELATED DISORDER SYMPTOMS 26%. STARTED OR INCREASED SUBSTANCE USE 13%. SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED SUICIDE. 11%. *Based on a survey of U.S. adults aged >18 years during June 24-30, 2020 in the 30 days prior to survey.* For stress and coping strategies: bit.ly/dailylifecoping — cdc.gov — MMWR

As stated above in that image: 40% PERCENT of people struggled with mental health and or substance during that survey during this pandemic. That’s an uprising number! This is why mental health is so important to think about this year.

It is hard to live during a pandemic. I’m not surprised by certain populations being affected at disproportionate rates, despite how heartbreaking it is. It is immensely difficult for people to live during pandemics that experience disparities and poverty higher, are affected by the pandemic at higher levels, and have a higher risk of being infected and or death.

It’s also important to remember the implications of the pandemic for people with preexisting mental health disorders, as well. They are feeling the weight of not being able to access their doctors in person or may struggle with their telemedicine appointments due to not having broadband! Let’s also not forget the effects of those who may be experiencing homelessness or incarceration for example.

Did you know that 1 out of 5 Americans have a mental health disorder? Did you know that 1 out of every 25 Americans live with a more impacting mental health disorder; i.e. bipolar disorder schizophrenia, etc?

How often do we refer to things as “so crazy” or “so insane” to signify it as bad or “too much to handle”? For people who are living with mental health disorders (which are disabilities since sometimes people don’t “see” that), they internalize a lot of the same ableist language that others with disabilities do as well.

Every year, we see people dressed up on Halloween as “mental patients” which often perpetuate mental illness in a very unhealthy way or dehumanize it. Let’s not forget that “mental patients,” were often placed in asylums against their will– and subjected to horrible things.

I can go on, but I hope that you got my point. Mental health disorders are subjected to constant stigmatization. At this moment of time, it’s really hard to reach out due to social distance. Despite being recognized as a disability, our society often sees mental health disorders as something that’s “abnormal,” and something that’s “wrong.”

The only thing wrong about mental health is how we approach it. There’s nothing wrong about suffering from a mental health disorder or even having a bad time with your mental health. The only thing wrong is judging a person who does or perpetuating negative behaviors towards mental health. I think our concept of mental health needs to change. Remember: your mental health matters. Always.

So many are unaware that the ADA warrants your protections and accommodations because, in 2008, it expanded to cover mental health disorders as a disability.

We often talk a lot about sick days. To me, I think that you should never feel wrong for taking mental sick days — especially if you suffer from a mental health disorder. You are entitled to sick days, just like anyone else. Take care of yourself, even if you need to rest today. The ADA entitles you to accommodations for your mental health disorder(s) because the quality of your life should always matter.

With that, I hope you will take the time today to be more inclusive with your language, thoughts, and hearts towards those who are suffering from a mental health disorder. It’s extremely hard to live during a pandemic.


I hope you take some time to care for yourself – even if you don’t currently suffer from a mental health disorder. Even if you don’t suffer from a mental health disorder at this moment, it’s important to be gentle and nursing with yourself, especially now.

Love, Dom

#TheDisabilityVote: Why Does it Matter?

Dominique smiles at the camera holding a paper with a QR code. She is wearing a red knitted head headband and wayfarer glasses. The The Girl in The Pink Wheelchair logo is over top. There is a quotation that reads, “I have a lot to say as a woman with a disability, a Marylander with a disability, and a believer in making rural communities better for people with disabilities. If you want to make your community better,  you need to VOTE”! #DisabilityVote  To the opposite side, is another image. It reads “Register to vote today! Point your smart’s phone camera here; arrow point at QR code. When We All Vote in corner
Image ID: Dominique smiles at the camera holding a paper with a QR code. She is wearing a red knitted head headband and wayfarer glasses. The The Girl in The Pink Wheelchair logo is over top. There is a quotation that reads, “I have a lot to say as a woman with a disability, a Marylander with a disability, and a believer in making rural communities better for people with disabilities. If you want to make your community better, you need to VOTE”! #DisabilityVote To the opposite side, is another image. It reads “Register to vote today! Point your smart’s phone camera here; arrow point at QR code. When We All Vote in corner.”

If you didn’t know, September 22nd was National Voter Registration Day. I shared about it on my Facebook page as well as Instagram Stories. If you had an event, let me know, so I can share your voter outreach!


As I mentioned, it was National Voter Registration Day yesterday. I wanted to do more, share more, and participate. My local library even had a virtual event! You should love your local Library and always support their events, especially now. (That will be another post.)


However, my body was not obligating yesterday. I was in bed for some of it– and was not feeling the best. I don’t really like talking about the not so pretty parts of my life, but alas. As a person who is chronically honest, I can’t deny that I have a chronic illness. I also make chronically corny jokes, too. Life tip from me to you: I learned a long time ago if you want to make your life better, focus on others. Make jokes too, even if they’re bad. Laughing is good. It’s okay to focus on yourself, too, but spend most of it on others. Good humans get rewarded for good work, I believe.

That brings me back to these key points:


The lack of my body cooperating reminded me of why I became so passionate about voting in the first place. The thing is, I am someone who is disabled and whose disability requires specialized medications. It means policies like healthcare, for example, are a huge thing.


If you are wondering above by the way, “Why she is holding a bar code?” That’s totally okay. I’ll explain it. This is actually a voter registration from When We All Vote which is a nonpartisan voting organization. I’m so proud to be a Squad Captain for When We All Vote. When you whip out your smartphone, it’ll open up a website where you can register to vote. This is super great for voter outreach– and my friends have been using it! I point my camera at the QR code, a website pops up, and then it redirects me here. If you’re isolated at home because of COVID, you can encourage your loved ones (you see) or PCA (personal care attendant) to register! Bam!


The coolest part of When We All Vote’s registry is that it offers MULTIPLE languages too! I talk a lot about accessibility.

To advocate for accessibility, it must mean that I have to advocate for all forms of accessibility. Not just physical access, but all forms of it. If you want to advocate for accessibility, you need to implement it into your life. That means you need to offer space for me, but also everyone in need of accessibility.

I grew up in a family where English was not the only language that I heard. It means that I was aware that access to space was complicated and complex. It means that I understand that access isn’t given, despite it being a basic human right. It means that I want to make accessibility something that I improve upon in all facets of my life.


As someone with a disability (especially living in a rural area), I know why voting matters. Policies, politics, and politicians all matter deeply to me because I am a disabled young woman— and will live through the decisions made by these politicians for a long time.


When I cast a vote, I have to work harder to vote. We often don’t have physical access to voting. It’s stressful and not fair. Disabled people are now listening to the “evils” of mail-in voting while many of us (myself included) require isolation and or some of us require voting in person due to limitations with mail-in voting due to disability.


To make it more complicated, there are disabled people in nursing homes where COVID-19 has presented such inaccessibility and even potentially denied their voting rights. This is not okay, but yet this is reality.


This is why I’m reminding you to register. I’m reminding you to encourage others you know to vote, especially if they’re disabled. I have talked to a few disabled people over the last few weeks. No matter who you vote for, I just want you to vote!


I’m encouraging you to be accessible with your messages for outreaching. Think of homes where the music is multilingual and some who don’t have an address beyond the homeless shelter. Use voting materials that’s accessible and make yourself sensitive to the world.


Accessibility counts so much for the physical, but also how we navigate digital spaces— and should apply to other aspects like linguistic and emotional. Disabled people are diverse. Not all disabilities are the same. Just like how accessibility is a complex issue, so is disability. Disability also applies to learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, Deafness/hearing disabilities, and I can keep going on. Not everyone with a disability is the same. We are diverse!


And so with this, I’ll finish by saying:


For 2020, I encourage you to embrace ways to encourage those with disabiltiies to vote. I’ll be celebrating this week with spreading voting information with my friends at the Voting subcommittee, sharing content, and materials!


I have a lot to say as a woman with a disability, a Marylander with a disability, and a believer in making rural communities better for people with disabilities. If you want to make your community better, you need to vote! Get registered, friends!

The Incredible Kindness of Freedom

There’s a quote to the left of the image that reads, “To have freedom gifted to you is an indescribable feeling. There’s no way to describe how it feels to be granted an ability to fly freely again. I haven’t felt so free in so long. I feel truly… BOUNDLESS!” To the right is a photo of Dominique. She’s in her manual chair. It’s a sepia photo. The background has trees. There is a body of water. Underneath is a quote that reads, “Read about my friend Tilghman’s incredible act of kindness on the site!” Underneath is a text logo that says “The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair.”
There’s a quote to the left of the image that reads, “To have freedom gifted to you is an indescribable feeling. There’s no way to describe how it feels to be granted an ability to fly freely again. I haven’t felt so free in so long. I feel truly… BOUNDLESS!” To the right is a photo of Dominique. She’s in her manual chair. It’s a sepia photo. The background has trees. There is a body of water. Underneath is a quote that reads, “Read about my friend Tilghman’s incredible act of kindness on the site!” Underneath is a text logo that says “The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair.”

I want to be honest in this. Not only so you can see what an incredible kindness that an adaptive vehicle is, but also so you can learn what disabled people go through when it comes to transportation. Rarely, do we mention that disabled people often don’t have vehicles and sometimes are trapped physically because of this. Education and knowledge is our first step to changing things. The ability to leave your home should be a fundamental right.

Since the pandemic occurred, my freedom has not been the same. Like a lot of disabled people in this world without adaptive vehicles, I relied on public transportation if I wanted to explore life in my electric chair.

If I was traveling anywhere else, I had to travel via my manual chair. Due to my NMD, I have muscle weakness. A manual chair that doesn’t fit me well anymore and weak muscles aren’t a great combination for adventures unfortunately.

As much as I appreciate it when my family and friends give me a boost, you can’t replace the feeling of pushing yourself. There’s a feeling of being in charge; of feeling independent. When you’re disabled, you have to forsake a lot of things when it comes to your independence. The few things that you can manage by yourself are important.

A fine median point for me was public transportation. I could still use my electric chair, didn’t need to worry about transferring, and could finally feel like I was fully independent in ways that I hadn’t in other ways. Granted, it didn’t solve the problem for going places outside of a local city… but it did give me immediate freedom! The first time that I hopped on the bus with my cousin, I began crying. It wasn’t hormonal. It was just joyous. Sweet freedom!

Unfortunately, the bus access in my current city is more complicated than in my last city. There are strict time limitations and restrictions on how long I can be out for example. Currently, I can’t use it due to COVID. It has been one of the many things that disabled people are going through. I use this far away lanague because my experience is not isolated. So rarely do we think that people are lacking access to leave their homes. However it’s a reality, especially for the disabled community. Lack of access exists for us in a lot of ways.

Except my story becomes kind of magical.

Amazingly a beautiful miracle happened because of my friend, Tilghman! When he and his family learned that I didn’t have an adaptive van, they GIFTED me their old van! It was incredible kindness. Tilghman, like me, is passionate about advocacy for people with disabilities. Our friendship has been such a blessing to me in so many ways.

I suppose that if two advocates connect, you’re kind of bound to create wonderful things? Maybe I’m biased, but hey!

Not only did he and his family bless me with something that makes my entire family’s life easier, but they blessed me with the ability to be free. When we talk about gifting someone a gifting an adaptive van, the gift is so much more than a vehicle. It’s a literal freedom.

It’s made my life more accessible in so many ways. I can travel to appointments easier, go out to places that aren’t accessible via a manual chair and the list goes on. I no longer require assistance when out and about. This may seem like a small victory to someone else, but it’s a huge thing to me. Really.

In the same way that I lost my physical freedom because of COVID exposure, my sweet friend gave me a sense of freedom that I haven’t experienced in years. I remember how AMAZING it felt to have freedom again when I first got my electric chair. I could suddenly go as fast as I wanted, no more needing people to push me, and no more reminders of dependence.

They say sometimes you meet people for the most unexplainable reasons. I have always believed that. I can never explain in words how much I cherish Tilghman, this gift, or how much I cried that first night. I thought a lot about this post. Would a ‘thank you’ suffice? Should I simply thank you, thank you over and over again? Except that didn’t feel honest. The reason why this gift is so special is because all of these factors are why adaptive vans are so freeing. It’s because a gift like that unshackled me. A gift like that is special.

Thankfully, I have a special friend too!

To have freedom gifted to you is an indescribable feeling. There’s no way to describe how it feels to be granted an ability to fly freely again. I haven’t felt so free in so long. I feel truly… BOUNDLESS!