This article places the reader’s mind into the daily routine of a young girl who became paralyzed. She allows us to understand the extent of maintenance that is required in order for her to live a life as normal as possible. She became unable to walk due to a terrible vehicle crash she suffered while traveling to her high school track meet. Being the only member of the group who was injured, from there forward, she was recognized as an every day reminder of the incident. The team captains suddenly discouraged her from speaking to any new teammates, and her friends became nothing more than signatures on a get well card.
Disability became the last thing she would use as an excuse to explain an absence or a missed event. As a new student in college, she wanted the friends that she made to stick around; so she tried to do everything in her power to prove that she took her work seriously. To avoid labels, she also down played any improvements she made in physical therapy to sound as if her achievements were impressive and relatable to others progress.
Being accepted into Harvard, automatically had others judging her abilities and people referred to her as a “charity case”. No matter what she did to try and establish a normal life, she was constantly judged. She tried being silent and ignoring her disability in public as well as being straightforward and recognizing she was different; each had their own equal amount of disadvantages.
“Does spending so much time maintaining my body make me an inspiration, or a disability rights failure?”
Living with paralysis requires an enormous amount of willpower and energy everyday. No matter how hard a person works to perceive themselves as normal, they ultimately will never feel normal again. As long as the general public continue to evolve in communities filled with judgement and pitty, the lives of these specific individuals will cease to ever feel normal again.