spinal tap

‘I asked my parents, ‘Why am I not like all the other kids?’ to which they replied, ‘That’s just how God made you.’: Young woman with Spinal Muscular Atrophy pursues career, ‘I found a way to make life happen!’

“I’d sit on the sidelines during PE while my peers played and had the time of their lives. I felt envy toward able-bodied children. I was that awkward girl in a wheelchair who didn’t know anybody. I didn’t fit in. One morning, I awoke to muscle loss in my hands. ‘But how will I create my art?!’ I had to find a way to make life happen.”

‘Breathe in slow,’ my mother said. Our hands interlocked as the long needle entered my back. She gripped me with her hands.’: Woman recounts how mother saved her life, ‘Moms have this magic way of easing pain’

“The deadly bacterial infection spread to my heart. The machine next to my bed started beeping wildly. I remember the fluorescent lights burning my eyes. The beeps kept getting louder, louder. My mother flew over, piling blankets over me. Though my mother was not calm this time, I breathed her in. That’s all I remember. No pain.”

‘My mom noticed a hole above my tailbone she could fit her pinky into. The doctors told her, ‘As long as it’s covered with skin, it’s nothing to worry about.’: Woman with spina bifida and fibromyalgia suffers from ‘back attacks’ and ‘wild symptoms’

“During birth, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck. In order to save my life, the doctor had to act fast. My mom’s tailbone was broken. Then like any other mom, she diligently looked over my body and immediately noticed a hole above my own tailbone. The doctors told her, ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’ But at 7 days old, I had a temperature of 104 degrees. As I grew, so did the tumor. It tightly wrapped around my bladder and kidneys, slowly killing me.”

‘Are you on drugs? Pregnant? What are you not telling us?!’ My managers pulled me aside. A football-sized disc floated in my chest.’: 17-year-old diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, gives birth despite ‘infertility’ after chemo

“My high-school sweetheart cheated on me, then dumped me. My friends couldn’t cope with my ‘new normal’ and turned away. I didn’t want to be different. My body was thin, my face swollen. I looked like an alien. Minutes later, he pointed to a black hole of goo where my lungs should’ve been. I frantically tried to make it to the break room but blacked out.”

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