A Bittersweet Farewell to My Column Readers

Leah Leilani avatar

by Leah Leilani |

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farewell, support system, tiredness, single, ableism, angels, independence, crip camp, redefining success, introversion

Dear readers,

This will be my last column for Muscular Dystrophy News. I want to thank you for following along with “You, Me, and MD” and for supporting me. You are the reason I write, and I hope I have made some difference in your life with my columns.

Despite having many talents as a child, such as drawing and singing, I wanted to be a writer from an early age. My mom’s memory boxes contain short stories I wrote, which detail the childlike fantasies of a typical 6-year-old girl. The main plots consisted of many butterflies and rainbows. My childhood dream came true when a woman named Serena offered me a job writing for a company called BioNews, the publisher of Muscular Dystrophy News, three and a half years ago.

I have always been a big believer that our struggles are meant to be shared with others. No matter how ugly they may seem to us, these hardships can help others who may be suffering through a similar circumstance. The last three years, my mission in life has been to use my experiences with mitochondrial myopathy to inspire useful and helpful content for other muscular dystrophy patients. 

As I reflect on my time as a columnist, I am pleased to see much growth, not only as a writer but also as a human being. This job has blessed me with the opportunity to be fully immersed in the disability community, resulting in knowledge and understanding I wouldn’t have otherwise. Without a public platform to advocate on, I would continue to fight my own personal battle against ableism without change. These days, I consider myself a sort of activist, working toward a more accessible and inclusive world for those with disabilities. 

During these last few years at MD News, I’ve also come into my own. This job has provided me with a sense of purpose, and because of that, I now have a firm grasp on the role I play in the world as a disabled woman. I am prouder than ever to be exactly who I am.

Within each column I’ve written, I have given chunks of myself away to you, my readers, in terms of advice and personal tidbits, but I’ve gained a lot in the process as well. As I wrote my columns, I often gained insight into my own thoughts and emotions as I transformed them into words. This helped me get out of my little turtle shell and discuss difficult topics, such as my struggles with anxiety and depression

I’ve also shared many chapters of my life with you these last couple years. I realize, as I nostalgically read through my arsenal of columns, that I’ve taken you all on a wild ride as if you’ve experienced it all right beside me. You’ve been with me through heartbreak and joy, grief and happiness, and I thank you for that.

It is bittersweet to be saying goodbye to this profound and substantial part of my life. Before bidding farewell, though, I must thank you all for following along. I will miss you, but I promise I won’t be far, as I will continue to moderate the Muscular Dystrophy News Forums.

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Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.

Comments

Pete Barron avatar

Pete Barron

Hi Leah, Even though I've never met you, I hate to see you go! I hope your extra time will be devoted to something new to learn more about yourself and share with others, as you always have.
Your friend, Pete Barron

Reply
Leah Leilani avatar

Leah Leilani

Thank you so much, Pete! I will still continue to be a forum moderator so it’s not really goodbye. I will also be putting time into reselling used clothing. It’s become a sort of passion of mine and I am looking forward to growing my small business.

Reply
Madhuri Chatterjee avatar

Madhuri Chatterjee

As a mother of a very special child i read your column regularly . It allpwed me to understand my child better. I am grateful to you. Wish you all the best for your future projects

Reply
Leah Leilani avatar

Leah Leilani

Thank you so much Madhuri! You have no idea how much this touches my heart. It is wonderful to that I succeeded in helping others through my column. Be sure to sign up for the MD Forums so we can continue talking.

Reply
Colin ohagan avatar

Colin ohagan

Leah i could use some advice and perspective on dating as a young man with duchenne. Is there a way we can connect? Thanks

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