30 Days of MD: Noelle Grace

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 25 of 30 Days of MD Topic: Self Love & Being in High School with MD This is @noellegrace14 ‘s story: Hi, I’m Noelle! I’m a 17 year old girl who loves music, writing, makeup, rom-coms and lots I can’t fit here. I have SMA type 2 & it’s all I’ve ever known, so I was diagnosed early. I want to talk about self love & being in high school while having a disability. High school isn’t easy. I noticed so many barriers between my disability & making friends. I especially noticed how the people & services who are supposed to make things accessible & inclusive were the ones who really made it harder for me. I doubted myself, wondering who actually wanted to be my friend or who actually pitied me. Then there’s those people who would ask questions about me to my aide when I was RIGHT there which is so frustrating! I felt so unseen. Everything shifted my sophomore & junior year, I finally realized that these ableist people and actions don’t define me and that there IS other people out there! I stopped caring as much. Don’t get me wrong, I still care. A LOT. But life is SO short so I kinda just say “why not?” now. I started advocating for myself which I never did cause I was so shy, I started being ME, I started conversation, and I asked for help (TRY NOT TO BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR PHYSICAL HELP FROM PEOPLE YOUR AGE I PROMISE IT ACTUALLY MAKES YOU MUCH CLOSER TO THEM AND THEY USUALLY ALWAYS WANT TO)! Less energy into ableist people led me to meeting a few incredible people :) Having to always rely on others to physically do almost everything for you is hard & I used to feel like I was NO help. But I’ve learned emotionally being there, giving advice, or reminding someone how amazing they are is one of the most important things you can do! You WILL find those people that show you how physical help is not as big of a deal as I always thought. There’s SO many people out there who want to be around you! To all teens with SMA or any disability, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL & LOVED & WORTHY!!! Wear ALL THE LOOKS, communicate your needs, ask someone out, be YOU, & I just hope you know you deserve to have those “movie scene” teenage years. ❤️ #MDAwarenessMonth #MDAwareness #30daysofmd

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