The Angels Who’ve Profoundly Affected My Life

Leah Leilani avatar

by Leah Leilani |

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

Living with a disability often means I’m exposed to people’s true colors. This can be both positive and negative. My disease has familiarized me with the cold shoulders of family members and the condescension of doctors, but it has also strengthened my gratitude for the people in my circle who truly have my back. 

Although I may not be the most devout Christian, I am not blind to God’s work in my life. My mom has always interpreted the wonderful people in our lives as God’s angels. Whether it be a random yet simple act of kindness from a stranger or a doctor willing to go above and beyond to ease my latest medical struggle, it is a sign of God’s love in our eyes. 

There have been countless people in my life who’ve enriched it in one way or another, but a few gems stand out. The first is my hairdresser, Anthony.

Cliché as it may be for a woman to befriend her hairdresser, Anthony is much more than the person who cuts my hair. As he skillfully snips away, he acts as my therapist — sharing morsels of wisdom as we delve into the complexities of life. 

Anthony also understands the value of a haircut and the power it has to uplift a person. The extent of his kindness shows when he comes over to my house to cut my hair. Knowing that going to the salon and being in the salon’s atmosphere can be tiring for me, he gladly takes time out of his busy schedule to grace me with a trim. I am only one of the clients he offers this service to. 

Another notable person who has blessed me with their presence is my guitar teacher. While searching for a class that would occupy my time and get my creativity flowing, my mother discovered her ad for at-home guitar lessons in the newspaper. As she entered our home, acoustic guitar in tow, an instant connection blossomed. 

When meeting someone for the first time, I can always predict the outcome of our friendship based on their ability to understand my disease. This is a big ask due to the complexity of mitochondrial myopathy, but it is a criterion that has yet to fail me. From my first lesson with my guitar teacher, I knew I had struck gold. Her faith in me instilled the knowledge that I was no more difficult to work with nor any less capable than any other student. She always managed to anticipate my needs before I even uttered a word. Her undeniable knack of making each lesson fun without me worrying I was overexerting myself reassured me that I was in the right hands.

There are many people who come and go throughout the duration of our lives, but the ones who have affected us the most profoundly truly stay with us. 


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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.


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