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    • #14979

      Hey everyone! So we’re starting a new series here, in which we feature different forum members. Message me or Leah if you’re interested in participating!

      This is Ruben’s Story:

      Years ago, while in college, I received a phone call: “Mr. Ruben? You have been selected to participate in our internship program.” It was quite an achievement to be offered an internship with them. Only a very few number of students had this privilege. The rest had to search for internships by themselves, somewhere else.

      Being one of the top students, I was among the first to be contacted.

      I then asked them if they read the ending of my resume, where I stated that I was in a wheelchair. They paused a little… they hadn’t read that part. Then they said they’ll call me back in a few minutes. They quickly called back and said: “We are sorry, but our office is upstairs and we can’t accommodate you… We wish you the best! Goodbye!”

      As you might imagine, I felt terrible. I went home that day and cried. It hurt a lot. And inner pain is, most times, worse than the outer one.

      Many thoughts were going through my mind. What was the point of everything? Why was I even trying to study well and get the best grades if it didn’t really help me when it mattered? And just to top it all off, my best friend who was in the same class as me, later got the same call. He was happy to have been selected. I was happy for him but sad that I was rejected.

      You know, when I was little, my dad was encouraging me by saying that when I grow up and get a job, the people I would work for would come and pick me up from home. But how can I even get a job when this world isn’t that accessible for my needs, especially my country (Romania)?

      Not long after the sad rejection moment, a man contacted me to offer me a web developer job. I was studying Finance & Banking, but in my spare time, I liked to play around with programming languages. I accepted his offer even though I was a beginner. But God took care of all my needs and gave me the ability to develop the skills I needed. Best of all, I was allowed to work from home.

      And guess what? After a couple of years, the person who hired me said: “Ruben, if you want to come to the office, I’ll come to your house and pick you up in my car.”

       

      Have you experienced something similar to what happened to Ruben? How did you handle it? Do you have any questions for Ruben?

    • #15161

      I asked Ruben some questions, check out his responses! Can you start by sharing a little about your life with

      1. Muscular dystrophy? The type of MD and how it has affected your life? – I have Laing muscular dystrophy (Distal myopathy). Symptoms started since I was ~5 ish. I needed a wheelchair by 9 yo.
      2. What does your daily work life entail?– I’m a web developer. I built/build websites for clients around the world. Mainly webshops, building custom themes in WordPress. I have the freedom to work on my on time, when I want, and as much as I want.
      3. Start by providing an overview of your family life- Not married. I live with my family.
      4. There are limits to how much “normalcy” is attainable, but what factors help ensure that you are experiencing life to the fullest? – Not many limits. Most limits are just accessibility-wise, but still, I find ways to travel and do the stuff I want.
      5. What has life with Muscular Dystrophy taught you about yourself and the world around you? Getting a powered wheelchair has helped a lot with my independence when going outside.
      6. What are some ways you maintain your mental and physical health besides taking medication and visiting doctors?– I don’t take any meds. I eat healthy for the most part and do stretches every other day.
      7. How has a lack of education about disability, media stigmas, and old ideas about people with disabilities affected your life? – I try not to get affected by what others think about disabled people, but I admit I’m not fond of being stared at, especially by the sad-faced people. I smile and help break the ice.
      8. Do you mind answering questions from strangers about your Muscular Dystrophy? – No, I don’t mind answering strangers’ questions.
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