When you multiply a number by itself, the result is “squared.” So what happens when you multiply an existing disability with an additional illness or injury? Well, it’s not a simple equation — and often there are exponential results. “It scares the hell out of me! I’ve spent 48 years in a wheelchair, but dealing […]
Lost in the shadows of disability after contracting a virus that attacked her central nervous system in September 1994, Sue Austin of Devon, England, felt her identity slip away. She had been working as a long-term mental health specialist when the acute illness hit. “I was completely incapacitated,” she says, “hearing loss and a degree […]
I am shivering from a combination of fear, excitement and cold as I head out for my first dance with the deep. Up and over, under and through, I am propelled through the crashing breakers. The waves slam into me and I am enveloped in the ocean’s icy embrace. I shiver as my surf instructor, […]
At 154 pounds, my torso looks frighteningly like Homer Simpson’s face. Add to that the health risks of being overweight, and joining the quest to lose pounds and get fit wasn’t an option for me, it was a necessity.
“If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right?” — Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder, Parners in Health Studies indicate that people with disabilities are twice as likely to go without medical care as nondisabled people. And women with disabilities are more likely than disabled men […]
I met my husband in a sports bar after a long day of doing research with the Kessler Institute in New Jersey. I remember how his “wingmen” desperately tried to save him from being stuck with the girl in the chair: “Hey man, your ride is leaving, you got to go.” He stayed, and 17 […]
Standing tall, so long and lean: the fashion models in the magazine. They’re the best dressed people in this town, but will I look as good sitting down? “How will it look on me?” This is the question everyone ponders as they wander through the pages of catalogs or in and out of shops at […]
The night of June 3, 2006 started out like a typical shift for Los Angeles police officers Kristina Ripatti and Joe Meyer. They were looking for gang members or other potential perpetrators when they spotted an older man on foot who looked like a “base head,” a crack addict. Because he was acting suspicious, they […]