Disability is a physical condition limiting a person’s movements, senses, or activities. It is a foreign concept for some, but it is a part of everything I do. My life is a fight to redefine what disability means. Through the hardships, I have always been myself. Here is an insight into how my disability has affected my life.
When I was five years old, I was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD affects my mobility and the strength of all muscles in my body. At the age of 12, I lost my ability to walk and used a wheelchair. Every day, I rely on my parents for assistance with helping me prepare my food, use the bathroom, and transport me to campus. I cannot live on campus because I need ongoing care and must find alternative ways to do basic things. I plan out what I do in detail. and I can’t just go and do everyday things.
It is easy to get down on yourself as you feel like a burden in the constant fight. I worry about what the future holds and if I can have a family. Sometimes, life is hard, but I chose to be positive even with all the hardships I faced. Although my disability has taken many things away from me, it has provided me with a platform.
In 2012 and 2013, I was elected to the Muscular Dystrophy Association National Goodwill Ambassador position. I raised awareness by speaking to crowds and sponsors about disability rights and funds for treatments. I hosted two national telethons on the ABC network. My involvement with the MDA taught me many things about myself and my character. I learned how to stand up for others and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.
As you may know, I am a brand ambassador for Quantum, where I blog about what it is like to live with a disability. Quantum creates comfortable power wheelchairs that improve accessibility for users. I learned that it doesn’t matter who you are. You can end up making a difference for people.
At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I am pursuing a degree in communications studies with a minor in journalism. I’m in the university honors program, which has allowed me to volunteer on campus while broadening my academic horizons. I am the assistant sports editor for the student-run newspaper on campus, the Niner Times, where I have learned leadership skills while finding my passion for journalism. Through it all, I have overcome the hardships and am living life to the fullest. I am excited to see where I go in the future and how I will continue to define my disability.
About Bryson Foster: Bryson lives in North Carolina. He advocates and raises funds for the development of treatments for muscular dystrophy. He loves sports and cheers for his favorite basketball team, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Click here to learn more about Bryson.