yoocan - 10 impactful stories from the first half of 2020
yoocan blog

10 impactful stories from the first half of 2020

Iva Isakov

Rise from the ashes 

My name is David Coons. I am a right leg below the knee amputee. I lost part of my leg on 01/21/17 due to a motorcycle accident. I had skated before my accident for years. It wasn’t until May 2019 when I finally got back into the sport. I tried to skate before and felt so discouraged not being able to do what I once loved the same way, but something had happened last May where that sensation had finally came back. I was just rolling around my local park with a buddy and decided to try boardslide a curb not actually expecting to be able to. Once I did, I had that spark, that internal feeling of satisfaction every skater gets when landing a trick for the first time. Ever since then, I’ve fallen back in love with skating and can’t wait to see my journeys, and I and my board have ahead of us.

But we don't look sick: Potsie life 

At the age of 16 little did I know my life would change. I woke up with a pain in my chest, I thought I had pulled a muscle. A few days went by and my left side was in a lot of pain. I could hardly move.

They noticed I had an underactive thyroid and I was referred to see another specialist, who told me he thinks I could have something called #POTS.  

About 2.5 years later, I went back to see the specialist who diagnosed me with POTs. I told him how the pain was becoming so bad and how I had no quality of life, so he sent me to a hospital in London to see another specialist. By this point, I was in widespread pain and in a wheelchair. I met with the specialist in London and was told I also have a connective tissue syndrome called EDS Type 3. I was sent to a rehab program for 3 weeks to help me find a way to cope and meet people dealing with the same conditions. I am 23 now and still trying to find ways to cope.  

Nora Greys lymphatic malformation journey 

Hi! Nora Grey (@jordannlainee) was diagnosed with a Lymphatic Malformation during our 20-week gestation anatomy scan.

Lymphatic Malformations are very rare. Unfortunately, there is no known cause and no cure. Nora was intubated at birth due to the mass on the right side of her face and neck obstructing her airway. Because of Nora’s critical airway, I could not hold Nora until 36 days after I delivered her. Once she was deemed non-critical, I finally got to snuggle my baby girl.
She got a tracheostomy and she also joined the tubie life, aka, a g-tube. After 103 days, Nora was discharged from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and we brought her home to be with her 4 older siblings! Nora’s journey is just beginning as she is only 6 months old and has endured more than any child should have to. Nora is learning new things every day. We are currently working on tummy time, rolling over, playing, and using both hands and taking milk by mouth! We are so proud of Nora. She has blown us away with how strong she truly is! Her progress since birth has been impeccable and I can’t wait to watch her continue her journey with LM.

This is me 

My name is Louise and I’m a 35-year-old Danish woman with muscular dystrophy, SMA2. Despite being dependent on help from my assistants I’m living the best life possible. I’ve created the Instagram profile @justawheelchairgirl because I was so much in need of a disabled role model when I was growing up. Someone who could show me that all the dreams I had as a child and teenager could turn into reality. You often tend to look for similarities in others which is really difficult as a disabled person because there aren’t a lot of people with disabilities in the media. I refuse to let my disability define me, and it’s very important for me to live my life without letting it be an obstacle. Hopefully, people, both disabled and able-bodied, will follow me and see that despite my disability I’m not that different and my life is pretty good.

Stronger than ever 

Hello all, my name is Anna Sarol and I'm 19 years old.
Back in 2015, I got injured in gymnastics leaving me paralyzed from the waist down. When I went through this drastic change where I was forced to adapt to a completely new way of living, I learned lessons most people will never endure. Despite this, I continued to search for positivity instead of being blinded by the negative sides.

I want to leave an impact by spreading optimism. I do this for individuals with disabilities who have fear in advocating for themselves and letting their disability define what they can do in this world. Since my injury, I’ve been able to drive independently with hand controls, obtain jobs working with kids, co-found a non-profit charity, travel to a third world country to provide aid, and so much more! I plan to travel the world, using my voice and story to become an advocate and an inspirational speaker.
If you follow me on Instagram and my Facebook page, Pray For AnnaBoo, I share my life lessons and I talk more about traveling with a chair, accessibility, adaptive sports, and the speaking engagements I do!

I wish I was a yoga teacher 

My name Ghazale and I had the chance to go beyond limits due to the uncommon condition in which I was born. Being born with one hand, I experienced a more challenging but still aspiring life than what others usually would go through.

However, up until now, I have managed to take significant steps toward not only self-development but also development in my social, professional, and academic life. I am a Ph.D. student at Polytechnique de Montreal. However, I have a great dream of becoming a yoga teacher. I love practicing yoga very much! I wanted to share my story with everyone out there following their dreams and not letting anything stop them. 

Anxiety was the real disability 

My name is Abby Mccage and this is my story of coming to the realization that living with muscular dystrophy wasn’t actually my disability, but instead, It was the mindset I was stuck in and the inability to have faith that I was made with a purpose even if I wasn’t normal or what the world would classify as worthy or good enough.
From a very young age, I have struggled with anxiety. There’s no worse feeling than that of feeling stuck in a place where you feel like you can’t breathe or when you feel as though you are drowning but instead of water, it’s thoughts. Living with a disability began to take more and more of a toll on my mental health than it ever did my physical.
I realized that in my life I need to focus on myself and love myself. I want to share my story for everyone out there crippled by anxiety, you are not alone.

My life is great with spinal muscular atrophy 

Hi, I’m Jasmine and I am 26 years old from the UK. I suffer from a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy which is a muscle-wasting condition that'll get worse over time. I thrive from supporting people and I can sometimes use my own experiences to do this. I drive a wheelchair adapted vehicle, which has been a life savior with my job! I live with my fiance and our cat and our life are great! My disability hasn't stopped me from doing a single thing & I believe if you want to do something, get up and do it. I haven't got time to feel sorry for myself, or to ask questions like "why me". I'm a very positive empowering person.

Please message me if I can help you in any way at all, or if you'd like to chat. @jasminerankin

Growing up blind in an uneducated society 

Hi, I'm Mat, I live in Victoria, Australia.. I'm 21 years old and am currently living with Stargardt's Disease! I was diagnosed at the age of 9. I was labeled a ‘retard’ by a professional... a ‘retard’! Going through the process of blindness was tough.
I felt unworthy, depressed, constantly anxious, and just fighting a battle in my own head. By the time I was 18 I was a mess, I was broken, I had lost over 90% of my vision, I was BLIND and I had eaten my way up to a massive 145kg.
Discovering myself, and becoming mindful changed me. I started to be fearless, felt less anxious. I realized that I am worthy, I am deserving of happiness. I learned that my disability was my strength, my purpose! Since my awakening 3 years ago I have become an advocate for the blind and disabled. I am happy and healthy, I have lost over 55kgs, and most importantly I have a purpose.
Legends, I’ll always be here to support you, if your feeling lost, reach out! Let’s have a chat and spread some love & light, and together we can keep breaking down the stigmas surrounding blindness & disability! Yoocan do anything, you truly can!

Our life on wheels 

Osaru, Ebuwa, and Adamosa are three siblings diagnosed with a genetic disorder condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 5 with Distal Neuropathy. Osaru is 8 years old. She's an art lover and just completed 2nd grade. Ebuwa (6) starts 1st grade in the fall. She's the fashion 'queen' of our home. Adamosa will be 5 in July. He's in PPCD Pre K and his love for music is overwhelming. There's no manual for Raising three kids with disabilities. Some would argue that there's no manual for raising kids at all. Going out as a family and experiencing a semblance of normal life is almost a luxury. Two medical caregivers, three Powered wheelchairs, two oxygen tanks, two ventilators, and a bunch of other medically necessary equipment is what we need to fit into a vehicle even for a trip as casual as to the neighborhood Walmart. We just purchased a Mercedes Sprinter van, big enough to take us all. We're trying to raise money to convert it and make it fully accessible. We have a GoFundMe campaign set up for this.

Despite all the obstacles these three are a blessing and make our lives more wonderful every day.