Tiffany Geigel: Breaking Boundaries
I was born in 1985 and doctors told my parents I would not survive the night. My parents were young, scared and not sure what was wrong with me, doctors didn't even know what was wrong with me. They told my parents some scary scenerios about what my life would be like if I survived. They were told I would end up in a wheelchair, unable to walk, or that my head would eventually touch my butt and I would be shaped like a round ball. Just horrible horrible possibilities.
I was diagnosed with Jarcho Levin Syndrome (JLS) in which the spine never fully straightened out in utero therefore giving me a pertruded chest, short torso and short neck. Doctors and society had already deteremined my life before even giving me an opportunity to walk, talk and live. My parents treated me and raised me like any other child. Life as a child was pretty great. Whatever I wanted to do, I did all thanks to my parents and to those who gave me the opportunity.
Living in NYC is not easy at all. I deal with ridicule on a daily basis. I get followed, people take my picture, they record me, I get laughed at every day in public. I get told I'm a freak, an alien, I should kill myself. The sexual comments are horrendous but here I am now in my 30's a professional dancer in a wonderful dance company, Heidi Latsky Dance in New York City. Feautred on a huge screen in Times Square! An up and coming model with a book to be released early 2018. I drive and have my very own car. I have great relationships with those who see me for me. Life is certainly not easy but I live a wonderful happy healthy life!
Society still tries to control what I can and can't do, tries to tell me how a disabled female latina should live life but, I am here living my life how I want to live it. Trying to break all those boundries of how I should live and what beauty is because of my disability. I want to rasie awareness and educate the world and let them know being disabled does not mean we are worthless, unnactractive and, useless in society. Only I know what I am capable of therefore I will continue to rise up to the top to show the world to never ever underestimate a female disabled latina!