Sorry I haven't written in a while, I have been really busy! Easter was good, we played a lot of games and we put up a big water slide in the backyard. It was a lot of fun!
I also had my Senior Prom! That was also amazing! Prom for me, when I was younger; was something that I never thought I'd get to see. I struggled to live my whole life, but now I am finally living! We had dinner at my house where my dad cooked steaks and my siblings served my friends and I dinner. It was absolutely wonderful! For most teens Prom is fun and cool, but to me; it was a milestone. Infect my whole Senior year has been a milestone for me. I was not supposed to make it this far, but I have. I believe in miracles and I know that they happen. I want to thank everyone who has helped me along on my journey. You all mean so much to me and I would not be where I am today without your love, support and care. Thank you!
On another note, every year I go to my sister's 6th grade class and talk to them about acceptance, kindness, love and not being so judgmental and mean to each other. I bring my oxygen tank, my pills, and inhalers, breathing treatment, pictures of me after surgery and an Ipod. (I perform a song in Sign Language to them) I talk to them about my health and how some day I will need a heart-lung transplant. I talk about not being able to play outside when it was hot out, I talk about never being picked for the soccer team at recess and I talk about how disability helped me find my two favorite hobbies; Sign Language and writing.
I also talk to them about how even though being sick is hard on both my spirit and my body; it can and has been just as hard; if not harder, on me emotionally. I explain to them that it's hard to miss 2 or 3 months of school to begin with, but to come back and not have kids be as understanding as they could've been was even harder. I talked about how kids would give me dirty looks in the hallways of 8th grade when I had to wear oxygen at school. I talked about all the comments about my scar that I have gotten this year. I told them about a man in
who called me a spoiled brat for sitting in a stroller in 6th grade because I was too sick to walk. I explained to them that you can never know someone's story endless you get to know them and ask questions; but be sensitive about it. San Francisco
I invited the kids to ask me questions, whether about my health, a time when I was bullied or for advice. While I stood there in front of the three 6th grade classes, I felt empowered. These kids were opening up to me. A girl asked me what I would die if someone made fun of the way I dressed, and I could tell that she was asking what she should do.
A girl raised her hand to tell me that the shirt I was wearing fit perfectly with my message. I was wearing a shirt that said 'It's what's on the inside that counts.' "You are showing us to look inside the person and not just on the outside." She hit it right on the head. I had explained to them a lot of people have a hard time when it comes to understanding my health because I look so healthy. I wanted them to realize that appearances can be and are often times deceiving.
There was a time during my talk with the kids when I told them that there wa no excuse for bullying. I told them that nothing ever made it right to hurt someone. I then asked them how many of them had been picked on at least once in their life time, everyone raised their hands. "So if you all know the pain of what it feels like to be made fun and laughed at, why do we go and cause that same pain on someone else?" I asked them.
At the end of my presentation I perform a song to Sign Language to them. In year's past I have done the song 'Don't Laugh At Me.' This year I did 'Loser Like Me.' from the cast of Glee. Both songs are about bullying, accepting people for who they are and loving one another despite our differences.
I always look forward to the end of year because I know that I am going back to my sister's 6th grade where I can share my story and teach kids how to be more understanding of those people who are different. I feel that by me going into these classrooms, I am letting the kids who are picked on and bullied that there is someone out there who accepts them for who they are.
Before I left to go back to school, I had a girl come up to me and ask if she could hug me. I told her yes and soon a few other girls came up to hug me as well, several of them being on the bigger side. I had connected with them. I was made fun of for my looks and I have a feeling that they have had a tough time with theirs. I also had a girl come up to me and show me a scar she had on her arm and how hard it was when people made comments about it to her.
My little sister is also in my sister's 6th grade class and she has a friend whose mom e-mailed my mom to tell me how touched her daughter was by my presentation that day. She went on to say that her daughter had no idea about all the things I had been through and how inspired she was by me. It made me smile to know that even if I hadn't changed all of the minds in that classroom, I had at least changed one and that is a wonderful place to start.
Be the change you want to see in the world.