Dating a paralyzed woman
And I want respect — mutual respect between people with and without disabilities.
I had to fundraise for myself because the cost of this is insane.
And the Zumba: I would love to just show up, say hi, and see what they’d do with me. I have done dance and yoga and I’ve gone skiing (which I didn’t love because I hate being cold). I want to be known as the person who wears her disability well.
I went on a surf trip to Costa Rica, which was amazing. I want to use it to educate people, to make them comfortable about things they’re uncomfortable about, to get people to break free of the preconceptions they have about disabilities and to experience the kind of freedom where you just don’t give a fuck.
I’ve found someone who loves and understands me so much. When we were first dating, I loved that he waited until I was ready to tell him things.Dani became paralyzed at the age of 23, at which point her life changed forever. I took the time during grad school to work on all of this. When I was just starting to be comfortable with myself, someone would come up to me on the street or in a store and make me feel weird. They’d ask me what happened, or tell me about someone they knew in a wheelchair.I learned of her through friends and was struck by her inspiring story. Then I got a job — I work at Spinergy, which makes high-performance bike wheels and wheels for wheelchair sports (and everyday wheelchair use). You learn how to brush it off and not be annoyed, but it made me feel uncomfortable.Below is her as-told-to account of overcoming an unimaginable obstacle. Every night, before I went to bed, I’d have an existential crisis. A lot of major athletes in wheelchairs use Spinergy wheels. When I got Z Dog, my focus turned to her, and it stopped my anxious thoughts in public. I can’t believe how many boundaries have come down because of my disability, how I’m not ashamed by my body.-Amelia Diamond I’ve been in the chair for almost nine years. I went to use the bathroom, had on high heels, and literally slipped and fell. I say technically because that is the name of my medical diagnosis, not my status as a human being.) Most people think I’m a paraplegic since I can move my arms, but I have bad dexterity and my triceps are weak; any amount of paralysis in the upper limbs classifies you as a quadriplegic. Up until that point — I was 23 when I got hurt — I’d experienced my whole life through my body. I built up Spinergy’s social media presence from scratch. And people were way more interested in her than in me. I studied English and disability studies in grad school, and there’s a whole discussion around the preferred verbiage. It’s so freeing even though I can’t move very well.