Skip to Content
Search Icon
Issue 07 – Saint Rose 2021


Club Rules

On disability and strength.


I was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder manifesting as a general weakness of my voluntary muscles. Along with it comes a variety of secondary difficulties as limbs atrophy and radical sedentation becomes a lifestyle. Weakness defines my life.

And that’s not a bad thing. There’s a sort of vacuum created by weakness, an emptiness which cries for something more. The old canard about opposites attracting isn’t wholly untrue. Whatever one lacks can and often will be made up. My life attests to that. Even when I became fully wheelchair-bound at seven, my parents refused to have me sequestered off with the special-needs students. Instead I was incorporated into the life of my peers. A list of teachers worthy of a Hallmark movie restructured their classrooms, re-interpreted projects, and advocated for equipment so that I could be just another student. In elementary school, my friends took turns pushing me around in my wheelchair (sometimes to my great fear) and even helped move me about the playground when that chair got in the way. As I grew older, pals decked out my chair as a tank, built out ramps to get me on stages, and acted as impromptu caregivers during retreats.

You must or subscribe to read the rest of the article.

About the author

Tomás Díaz