31 Days of SMA: Katrina G. Kelly

31 Days of SMA: Katrina G. Kelly
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Day 18 of 31 Days SMA Topic: Family Life and SMA This is @katrinamichelleonwheels ’s story: I’m a business litigation attorney at Faegre Drinker in Indianapolis, and I perform improv with ComedySportz. I also have SMA and use a power wheelchair to get around my downtown neighborhood. I have personal care assistants help me get up and go to bed. I need assistance eating, doing my makeup, and turning on my laptop. But that doesn’t tell my whole story, not by a longshot. I’m also a wife and a mom, and being a mom is my favorite role of all. A few years ago, my husband and I decided to adopt. We looked at countless places with children needing families, but we ultimately found our son in Bulgaria. When we found him, it felt like fate stepping in. You see–my son also has SMA. I hadn’t set out to adopt a child with the same condition, but now I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Our family just fits. It’s been an amazing experience raising a child with the same condition. My disability has made me a better advocate for his needs—this isn’t my first IEP rodeo. It’s also pushed me to teach him independence and problem solving. I can’t pick up the remote for him, so he and I have to figure how he will do it for himself. It also gives me insight into the struggles he faces now and as he grows up. I can say “I know how you’re feeling,” and it’s not just words. He’s already asked if he might walk when he grows up. I had to tell him he probably wouldn’t, but it softened the blow a little when I reminded him that I can’t walk either. It’s also indescribably rewarding to be a role model (pardon the pun) for my son. I have always lived my life without limitations. SMA didn’t stop me from reaching my goals, and my son doesn’t know anything different. There’s never a question in our house of whether something can be done, but how. My son has already done hip-hop and baking clubs. Who knows what he will do next. #SMAAwarenessMonth #SMAAwareness #31daysofsma2020

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Kevin Schaefer is a writer from Cary, North Carolina with SMA Type II. He studied English at NC State University with concentrations in film studies and creative writing, and since graduating he’s been focused on freelance journalism as well as writing comic book scripts. When he’s not writing or consuming excessive amounts of comic books and movies, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and considers himself blessed that they put up with his ramblings. He is the youngest of three and lives with his parents and dog Pandora. The dog gets the most attention.
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Kevin Schaefer is a writer from Cary, North Carolina with SMA Type II. He studied English at NC State University with concentrations in film studies and creative writing, and since graduating he’s been focused on freelance journalism as well as writing comic book scripts. When he’s not writing or consuming excessive amounts of comic books and movies, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and considers himself blessed that they put up with his ramblings. He is the youngest of three and lives with his parents and dog Pandora. The dog gets the most attention.
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