31 Days of SMA: Ryan Manriquez

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 1 of 31 Days of SMA⠀ Topic: Dating and Disability This is @ryanmanriquezz story: Hey everyone! My name is Ryan and I am a 19 year old living with SMA Type 2. One topic I want to focus on is dating with SMA. Now, for years I never would have thought that I’d be in a happy relationship with another person because of my disability. I mean… who would want to date ​me. ​Nora proved me wrong. It was the summer of 2019 where I just decided to try out Tinder as a joke. That’s where we found each other. A couple of wheelchair jokes broke the ice and when she wasn't scared off, I knew it was the beginning of something special. 10 months later here we are. There are so many things to cover about dating someone with a disability so I’ll cover a couple of tips I’ve learned along the way. The first is communication. Communication is essential in any relationship, but in more ways with an interabled one. There are so many situations where Nora and I use communication like getting in bed or using the restroom. At first it was a little weird for me because the only people who had done those things before were my parents or close friends. Honestly, I was more scared because I didn't want her to see how much help I really needed. She may have sensed how I was feeling because she swiftly told me that it’s out of my control and that it’s nothing to worry about with her. The second tip I want to mention is that it’s key to find a specific thing that you and your partner both enjoy. For us, it’s music and concerts. In this photo we went to see Tyler, the Creator in San Francisco and we had the best time screaming every lyric (p.s. The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium has the best ADA seating with an elevated platform). I never thought my life with someone as special as her would be possible. I know it’s kind of ironic, but sometimes you just have to take a leap and see how it goes. I can certainly tell you it worked out for me… #SMAAwarenessMonth #SMAAwareness #31daysofsma2020

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