31 Days of SMA: We Will Never Be Alone in Our Disability

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by Bionews Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Noelle Hazel

Day 18 of 31

This is Noelle Hazel’s (@noellegrace14) story:

Hi! My name is Noelle, and I have SMA type 2. I have a brother who has the same disease type.

Growing up with a sibling who is disabled has truly helped me get to where I am mentally. We understand each other. From every ableist remark to constant stares, I had him to laugh with — about all of it.

While having him to share these experiences brought me so much comfort, they also brought me so much anger and a deep realization of what being disabled means in society. For example, my brother went to the same high school as me, and the elevator was constantly broken. The disability services were ableist. My brother always had to prove himself and his disability.

When I attended the school, I faced the same disappointments: a broken elevator. Services that were put in place to accommodate and advocate but instead isolated me and hindered my high school experience.

Having my brother just doubles the pain I feel about how we, as disabled people, are forgotten and looked down upon. Now with us being a bit older and in the process of moving out, it’s only gotten harder.

We have to fight for care or hope that we can even find care at all. It’s our reality. It’s a universal reality for ALL disabled people. That is why I dedicate and send my love to my brother and to all in the disabled community. I feel you. You are not alone. You never will be.

SMA News Today’s 31 Days of SMA campaign will publish one story per day for SMA Awareness Month in August. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofSMA, or read the full series.