31 Days of SMA: Why I Am Proud to Be Disabled
Day 16 of 31
This is Carli Lynne Hamilton’s story:
I am Carli Hamilton. I was diagnosed with SMA when I was 2 years old. Like many other parents who receive the diagnosis for their child, the doctors said I wouldn’t live long. They told my parents to go home and enjoy the time they had with me.
I grew up in Utah, went to the University of Utah, joined the Delta Gamma sorority, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication. After graduation, I moved to San Diego with one of my girlfriends. I was determined to live life to the fullest and have every experience the doctors told my parents and me I’d never have.
I met my husband, Jared, at our church, and we’ve been married for five years. I used to think I’d never get married. I had dated quite a bit, and as many of us know, it can be kind of bleak when you have a disability. I’d sworn off dating, which is when Jared came into my life. It just takes that one person to sweep you off your feet — in my case, quite literally.
Jared is one of my biggest advocates. He is my full-time caregiver, husband, and friend, and the best daddy to our little girl.
We have a 2-year-old who keeps us very busy. She loves riding on the footrest and the back of my chair.
She came into our lives when we thought we’d never have children and has turned our world upside down in the best way. She has helped me prove that I can be — and am — a good mother. She has adapted to my needs while I’ve adapted to her.
I used to have a somewhat negative view of life with SMA and a disability. But I’ve been able to see that life truly is beautiful, especially with SMA. It makes those sweet moments that much sweeter. I am Carli, and I am proud to be disabled!
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.