Author Archives: Kevin Schaefer

Embracing Disability Pride Month

July is recognized as Disability Pride Month, as it coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Whereas this law secures basic rights for those of us with disabilities, disability pride is a phrase that encourages…

The Beauty of Interacting with Strangers

“I want to know, can you show me/ I want to know about the strangers like me.” These lyrics from Phil Collins’ “Strangers Like Me” play during an iconic scene from Disney’s “Tarzan.” As Tarzan and Jane swing through the…

Saying Farewell to My Beloved Canine Assistant

What follows is possibly the most difficult column I’ve ever written.  Since 2020 has a recurring theme of being a never-ending dumpster fire for everyone, I suppose this bit of news was inevitable. A week ago, my family and I said goodbye to my service dog,…

Lean on Me — Literally

“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” Samwise Gamgee shouts in “The Lord of the Rings,” as he carries Frodo up Mount Doom to destroy the ring of power. It’s an iconic tear-jerker movie…

That Pesky Pre-Spinraza Injection Fatigue

When I began my journey with Spinraza (nusinersen) in November 2017, I had little more than an inkling about what to expect. At the time, I was more concerned with the procedure than the potential benefits. The idea of letting a radiologist stick…

Managing SMA Is Like an Ongoing Chess Match

Puzzles are all the rage these days. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, countless friends on my social media have turned to jigsaw puzzles as a newfound hobby. This particular pastime requires mental focus and time, and as such provides people with a welcome distraction from the…

SMA Humor Writes Itself

The comedian Brad Williams has a great one-liner about writing jokes. Williams’ observational humor is predominantly rooted in his experiences as a man born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism. When describing his writing process in the 2015…