A Wildflower in the Wheelderness - a Column by Katie Napiwocki

resilience, childhood art

Katie is a Wisconsin girl at heart who strives to paint with her words, illustrating a soulful connection with nature and inclusive outdoor adventure. She was diagnosed with SMA Type II during toddlerhood. With a background in human development and family studies, she finds fulfillment in encouraging others to embrace their distinctive beauty. When she’s not engaging in advocacy or writing, you’ll likely find her hiking an accessible trail, adoring a sunset, or eating a s’more somewhere. She has three companions who hold her heart — two of which travel by paws (the other has human feet). Follow her story on Instagram @wheelprintsalongthewildflowers.

A Rare Disease Traveler Finds Her Village

I was once a rare traveler wandering the countryside. On my shoulders, I carried a basket of artifacts and relics. Each piece correlated to moments in my life when I’ve felt something within my heart — things both small or grand, benevolent or wicked — falling deep and…

A Vixen Scream: Navigating Sex and SMA

It cried out in the dead of night. The wild call erupted like the sensual panic of a volcano beneath placid moonlight. My partner, Andy, was helping me get situated in bed for the night when the startling sound rang from the woodland edge outside our bedroom window.

An Aquarian With SMA Packs for the New Year

When each human is born, a map of ethereal territories is drawn up in a distinct way.  For every passing minute and hour within a calendar date, an interior designer of celestial proportions is commissioned to align the stars, planets, and moon in a timeless fashion. Like…

Finding My Voice Within the Disability Community

I don’t prefer the phrase “disabled person.” It isn’t a go-to accessory item regularly pulled from my colorful closet of self-descriptors. Before we go any further, let me assure you: If you describe yourself in this way, I’m wholly accepting of you and your perspective. I welcome your…

Some Trails Are Buddy Trails

Today is thought to be my sweet beagle’s 11th birthday. Even if it’s not her actual birthday, it’s still her unbirthday — and to any fan of imaginative literature, an unbirthday is a worthy touchstone of celebration in its own right. Our beagle, Eva, was a rescue.