Embracing My Inner Alien - a column by Kevin Schaefer

wheelchair malfunction, movie theaterKevin is a writer, podcaster, and lover of all things pop-culture. Diagnosed with SMA Type 2 at the age of 18 months, he shares a vast array of hilarious and eye-opening stories from his life with a neuromuscular disability. In addition to his weekly columns, he works as the Director of Forums for this site’s parent company, BioNews. Kevin is a graduate of North Carolina State University and lives with his parents in Cary, NC. People regularly mistake him for Tony Stark, on account of his intellect and advanced technological equipment.

 

Tick, Tick … SMA Adulthood

In the new Netflix original movie, “Tick, Tick…Boom!,” Andrew Garfield plays the late playwright and composer Jonathan Larson, whose most famous work is the Broadway musical sensation “Rent.” The film is based on Larson’s autobiographical musical of the same name. It’s a story of…

The Human Side of the Internet

“The internet is a well of humanity if you dig past the surface of it.” Comedian, actor, and filmmaker Bo Burnham said this in 2019 during a writers panel hosted by The Hollywood Reporter. Burnham got his start making YouTube videos in the early 2000s, back when the…

Celebrating an Unexpected Birthday

I turn 28 on the day this column goes online. Though I thought it’d be fun to publish something on my birthday, I realize that 28 isn’t a particularly special number. It’s one year closer to 30, and it feels like an eternity from the legal drinking age…

‘Ordinary Joe’ Is Anything but Ordinary

When we think about key moments in our lives, such as weddings and graduations, most of us have a tendency to wonder how things might have turned out differently. We’ll wonder what might have happened if we’d chosen a different career path, pursued a certain relationship, or moved to our…

Embracing a New Chapter in Life With SMA

The worst part about long-running sitcoms is when they hit so close to real life. This is especially true when everyone’s favorite characters leave. Think about when Michael left “The Office,” or when Chris and Ann left the town of Pawnee in “Parks and Recreation.” These moments hit…

Milestones Are Different With SMA

I woke up to a Facebook notification inviting me to a group for my high school reunion. It dawned on me that next year will mark a decade since I graduated. Factor in a pandemic, and it feels more like several decades since I crossed the stage in June 2012.

SMA Pride and Disability Language

I was wrapping up a week of vacation when I came upon a flood of posts on my Instagram feed about “SMA Pride Month.” Though August is traditionally recognized as SMA Awareness Month, a group of SMA activists and influencers feel it’s important to rebrand the name. By calling it…

Making Churches More Accessible

“LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANYTHING!” An usher exclaimed these words at the top of his lungs in the church auditorium while putting his hand on my shoulder. To say this experience was patronizing would be an understatement, but it did provide the catalyst for the perfect rebuttal. Upon…