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.

 

Turn the Page Already!

For most people, lifting weights is a suitable form of physical exercise. For me, successfully turning just one page of a book makes me feel like I’ve run a marathon. It’s a special kind of feat if I manage to flip through a thick paperback on my own.

A Space of My Own: To the Batcave!

It’s Sunday night, and I’m surrounded by an assortment of books, comics, DVDs, Blu-rays, action figures, and other items that one might find in a 5-year-old’s room. The only outlier is my framed college diploma, which hangs right next to a giant Batman poster. Indeed, this…

The Beauty of Personal Storytelling

It was my last semester of college, and I had room for one more writing class in my schedule. I already had two film courses, a literature survey, a fiction-writing workshop, and a general education requirement I had put off until the last minute. (You could say that…

The SMA Community Is United in Diversity

I’ve been an active member of the SMA community for years, but one of my fondest memories from any SMA conference took place last year in Dallas, Texas. As I chatted with my friend Doug, another friend’s 5-year-old daughter joined our conversation. Her…

Dreading the Bed: Sleep Brings Vulnerability

“So, do you sleep in your wheelchair?” Believe it or not, I have been asked this question more than a few times. Granted, I don’t recall hearing it after I finished middle school; but even then, the fact that any kid thought this was the case…

My Bobblehead Days Are Behind Me

One of the ways that spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has affected me physically is my posture. I’ve always had difficulty sitting up straight, and to this day I have lateral supports attached to both sides of my wheelchair to help with this. I…