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.

 

Living with SMA makes me feel like an outsider

When I was in middle school, I became acquainted with Ponyboy, Sodapop, Johnny Cade, and the other “Greaser” boys from the pages of “The Outsiders.” Since its publication in 1967, S.E. Hinton’s seminal novel has continued to resonate with generations of teenagers and young adults from all walks…

My nonlinear life with SMA means I’m constantly evolving

The 2014 film “Boyhood” caught the attention of audiences and critics upon its release for its wildly experimental approach. Writer-director Richard Linklater spent 12 years making the movie, following the main character, Mason, from elementary school until he went away to college. Linklater used the same…

Judy Heumann’s legacy must not be forgotten

“A hero — not the hero we deserved, but the hero we needed.” This line from a Batman movie aptly describes the life and legacy of Judy Heumann. The prominent disability rights activist, who died March 4 at the age of 75, remains a hero in every…

Sleeping problems are another part of the SMA package

The 2021 Netflix movie “Awake” imagines a world in which a mysterious catastrophe wipes out all electronics and takes away humanity’s ability to sleep. Mass hysteria ensues within hours of this apocalyptic event, as people long to let their minds and bodies rest. Citizens turn against one another,…

Teacup Rides and Wheelchair-spinning, Oh My!

When I was younger, I enjoyed the hyperactive nature of the teacup ride at Disney World. My mom hated it, but my dad was willing to accompany my siblings and me on this headache-inducing extravaganza. Spinning around inside a giant teacup from “Alice in Wonderland” was enough to entertain a…

What if I Could Take a Vacation From SMA?

“Yesterday, All my troubles seemed so far away, Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, Oh, I believe in yesterday.” Among the countless hits by the Beatles, “Yesterday,” released in 1965, has stood the test of time as one of the most revered and influential songs in history.