Life, One Cup at a Time - a Column by Alyssa Silva

Diagnosed at 5 months of age, Alyssa has set out to raise awareness about life with SMA Type I through writing. By getting personal and being open about her trials and triumphs, she wants the world to know that SMA can put up a good fight, but we can always fight back exceedingly harder. Aside from writing, Alyssa is the community director for an adaptive fashion brand and has founded her own nonprofit called Working On Walking. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new coffee shops within a 50-mile radius of her hometown in Rhode Island.

Glam for the Scan: How One Outfit Changed Everything

While I can’t speak on behalf of every medical professional I’ve come across in my lifetime (truth be told, that’d be quite a large number), I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I didn’t own many clothes. I wouldn’t blame them. After all, I’ve been wearing the exact same pair…

Why I Welcome Children’s Curiosity About My Disability

A few years ago, I wrote about the need for more understanding and awareness about disability. No matter how many years have passed or how much has changed, I’ve always felt strongly that this topic should be included in everyday conversations about disability. In that column, I shared…

The Challenges of Making Friends as an Adult With SMA

Making friends as an adult is hard. At least, it always has been for me. After all, I’m an introvert. I like keeping to myself. But friendships are important to my emotional well-being, and I cherish them deeply. However, once I graduated from college and started working…

Why My Journey With Disability Pride Isn’t Linear

Even though I’ve been disabled all my life, I had never heard of Disability Pride Month until I scrolled past someone’s Instagram post last July. I guess that’s the beauty of social media: For every detrimental effect it has on our well-being, it can also serve as a…

Actually, My Disease Does Define Me

Recently, someone I know commented, “Alyssa doesn’t let her disease define her.” I absolutely understood where they were coming from. After all, I have always been determined. I have always been that girl who thrives in a challenge and loves nothing more than being told she can’t do something. (Spoiler…

I’m Remembering to Prioritize My Mental Health

During the height of the pandemic last year, a steady influx of people often reached out to me to check on my health. It was quite admirable. Friends, family members, and even people I had lost touch with would call or text for status updates, and I truly felt more…