Wandering the Lines – a Column by Sherry Toh

Sherry “Elisa” Toh (she/her) is a Singaporean native navigating life with SMA Type II and chronic neuropathy. She was diagnosed at 13 months by none other than Dr. Lee Wei Ling, after a referral from a GP. Sherry is a hopeless romantic whose loves include fairy tales, mythology, antiheroes, video games, and tea. She is planning on pursuing a BA in English Lit, but for now she’s enjoying freelance work and volunteering for communities and causes she believes in. She hopes her columns will offer community and catharsis to those who need it. Find her @musiquevers on social media.

To Me, Eugenics Proves That Society Is Inaccessible

How would you expect someone with a disability to react upon reading an account of a nondisabled man essentially telling a disabled woman she shouldn’t exist? Would you expect them to react with despair? Fear? Rage? I reacted by laughing hysterically. The chronic pain and increasing fatigue caused by the…

Houston, We Have a(n Intersectionality) Problem

If Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a musical based on my column, the word “value” would be a leitmotif with its own melody. Anyone who reads my column regularly will know I talk about the value of disabled folks often, that it’s what every one of my arguments boils down…

‘Don’t Quit Before the Miracle Happens’

“I’m doing good, I’m on some new s**t/ Been saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no.’” These lyrics opened Taylor Swift’s song “the 1” and her 2020 album “Folklore.” I thought them fitting to open my first column of the new year as…

What Will Become of Me Once I’m 23?

“Lord, what will become of me/ Once I’ve lost my novelty?” was the original lyric sung in Taylor Swift’s “Nothing New,” a bonus track she included with her recent remaster of her 2012 album, “Red.” Yet, for some reason I heard her sing,…

As an Adult With SMA, I Need Access to Evrysdi, Too

Let’s start this story about Evrysdi (risdiplam) from the beginning. About a year ago, the chronic neuropathy in my scalp that had been bothering me for three years worsened to a point of concern. It started as a mild and slightly nauseating throbbing from the back of my skull…

Yennefer of ‘The Witcher’: A Study in Ableism and Power

For someone who has watched many a sex scene in movies and television, the sounds were unmistakable, yet unsurprising. Netflix’s “The Witcher,” based on a fantasy book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, pulls no punches when it comes to explicit imagery. Body horror, gore, nudity, and…

NaNoWriMo 2021: To Write or to Rest?

Hear that? It’s the sound of writers across the world readying to drive ourselves crazy in November for National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. We’ve got our blankets, a mug of our chosen caffeinated beverage, and snacks, and will be devolving into decrepit hermits as we attempt to achieve…

When Dentists Are More Magical Than the Tooth Fairy

At every briefing before their shift, the nurses at my local children’s hospital would glance at me with amusement. As a child, I was often in the hospital for respiratory issues, and I had acquired a reputation. Not for my SMA, mind you, but for the one request I…