31 Days of SMA: Laura Blair

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 31 of 31 Days SMA Topic: Fashion and SMA This is @laurablair620’s story: My name is Laura and I’m a 30-year-old woman from New Jersey. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a girly-girl. Pink, glitter, bows, and flowers have always been my thing. Just ask my Mom! From a young age, I was vocal about how I wanted to dress. As I grew older, I realized that not only was fashion something I loved, but the way I dressed made a huge impact on how others perceive me and how I feel about myself. Kind of like the old saying, “when you look good, you feel good.” I’m a true believer in that. Not in a vein way, of course. Ya see, the big piece of metal that I roll around in can be quite a distraction. When I was 9 months old, I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. Typically, strangers notice my wheelchair first, but with the right outfit and a cute pair of shoes, that can change a lot. Living with SMA, I want others to see me for the kind, independent, stylish woman that I am. I’ve learned that fashion is a great tool to normalize disability and show people that I am no different than them. Finding flattering, stylish clothing for my unusually shaped, child-sized body is often a challenge, but I have never given up! A few years back, after a college degree and exploring a few different career paths, I decided to follow my true passion. I took a leap of faith and launched a small home-based fashion boutique. Last year, I took my expertise to the next level, and started taking image consulting/personal styling classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology @fitcps in New York City; something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a little girl. I will soon be transitioning out of retail and into a new business venture where I will get to combine my natural ability to throw an outfit together with my love for helping others. I understand the challenges of dressing an unconventional body firsthand and the value of looking your best. I’m excited to build confidence through fashion amongst people of all abilities, shapes, and sizes. EveryBODY deserves to feel beautiful! #SMAAwarenessMonth #SMAAwareness #31daysofsma2020

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