Through my recent discovery of music,
I have been able to finally overcome the social barriers which my disability has presented me with.
Cooper’s Words of Wisdom
by Cooper Jones
At five years old I was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and my life was forever changed. At one point or another everyone has faced a challenge that made them feel powerless and feel as though they had no choice but to just give up. Inadequacy and hopelessness are universal feelings but when you gain the strength to overcome them, you are able to grow as an individual and live a fulfilling life. Though my disability has thrown countless challenges my way, my newfound passion for music and performing has allowed me to overcome them and gain a new outlook on life.
Since my diagnosis, my disability has continued to present me with hardships that oftentimes feel impossible to overcome. For as long as I can remember the simple task of walking has been a difficulty for me. My Freshman year of high school was when I first began to use a mobility scooter for almost everything. This was the first time that my physical limitations made me feel isolated from my peers; feel as though I was different. Socially, high school is a difficult time for most students, but with a disability, it’s an even more daunting task. For years I was plagued with constant feelings of self-consciousness which made It difficult for me to build relationships and feel as though I belonged. Through my recent discovery of music, I have been able to finally overcome the social barriers which my disability has presented me with.
In October of this year, I began to teach myself how to sing and play the guitar. Though I did not realize it at the time, I had found my passion in life. Over the year, I have experienced being a part of a band, performing to a crowd of over a hundred people, and have been able to establish new friendships with those who share my interest in music.
My physical limitations have held me back throughout my life, however, my love of music has allowed me to overcome my challenges and has helped to realize that my disability does not define who I am. Everyone has been through difficult situations that may have seemed impossible to overcome. In these difficult times, it is crucial that you stay strong and stay motivated, you will be surprised to find that nothing can stand in your way.