In March 6th this year 2015, Mr. Diego Rivera posted this at Facebook. A friend of mine that I have wrote something about here tagged me just today and it’s only now that I have known of this. My friend says she feels very sad for the kid for having a hard time eating (yet managed to finish the serving on her own). I would love to know this kid more and talk about her here. I hope this post will inspire more people to treat us better and to respect our rights and privileges in the society. Through this, my friends and I hope to stop discrimination, promote social awareness, and rally for equal opportunities (particularly with employment) for people with disabilities.
My friend Lyle was born male. Named John Kyle Tutor, she said she just coined her nickname that way to make it sound like her other boy name. She had always been effeminate and her choice of gender was highly respected by everyone in her family. She says she is very lucky for having the kind of family she has because, compared with others just like her, her choice was never doubted; they just accepted her decision with not much ado.
Outside of her clan, however, was a different story. Although her home life has been happy and easy, in the real world was the exact opposite. Not only was she mocked for being a member of the third sex; she was, worst of all, constantly bullied for walking with a limp.
When she was yet a toddler, she was in the care of an aunt when Lyle was diagnosed with poliomyelitis (or commonly called polio), a highly infectious viral disease that targets the spinal cord affecting mainly young kids. It results in paralysis of one or both lower extremities, thus one or both legs. It is debilitating and crippling in worst cases. For my friend Lyle, vaccination was too late.
With the unwavering support of her loving family, she vowed to be oblivious of what the world has to say about her. What mattered most was the fact that she stood by her Live and Let Live philosophy: as long as she doesn’t hurt anyone, she has also the right to live her life like everyone else, no matter what.
Lyle is a graceful spirit loved by everyone she has come to touch the lives of. She loves to have fun, and she’s never boring to be with. She tries to be there for her nieces and nephews, and she catered to the family business alongside her parents and other siblings.
She has the knack for business. Just recently, she branched out of the family business to set up her own niche in the same food industry with a franchise– and blessings– from her family. Her career keeps her busy, but she never fails to be there for those who need her.
Through sheer will power, happy disposition, and a resilient faith, she has managed to triumph over her handicap. That’s my friend Lyle.
Special people, like the mentally retarded and the physically disabled, in the olden days, were considered second class citizens who ought to keep out of sight. Despicable and shameful, they were treated like animals, left to rot in oblivion to live out their lives in misery and suffering. Whether they are indeed accidents of nature, borne of the scourge of the gods, or some kind of genetic anomaly, one thing is for certain: it’s not their fault how they turned out to be.
It has been a long time that I have been messing with the web, but it never occurred to me to seek out people with the same condition, or to even just research about it. Having been born with a congenital defect, at 37 years old, it was just last week that I decided to explore the world where one-half of me is an endemic inhabitant.
Initially, I surfed, read, followed links, to no avail. My oddity, so to speak, cannot be found. Images, images, images- my eyes watered and I burnt candles for nights-but, nada. The gross and the macabre were in front of me (thank God I only have this kind!); my heart broke to see worse persons than I am.
Browsing for images yielded no positive result, so I turned to reading until my eyebags got swollen and my eyes bulged like burbots‘. It’s so elusive- there must be something! What, I’m not even among the categories and types? Later, I realized that I had a hard time because I wasn’t using the right tags. But how could I, since I myself was at a loss as to what my deformity was called like!
Finally, I got to Adams-Oliver Syndrome and then eventually to Amniotic Band Syndrome. I could fit in to either of them, but I still need more time to delve deeper. One fact, though; whichever syndrome I get to ‘fit in’, I am the only one with this kind of foot defect. For, NO TWO CASES ARE EVER ALIKE.
Consequently, I will be spending more time learning about my deficiency. Prior to last week, I’ve never encountered both syndromes before. I guess I didn’t really give much thought to my defect as much as I should have, in my feeble attempt to ‘belong’ with the masses. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for having had such understanding family and friends to have had the chance to be considered ‘normal’ in spite of what I truly am.
For that, I am very grateful; and I feel truly blessed.