IPMG nominated Rose for the 2014 Arc Outstanding Self-Advocate Award. Since we live in a time in which technology is helping make long distance connections possible and bringing people of similar interests together, we thought this story would fit perfectly. Rose is a 22 year old young woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy from Crown Point, Indiana. She has created a blog on Facebook titled: "Live & Love Life with a Disability." In her blog, Rose talks about her life and her everyday activities as a young lady living with a disability. Over the internet, Rose’s blog has blossomed into a viral community outreach. With Rose's permission, her Case Manager has shared Rose’s blog information with other individuals with disabilities, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Many of the individuals we support discuss that it can be challenging to network with higher functioning individuals with disabilities in their local communities. Through her blog, Rose is creating opportunities for individuals in Indiana to come together, independently flourish, and open the pathways to future friendships.
Rose maintains this blog to share her experiences and life with others around her. Many individuals work in structured groups that are created by advocates in the community. This blog is a truly unique idea that was created by a person with a disability for others living with a disability. The blog shares everything from joy to encouragement to moments of real emotion caused by the challenges of living with a disability. Individuals who are high functioning have been missing this type of outlet, and we are glad to see that Rose has breached that gap.
We have asked Rose to speak out on her motivation for creating this blog. This article piece was not easy for Rose to share since it does provide a great deal about herself and her emotions. Below, Rose talks about her life as well as her desire to make a difference in the world around her.
“My name is Rose Sims I am 22 years old and I have Cerebral palsy. I write a blog on living and loving life with a disability. I would like to take this opportunity to explain to everyone why I write this blog. In my life many people have helped me, I feel that I should offer my help to other people. I have always wanted to make my mark on the world just like anyone else. Taking a look at my situation, I really do want to have children of my own more than anything. Unfortunately, it just would not be feasible for me to be able to pass myself on in the form of my children. I would want to be actively involved in my children's lives. Like teaching them how to ride a bike and play tag. But, I would carry guilt with me for the rest of my life because, I know I will not be able to give all the things that she or he truly deserves in life. I know that I can give a child all of my love in the world, however when you need people to take care of you all the time it just wouldn't be fair to my child. My legacy is passed on through this blog and I hope by sharing my thoughts and feelings with people I truly hope that my blog will be very helpful to a whole lot of people worldwide. If I can improve anyone's life with this I will be successful. I just want to give back to the world some of what it has given to me. Thank you!”