Halloween Carnivals

This past month I’ve volunteered at two carnivals in neighborhoods in Atlanta.One wasn’t really for Halloween; it was a neighborhood bake and craft fair in the area where the charter school that my school has an affiliation with is.

I don’t know what income the housing area is, but my guess would be low. The fair consisted of several rented carnival games, with dollar store prizes. The food was homemade by the neighbors and varied in quality. It was good, but it made me miss festivals at home with my brother catering with his huge grill. Still, the kids there had fun and the neighborhood had a good time.

Today I volunteered at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Georgia’s Halloween carnival at Marist. It was obviously better sponsored, prizes from TV stations (we had to remove the “So Sexy—Court TV” wristbands from the prize options!), Mellow Mushroom pizza, ice cream (no sugar added).

I don’t even think it was a higher budget thing, because my guess is that much of it was donated, although the insulin pump display people may have paid for their tables. It was just interesting to see the difference between the two carnivals, both of which were for very good causes with very cute kids but in very different neighborhoods with extremely different demographics.

I have to say, I have a great empathy for the kids with diabetes. My sorority sister who has it (the instigator of this project) and I often commiserate about the woes of healthcare problems, but she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eleven, so she wasn’t affected as a young child. But these kids know their health problems as well as I knew not to play rough at recess. To watch out for stairs.

But they’ll make mistakes. Eat the wrong thing. Fall down. And their moms will learn that they can’t always look out for them. And they’ll one day, maybe at eighteen in a dorm room somewhere, have the realization that while it may never go away there will come a time when managing it becomes second nature and things will be okay.

And my heart breaks in the same way it does when i speak to the mother of the little boy who has Dermatosparaxis, because I wish they didn’t have to do it.  But, then again, maybe they too will have that little bit of pride that comes from learning how to better take care of a body that attempts to foil your every move, you know?

This blog started out being about Atlanta neighborhoods and demographics, and it turned into disability-ness. What do you expect from the gimp kid? :D

FYI, my cough’s much better and my arm is almost better. Still swollen, but the lack of pain sings the praises of the antibiotic! Woo!

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Donate, Please

Over at Tangled Fingers Diary, she’s hosting a donate button for the Ehlers Danlos National Foundation. Her sister was diagnosed with EDS type 4. For every $5 you donate you will be eligible for a drawing for 5 skeins of Jaeger Roma.

This means a lot to me, because as many of you know, I have Ehlers Danlos type 7c (aka Dermatosparaxis). Ehlers Danlos itself is incredibly rare, and my type exceedingly so. I have the EDNF to thank, though, for the contact I have with a mother of a ten year old boy who also has Dermatosparaxis.

So, a very worthy cause, in my opinion.

Eight Things

I’m pretending like Purlesence tagged me cuz I wanna do it :D

1. I’m adopted. My parents used to take foster babies, and I was their forty-first. My mother says when she first saw me her thought was: how am I going to tell my husband that I want to keep this baby? A year later (a year and two months, actually) my adoption was finalized. I’ve always known that I was special and chosen. I always thought that when I was eighteen it would be a big deal to get my folder from Children’s Home Society. I still haven’t done it, even though I want to.

2. If a year can have a theme, I think the theme of my first year of college was: people and things are never going to be what you expect them to be. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just true. First impressions are not to be built on, because you will undoubtedly think people are different from who they are and be disppointed. Also, even when you think you know someone well, you may not. Life’s like that and people are like that.

3. I feel like I’m still waiting for things to happen. I’m fairly happy with where I am, but I want to know where my life is going. I want so much out of life, and i’m afraid to never get it. Afraid that I’m wasting time. I’m eighteen, already. When did that happen?

4. Knitting is one, if not the only, craft that I can do. I have horrible fine motor skills and had ages of occupational therapy.

5. My childhood was filled with work with disability rights because of my mom’s job, and I claim that I don’t want to have anything to do with that when I grow up. Except that I do the Youth Leadership forum nearly every summer, and in my novels someone always seems to have some sort of disability. While my best friend wants to be a poli-sci major I feel like I’m fighting the battle for awareness. from a different side.

6. I’m eighteen. I’ve never been kissed. That scares me.

7. I’m very close to my mom. I don’t know where I’ll be if I ever lose her. Maybe it comes from growing up needing someone more than most kids, but I really do rely on her and love her very much.

8. My disability is called Dermatosparaxis, it’s a form Ehlers Danlos causing easy bruising and tearing of the skin, soft tissue infections and low vision. It’s a part of me, like my blonde hair, but also how I define myself some times. I’m a writer, a student, a knitter and I have a disability.