Dear Ellen DeGeneres,
Hi! My name is Shane Burcaw. I'm 25 years old, and I have a disease called spinal muscular atrophy that gives me the supermodel physique you see in my photo. You should see me in heels.
I've spent a good portion of my life correcting the misconceptions many people hold about living with a disability. As a kid, when my classmates were afraid to interact with me on the playground, I showed them that we could be the best of friends by running them over during flag football. As a teen, when I was convinced no girl could ever possibly like me, I went to homecoming with my friends and danced my heart out anyway. As a young adult, when years of being looked down upon because of my disability just became too much, I threw myself into a career of using humor to correct the damaging stigmas surrounding disability in our society.
It’s a big day for me, which is why I'm hoping you'll read this. Today, my second book finally launched to the world after a year in the works! It’s a children’s picture book called “Not So Different,” and it answers many of the most common questions kids ask me about living with a disability in a light-hearted and entertaining way.
Last weekend, my girlfriend and I were out shopping, and a little boy stopped in his tracks when he saw me, pointed at me with wide eyes, and shouted, “Mommy, is that a baby?” His mother was mortified, but occurrences like this are all too common in my life. My goal is that my picture book will become a fun resource for parents and teachers to use with their kids, encouraging more children to grow up embracing diversity and difference!
In hopes of you seeing this, I’m asking my friends, family, and followers to share this post on a massive scale. If I can reach you by making this go viral, I would love nothing more than to send you a copy of my book. It’s the perfect length to read in a single toilet sitting.
Credits: Shane Burcaw
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