When people meet me for the first time, they don’t realize that I can do a lot of things if I’m creative and put my mind to it.
“Actually, I can” is my personal motto. When people meet me for the first time, they don’t realize that I can do a lot of things if I’m creative and put my mind to it.
When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. I thought I would have to give up all the things I love to do—dance, softball, volleyball—but my medication allowed me to keep living my normal life. I stayed super active and kept doing what I loved. I even started playing the snare drum in marching band.
Then in 10th grade, my arthritis flared up and I got really sick. I couldn’t hold up my snare drum anymore. And I had to quit dance because it was too difficult for me to participate.
I tried to stay positive, but I really missed my snare drum. Even though I wanted to give up, my family encouraged me to find hope. We figured out how to attach my snare drum to my wheelchair, and soon I was playing in the marching band again!
Lots of times when we’re faced with challenges, we automatically think we can’t do it. But the truth is that “actually, I can.”
Amazing youth just like Jess are facing challenges every day. But do they let those challenges keep them down? No way!