November 28, 2017 | Brittany Déjean, Founder & Director of AbleThrive
I learned from a young age that nothing is guaranteed, so you’ve got to make the most of every moment.
I lost my 9-year-old brother in a car accident when I was 12 years old. My dad was also in the car and broke his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down without the movement of his fingers.
In the wake of this trauma, my dad made a decision that affected the rest of my life. He decided to make the most of his life as a quadriplegic. If my dad didn’t make that decision almost 19 years ago, I wouldn’t be who I am today. This, plus the incredible support resources and mentors at my dad’s hospital, meant that our family could establish a new normal.
However, not everyone knows that it’s even possible to thrive with a disability. It’s easier to make that decision, to go for that goal, when you have resources that teach you how to adapt and stories that allow you to relate to others who have been down the same road. I want everyone to have the tools they need to live life on their terms. This is how we can shatter the misconceptions and stereotypes that are often reinforced in the media.
Disability is often a sad or heavy topic that doesn’t bring to life or reflect the vibrant diversity of people’s lives today, and together, we can change that. I created AbleThrive to deliver resources to ensure people with disabilities and their families can live their lives fully and now we’re coming together around the world.
The #ThriveWorldwide campaign celebrates people with disabilities and their families around the world living life to the fullest and builds solidarity around AbleThrive’s core value that everyone deserves a chance to thrive.
On December 3, 2017, in conjunction with the UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities, we are hosting 28 meetups in 15 countries in an unprecedented display of solidarity of people with disabilities and allies around the world. As everyone gathers together, not only do we foster connections and have a good time, but we know that people are doing the same thing in other corners of the world on the same day.
From San Francisco to Singapore, from Johannesburg to Manila, it’s time to come together and show a side of disability that the world needs to see more of. It takes a village, and you can push it forward.
People with disabilities, families, friends, allies, supporters – Do you believe in living life to the fullest? That everyone deserves a chance to thrive? Post a photo of you with the hashtag #ThriveWorldwide (download a sign here or just write it on a piece of paper) and join the the movement of people ‘checking in’ around the globe.
Then get ready for a good time on December 3rd! From bowling to brunch, from happy hours to potlucks, there are plenty of opportunities to have a good time. Check out our official #ThriveWorldwide page for a full list of meetups and links to ones you can join.
And for a little bonus, if you drop your email on the #ThriveWorldwide campaign page, you’ll be entered to win up to $100 on Amazon.
It’s time to use the real-life experiences of people with disabilities and their families around the world to raise the expectations for life with a disability and show what it means to thrive. Join us!
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Brittany Déjean is the Founder and Director of AbleThrive, a one-stop platform for people with disabilities and their families to access curated and customized resources from around the world.