AwareNow: Issue 25: The Light Edition

Page 23

PERSONAL STORY BY KAM REDLAWSK

NOT A BURDEN

A S T AT E M E N T A B O U T E V E R Y D AY H U M A N S We’re Kam and Jason. We’re an interabled couple from Detroit living in Los Angeles. We’re both Korean American adoptees and artists and designers who met at a Detroit art college. My husband is a concept illustrator in the video games and entertainment industry, and I’m an award-winning industrial designer, writer, artist, and a disability advocate for 15 years. A couple years ago we began Chair Devils (@chairdevils) together to increase awareness of the vibrancy of disabled lives and misconceptions.

A very rare and progressive muscle wasting condition called #GNEM (genetic form of muscular dystrophy) began touching my life when I was 17-20 years old. If no treatment is found, this leads to complete immobility of my entire body. In the meantime, I’ve been living my life fully with great passion.

We frequently get congratulated by society because my husband is deemed a hero and saint for “rescuing” poor disabled me. But there’s nothing “poor disabled” about me. I’m an equal as an individual human and an intimate partner in every way. Please, follow me (@kamredlawsk) to learn more about my story, my travels, the nuances of humanity and celebration of uniqueness, and things like ableism that direct society to view disabled as victims who can’t or shouldn’t find love (because they think disabled have nothing to offer just because we’re disabled). Let’s change minds, including our own. ∎

NOT A BURDEN A VIDEO POST BY KAM REDLAWSK

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23 AWARENOW / THE LIGHT EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com