Meet Allie Schmidt
marketing strategist, accessibility consultant, disability advocate, & mom
My Journey: How It Started vs. How It’s Going
At 26-years-old, I found out that I have the early signs of ALS.
I was working at my first corporate job when I realized that my motor skills were deteriorating. Tasks as simple as buttoning my pants or writing down my name became excruciatingly difficult.
From there, my mid-20s were filled with anxiety and uncertainty, as I visited countless doctors trying to find an explanation for my sudden weakness.
My first blog post, What Happens When You Have the Early Signs of ALS, was written during this time. It painstakingly lays out what it feels like to come face-to-face with a terminal illness.
Since then, I’ve never actually found a diagnosis, except for the catch-all term, motor neuron disease. I consider myself fortunate that the weakness has stayed in my arms, considering the alternative.
Basically, my arms are paralyzed.
My health challenges are unique in that I understand what it’s like to be chronically ill, disabled, undiagnosed, have a rare and incurable disease, and a possibly-terminal illness. Because I fit into so many categories, I’ve had to learn a range of skills in order to adapt to my new life.
The past few years haven’t been easy, but they’ve surprisingly led me to a newfound appreciation for life that – I dare say – wouldn’t have been possible without my health challenges.
While facing a terminal illness, I’ve managed to find a supportive partner, have a baby, raise thousands of dollars for ALS research and start my own business. Now, with my arms completely paralyzed, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been!
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