31 Days of SMA: Here’s Why Diverse Representation Matters

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forging relationships | SMA News Today | banner image for 31 Days of SMA 2022

diverse representation | SMA News Today | Shailynn Taylor

Photo courtesy of Shailynn Taylor

Day 19 of 31

This is Shailynn Taylor’s story:

Hi! I’m a 26-year-old entrepreneur, university graduate, public speaker, and model, and I live with SMA type 2.

I remember what the lack of representation in all aspects of my life felt like as a kid. There were no TV shows, musicians, or politicians I could identify with. I’ve strived to paint a different picture for kids to come. Through public speaking and diversity modeling, I am not only building my dream life, but also continually finding new ways to show that diverse representation in all aspects of life matters.

I’m so grateful for the path that SMA helped pave for me and truly love the life I have. That being said, mental health is something I’ve struggled with, and many people didn’t know how to help me. Thanks to 15 years of counseling, and going until I found the right people, I’ve been able to work on addressing the trauma that comes with SMA and using it to fuel my future.

My favorite part of living with SMA is meeting incredible new families, and especially the kids, whose dreams have no limits. They motivate me to keep going! I’m an open book and love to connect with our community. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

SMA News Today’s 31 Days of SMA campaign will publish one story per day for SMA Awareness Month in August. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofSMA, or read the full series.

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