Hello, I’m Whitney Ford. I am 22 years old and I was born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. It seems for each stage of life, living with Spina Bifida gets just a little (maybe a lot) different. As a child growing up with Spina Bifida, it was semi-strange being the only one I knew that was this kind of different, and not exactly understanding why. Of course, my parents did their best to make sure I lead as normal a life as possible. That didn’t stop me from feeling lonely or confused about it.
I developed a certain depression that I still deal with from time to time.With all the different obstacles that came with Spina Bifida I missed a lot of school and it affected my motivation. I was also picked on all through grade school and didn’t feel the need to speak out about it because I felt like I was already a problem and nothing would change anyway. We’re always looked at as strong but I don’t think the cost is always considered when that is being said.
They say "you never know how strong you can be until that is all you can be. Picture strong being all you can be your whole life. It may be difficult to gain the ability to be soft and vulnerable. If there is anything I regret from my younger days, it is not making close friends out of fear of just being treated badly, and it was just hard to do with all the hospitalization and recuperating within myself.
Once I got older, I realized how socially awkward I am. It’s something I’m working toward changing.My life with Spina Bifida hasn’t been all bad, don’t get me wrong. I’ve realized that God made me the way He made me for a purpose and to "roll with Spina Bifida". I am not wheel chair bound. I use both my forearm crutches and my power wheelchair for long distances.
I love to write poetry. I like to sing though I don’t have a great singing voice. Ha-ha! I love to bake and pretty much anything creative. I love to love on people, you know? Be there for them through whatever process they’re growing through.
Now I’m facing my awkwardness by sharing my story and my faith in a bigger way unafraid of the different reactions I will get. Not everyone took to their SB the way I did. Not everyone will understand. Not everyone even knows what I am talking about but that is why I must share. I’ve learned to be vulnerable and give all my fears to God. Which is what is behind the name of my upcoming non-profit organization "He Is My Crutch " check out the website-à heismycrutch.org