Two years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Maritza Garcia Rodriguez at a local LA Fitness during a Zumba class. Maritza Garcia Rodriguez, 39 years of age from Deltona, Florida was born with Muscular Dystrophy. What is Muscular Dystrophy? It is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass with voluntarily muscles. There are nine major forms and it can appear during infancy up to middle- age or later.
Maritza does not let Muscular Dystrophy get her down. She can walk a little. Maritza is very active at her local LA Fitness as a Zumba instructor. Maritza enjoys teaching and participating in Zumba events. When she is not dancing, Maritza is spending time with her husband Luis of 16 years, her family, going to the beach, hanging out with friends and traveling.
Luis and Maritza met while Luis was down in Florida for a visit to Daytona Beach. They stayed in contact after he went back home. He later moved down to Florida and they got together. Muscular Dystrophy only affects her muscles but it does not affect her spirit or love life. Luis is very open minded, loving and accepting like Maritza.
Maritza says, “Muscular Dystrophy or any other disability is this world is difficult in the sense of when places are not accessible. It’s difficult to get around sometimes and there is still a lot of ignorance from people that don’t understand much about different disabilities.”
Maritza wants to those in the present and in the future to know that having a disability is not the end of the world. Maritza says, “The only limitations you have are the ones you give yourselves. Reach for your dreams. Never give up and don’t listen to the non-believers. Believe in yourself and that is plenty for you to keep moving.”