I was asked
to write more about my history so that others with disabilities and their
friends can see that they can indeed do something
with their lives. I'm not going to spend a lot of
dwelling on my disabilities themselves but will give you a brief overview
of what they are then
I'll tell you what I've done in my
I was born in 1974 with Spina Bifida and a neuroenteric cyst.
The doctors told my mother that I
wouldn't live and, if, by
some miracle I did live, I would never walk. I walked at 10 months
although I didn't crawl until I was a couple years old.
I have severe scoliosis, asthma, COPD
(from 2nd hand
smoke so parents watch smoking around your kids!), arthritis, dystonia,
Disorder II, epilepsy, hydrocephalous, and a syrinx
inside my spinal cord. I'm probably forgetting
a few dx's
too. I have had 41 operations as of December 26, 2003, and will
hopefully be having
the syrinx operated on before too long.
With that out of the way, let me tell you about the real me.
As a child growing up, my mother was
very protective of me.
She prevented me from doing a lot of the things that I wanted to do.
result, when I got to be a teenager, I rebelled.
But, I did it in a good way. Without going into
details, let's just say my family was on the dys side of the
functional scale. So I started making
good grades. I
started doing school activities. And I decided to go to
In September of 1992, I left home for the first time and
moved into a dorm at Truett-McConnell
College in Cleveland,
Georgia. I was on a full scholarship because of my academic standing
and the fact that I was studying to go into the ministry. I
was very involved in the Ministerial
Association and the Baptist
Student Union. Since TMC was only a 2-year school, I
from Truett-McConnell College to Kennesaw State
University in Kennesaw, Georgia in
September of 1995. TMC
allowed me to take my science sequence and my history class at KSU
and transfer those credits back to Truett to get my Associate of Arts
Degree which I received in
At Kennesaw State
University I became a Disability Rights Activist. I served in the
Government Association as the representative for Disabled
students. Then I served in the
Campus Activities Board as
the representative for Disabled Students. I also founded the
Kennesaw State University Disabled Student Organization to try to
bring students with disabilities
together. I organized
Disability Awareness Programming on campus. One event one an award
as the Best Educational Event of the Year and one event won an
award as the Best Cultural Event
of the Year.
For the work
that I did at Kennesaw State, I received national recognition. I won
the 1997 Michael
Schwerner Activst Award. This is a
national award which is given to 5 college students each year
community activism of some nature. It's named after one of the
gentlemen whose murders
inspired the movie Mississippi Burning.
I was also a 1997 Mitsubishi Electric America Scholar.
This program allowed me to study for 7 weeks in the Public Policy and
Summer Institute at the University of
California at Berkeley and then it paid for me to go to
Washington, D.C., for 13 weeks as an intern in the Office of
Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at
the U.S. Department of
I graduated from Kennesaw State University with
honors in May of 1998. I have a Bachelor of
in Organizational Communication with a minor in Human Services. I
next year preparing to get married to a woman I had met
on the internet. Amanda and I had met
on America Online in
August of 1997. She was from Indiana and I was from Georgia.
became fast friends and then slowly fell in love.
We got married July 31, 1999 and she moved to
We moved back up to Indiana about 9 months later to be near her
family and because
she got offered a job up here.
We still live in southern Indiana. I live in a nursing
facility now because my disabilities have
gotten so severe that I
can't take care of myself full time at home and Amanda has to work to pay
the bills. I had to stop working in 2001 because of my
disabilities. I do get to leave the facility any
want and go on dates with my wife or go to church or where ever I want to
go but I have to
be here most of the time.
Well, that's my
story. If you have any questions or want to talk, email me or IM me.
Messenger Screenname is Revhart and so is my AIM
Screenname. To email me just click on the
to the left and fill out the form.