Group of 35 marchers

Judy Martens

I am an artist, jeweler, mother, grandmother, teacher, mentor and lifelong advocate for women and children.  I’ve been diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, spinal nerve damage, and neuropathic chronic pain.  I am currently wheelchair dependent.  I have a Tumblr blog, “Walking through fire” named for the sensation the nerve pain causes throughout the legs.  We discuss chronic pain, feminism, witchcraft, and generally have fun; join me. At 60, I thought I had seen the causes of feminism, civil rights, LGBTIQ+, and disability rights come a long way since I was an idealistic young woman.  Then I was privileged enough to attend both the 1976 and 1980 Democratic National Conventions.  I was an activist and advocate for sexual assault and domestic violence victims. I stayed involved for many years until my health made it impossible.  I had a personal stake in the feminist movement, the disability movement.  I cared deeply about civil rights and LGBTIQ+ rights.  I believed we had made progress in all those causes.I thought that my generation had begun to get it “right”. That’s why this election broke my heart.  Not because a Republican won, but because hate won.  I want to be in Washington this Saturday very badly but it’s not possible.  I want to be there to promote love, and tolerance, and hope.  Hope that,  WE THE PEOPLE, all the people, really will someday be free, equal, safe, and respected.  That we may be free to choose our own destiny by controlling our own bodies; may be equal in pay regardless of our gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation; may be safe from sexual assault, as well as locker room talk; and may be respected by the lawmakers we elect to represent us, not the lobbyists.

2. Kim Friberg
3. I am a person of action, so when I read about the online March for people with disabilities I was thrilled. I struggle with multiple immune system definicies and a laundry list of disabilities, which makes it difficult at times for me to participate in physical protests. I make phone calls and write emails to our representatives when issues of concern arise. In addition to my disabilities, I just had a nasty stomach flu on Tuesday night and a painful virus that is making it very risky for me to participate in the local Women’s March protests; even though I really want to do so. My tenancy is to push myself to help make a difference (like I used to before I became ill). But I must think of my health first for me and my family. Having the opportunity to participate online with fellow citizens that struggle with disabilities makes me feel so much more included. It provides me with a voice, which is critical for a person like me. The new administration has an agenda that is terrifying for women’s rights, people of color, the LGBTQ community, civil rights, people with disabilities, etc.
4. Sadly disability is a common occurrence in my family. Both me and my husband are disabled; and my mother. Our grown children have health challenges that must be managed. If not it is impossible for them to care for their families, complete college, and successfully follow their dreams. We are also raising our 8 year old grandson. He has been with us since birth. Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and/or Obamacare would be devastating for me and my entire family. Our daughters that are in college would have no health care. It is unacceptable.

Grace:  I have arthritis problems which prevent me from marching, but I want to be represented at the Disability March in the hope that a large number of participants will help remind those now in power that there are many of us real people who are affected.  We deserve to be treated with the respect due to all people. Bio: I have had arthritis for many years and feel that although my inability to walk far or stand for long periods has not diminished my ability to pursue a career.  I have raised a family and enjoy them and many activities – just not very physical ones.

Pat: Why I Am Joining The March : I am a senior with disabled kids and I am afraid

Name Jessica Reed
I’m participating in the march for women with disabilities because I am a woman with disabilities which would make it difficult to attend in person. I’m terrified what will happen to the lives of people with disabilities, including myself, my husband, many friends and clients, if Medicaid is turned into block grants or eliminated. Women’s lives depend on the services only available through Medicaid. I need to fight these threats as well as threats to Social Security programs for people with disabilities. There are so many threats to women’s lives, especially women with intersectionality that includes living with disabilities. We need to band together and support each other to fight these threats.
Bio
I’m a woman living with multiple disabilities in WI. I work as a counselor serving people with mental health conditions including but not limited to employment and benefits counseling. I live with my husband who has a disability and our herd of cats.

Name: Andrea, Location: Seattle
Disability: MS
Bio: 41 year old working mother of 2 boys trying to live life w any energy I can, weekly injections, hope for good things, and worries about what is to come for me

Why I want to march. I want to take part and be with my community. But I also know it will wipe me out for at least 1 day, if not more. I get anxious in large groups now and tire easily. And a lot of noise can make the anxiety worse. I would need breaks and a place to sit.  So while I want to go, I know I should’t for my health and that makes me sad.  I want my voice heard for women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, disabilty rights. For the rights of ALL humans to be treated equally with decency and compassion. So I will do what I can in orher ways. Contact senators about the ACA. Explain what people would really be losing if they take away health care reform and how they likely will be impacted whether they know it or not. Tell others my story so they see “disabled” as not only someone not like them they don’t care about, but someone they know.
Lauren M. : Before I became ill, I lived in Baltimore during the riots of 2015. I felt the power of change, marching with hundreds for miles and miles each day till my feet bled. Since getting sick, I’ve felt helpless. How can one show up, when it’s hard to get out of bed? That is why I march virtually. As a LGBT woman who sees what is happening around her and fears for her future. As an artist who sees an administration that doesn’t believe in funding creative outlets. As an educator who fears the impact of this harmful man and his words on youth. That is why I show up and I hope you do too. 
Lauren is an artist and educator who has worked in art museums around the east coast, but has had to recently halt her career due to Chronic Lyme’s and other illnesses. Her fingers are always moving, hand sewing quilts and dying fabric.
My name is Tamara Williams and I am an African American, disabled woman veteran diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I am a 45 y/o medically retired woman who is afraid that all of my service will be repealed.  I think its important that Trump know that his choices affect real people.  Good medical care and access to makes all of the difference to my quality of life.  I want him to see my face when he makes choices about healthcare.

 

The primary reason I am joining the march is due to my opposition to repealing the affortable care act which affects me and the rest of the disabled community.  I now live in fear of the repeal of the preexisting condition and medicare as so many people need it.  I feel like our voice doesnt matter.  My mental health & substance abuse counseling practice believes in bringing hope to the hopeless, but now Im the hopeless.  President elect Trump please consider everyone, not just the .01%. You are know the President of the United States not President of the .01%. The disabled, minoritied, women, & veterans must be heard.
Tamara P. Williams, LPC, MAC, CSAC

Isabella: Why I Am Joining The March : I’m a mentally ill, queer, latino looking, mixed raced, teenage girl. I’m pretty much screwed if this ridiculousness and hatred continues. Nobody should feel unsafe, not just me but anyone.

Holly Perez: Why I Am Joining The March : I am joining to show the youth that we can stand up and stand together against Hatred and discrimination.

  1. A woman with a disability about to embark on her PhD journey.
  2. Crash
  3. The access I had to mainstream education throughout my childhood, championed by Hillary Clinton, was key to my ability to work my way through a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree, and now gaining acceptance to one of the top doctoral programs in my discipline.

However, my fear is that one day discrimination will prevent me from securing a job. Obviously, Trump does not respect the abilities of people like me. He as shown this time and time again. I feel worried that all of my work may be in vein, because Trump will not hold businesses accountable to giving people with disabilities a  fear chance of gainful employment. On the other hand, I know that I have the talent and drive to keep fighting, which is why I decided to join the virtual march today. I received my B.S. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University in 2014 and my M.A. in Communication Studies from the same university in 2016. I am currently a first-year PhD student at the University of New Mexico in the Communication and Journalism department focuses on Critical Cultural Studies. My research interests include critical communication pedagogy, Whiteness, intersectionality, and ability. Outside of academia, I enjoy participating in local advocacy events. I volunteered and interned at a local Women’s Center in Carbondale IL. for many years, and I am about to become involved with the Lobo Respect Advocacy Center at UNM.

Tyeast Pettit: I am an African American disabled woman and former registered nurse.  I am joining the march to send the message to our government leaders that they have an obligation to be representative of ALL citizens, not just a select few. I am marching for the continuation and expansion of medical research, affordable health care and prescription drugs, protection of Medicare and social security, fair and compassionate immigration policies, LGBT rights, religious tolerance, racial justice, reproductive rights, livable wages, equal pay, love, peace and tolerance.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to join the Women’s March!
I am one of over ten million Americans whose lives have been needlessly devastated by specific chemicals in building materials, consumer products, fossil fuel emissions, and synthetic biocodes.  Our tenuous survival depends on:  (1) thoughtful evidence based stewardship of the environment; (2) objective longitudinal chemical vetting and regulaton; (3) transparent reporting of chemical usage; (4) preserving Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare/ACA; and (5) and reinforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act (as amended).
I also join our sister marchers who vote:
NO to anyone who unleashes divisiveness as a marketing tool or brand;
NO to anyone who seeks power through threats of exclusion or violence;
NO to those who deny gender equity;
NO to those who wish to impose their personal choices on a country founded on the promise of religious freedom;
NO to those who declare a mandate despite losing the popular vote;
NO to nominees selected for their personal biases or wealth rather than relevant professional, practical, or life
experience;
NO to those who refuse to allow facts to interfere with their opinions;NO to those who wish to change laws in ways that diminish human rights;
NO to those who refuse due process to citizens at home or detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere;
NO to those who would despoil our air, soil, or water;
NO to those whose singular focus is profit motive without regard for workers’ health, safety, dignity, and welfare;
NO to those who reject or diminish individuals perceived as “different” from them, whether due to age, country of origin,
gender, physical or mental ability, race, religious faith, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class;  and
NO to those who diregard our richest natural resource of all  — the will of the people.
Karin Olsson
Massachusetts

My name is Pat.
I’m 57, disabled since the age of 30.  When Trump mocked the disabled reporter it cut me to the core.  It shows his lack of empathy towards those who are disabled as well as the lack of character he’s shown throughout the campaign.
I’m a former medical technologist, having worked in hospitals and a community blood center before become disabled with chronic illnesses.
I am joining due to disability being thrust into the accusations made by the CDC. Creating Havoc upon those of us who suffer with chronic pain. We have been hurt by the falsifying of Records by the CDC. As diabetics depend on insulin to maintain their day to day function.
Many of us depend upon opiates to have a sibilance of normalcy in life. We did not choose chronic pain, and we are not  addicts.
REMOVE THE CDC FROM OUR DR’s OFFICE. THE DEA FROM OUR PHAMACY.
And return the Hippocratic Oath to our Physician Services.
Peter Turnbull is a stroke survivor and I am Vivi Spicer, his wife and 24/7 caregiver.
We live in Silver Spring, MD, but Peter is not mobile enough to attend.
If we could get to the march, we would.
Therefore, please include us in your count.
Peter fell on his forehead almost 12 years ago and tore three arteries and suffered a massive stroke.
Our life changed instantly as a result.
We would march to support the rights of women who have been marginalized by centuries of culture. We agree with Cecile Richards. If the male dominated Congress could get pregnant, we wouldn’t be having these discussions about the availability of birth control under the ACA or via Planned Parenthood.
Further, my great aunt died of a (back alley) botched abortion in 1943 in Florence, SC. She was trying to get out of poverty in the south during WWII. She paid dearly for her aspiration.
We also march to protest the hatred of women, those with disabilities, and an endless list of sentient beings that Donald Trump has taken a stand to hate.
We need to come together and not hate each other. Donald Trump has made it clear as of today that he cannot or does not want to do that. He puts women and those with disabilities are citizens on the sidelines.
Peter Turnbull and I, Vivi Spicer, do not think we are on the sidelines. We are citizens.
Please include us in the Women’s March on 21 January 2017.
Thank you.
A 15 year old girl with brown hair and freckles holding up a sign that says BEYOUTIFUL
Presley
I’m joining this march because I have sensory issues and I cannot be in a very loud and crowded environment, even though I would love to participate in person. I’m so glad this is an opportunity to stand up for my beliefs and still participate.
I am a happy 15 year old Massachusetts girl, who has a learning disability and anxiety. I don’t let these things hold me back, because I’m strong. I’m “Marching” for my beliefs that, women’s rights are human rights!!!!
My name is Kelly and I had hoped to join festivities in Yakima, Washington, but between my mobility issues and the icy weather I won’t be able to attend. I knew I couldn’t March, but I had hoped to participate in some way. I did send a couple of hats via a friend who went to Washington DC so I made a contribution anyway.
My issues are health care, because without the ACA I would not be able to get healthcare, and education because at the age of 63 I will graduate in June with a degree in education and hope to work with middle school age children.
I’m a married mom to two grown daughters and Nana to a five-year-old granddaughter and a six-week-old grandson. My granddaughter asked me if I voted for Donald Trump. I told her no. She said good because he’s rude. I asked why she said that and she said he “kept interrupting Hilary Clinton and everyone knows that’s rude.” Well, five-Year-olds know that!
Thanks for doing this.
I had a near death car accident 6 years ago and combined with bad arthritis walk with a walker. I have been a professional woman all my career and experienced misogyny and oppression every step of the way. I am a direct person and was often criticized as aggressive while male colleagues who did the same were considered strong and assertive. Male supervisors wanted me to be their handmaiden and they would be the one who took credit. My husband and I switched roles as a choice of having one parent at home over 20 years ago and had to listen to friends and family ask when my husband was going to go back to work like the work he was doing was not valuable.
Thank you for creating this way of participating in the Women’s March
Barbara G. Rebold

Mental Illness is one of the invisible diseases that cripple many Americans including me. I wish to be included in the Disability March on Washington because I don’t want ACA or any other of the social services poorer and disabled Americans need to live to be repealed. Mental illness stygmatizes people.  People don’t always “see” an illness, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t debilitate the disabled one. I can’t be there in body but I am participating in spirit.

Maureen Pyburn
  1. Kelleygrl
  2. I’m joining the march because I’m scared to death of what will happen to me when the Republicans attack my Medicare and SSDI. I have RSD/CRPS do to a surgeon butchering my foot. The statute of limitations was ended just as a new surgeon found the root of my issues, but then, it was too late. I want to protect the rights of people who are vulnerable, due to race, religion or disability.
  3. I worked as a teacher in inner city Detroit for 23 years before I became disabled. My heart was broken when I had to leave the classroom and now, I am still disabled, but want to find a new job, but I cannot drive my stick shift car due to disability and don’t have the funds for a new one. If there was funding for job training, a car and car insurance, I would be able to get back in the workforce advocating for people who don’t have the resources to do it themselves.

Ellen Springer: Why I Am Joining The March : I am disabled and a caregiver for a senior gal who’s disabled. I’d like to show my solidarity with all those able bodied women and people who believe that it is not okay to assault women and to take away the rights of women, the disabled and to speak out against the posture V.P. Elect Mike Pence is taking against the Transgender community! Everyone must have access to bathroom facilities and it is outright wrong and against our doctrine of indivisible and with Liberty and Justice for All! Furthermore our great country was founded on the principle of Religious Freedom to worship in what ever manner we see fit for ourselves as individuals and it is dishonorable to our forefathers to insist that only one religious belief should be held above and to the exclusion of all others!

Roni Feldman: Why I Am Joining The March : As a disabled woman, I was horrified by Trump’s mocking a disabled reporter. He should be ashamed and should stop denying what we all saw and instead apologize. I’m also dependent on Social Security and Medicare. I’m terrified that Congress could actually repeal the ACA and privatize Medicare. These are people’s lives you’re playing with.

Linda Minkowski: Why I Am Joining The March : I’m part of too many communities Trump discarded, disparaged and abused to ignore this important march. We must send the message that we are many, we are watching what this administration does and we will hold them accountable.

Crystal Amer: Why I Am Joining The March : I’ve been a human service worker for 20 years, advocating for persons with disabilities across the lifespan and Older Americans. I’ve worked with various cultures and nationalities. When I attended the 2001 inaguration while living in the D.C. Area…I had an anxiety attack. It was a new experience. My husband and me had to leave early because of it. I remember the empty Metro train as we returned to the station near our house…it was the middle of the day and it was odd. It made me feel more isolated in that I couldn’t handle staying at this once in a lifetime event. Along with anxiety, I also struggle with depression and was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The pain limits my ability to participate in such large active efforts (I have tried). Being on my feet for long periods on very hard surfaces is painful and exhausting regardless of what I wear. It’s akin to having constant body aches all over, as if I’ve developed a huge amount of lactic acid . It can be so bad that I cry. I have to limit the amount of activity I do, which is hard as I’ve always been a do-er (hence my attendance in 2001). I would go to my local March if I thought my body could handle it. So, I will instead make an effort to perform a short amount of volunteer work instead with a local immigrant religious community that I am trying to establish a connection with. This speaks more about want I want to see in the world that I can do and is still in spirit of the March. As Ganhdi said, ” Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Name:  Cheryl Kuehl

Why I Am Joining the Disability March:  To help other people.

Bio:  I have a disability.  I do everything I can to help others.
My name is Susan. I am unable to attend the Washington March because I have a neurodegenerative disease that limits my mobility and causes other complications.
I want to attend because this is not about Republican and Democrat for me. It is about the need for civility; dignity for all; the rights of all persons; respect for the office of the presidency and the institution of government with all its flaws; understanding of the larger picture, including America’s place in the world; and so much more.
It is my intention to move beyond fear, despair, and shame into peace and meaningful action in my corner of the world.
Please count me in as virtually marching with you.
Name: Marvin
Statement: I am unable to engage in prolonged physical standing/marching, but still I stand with my Sisters (and my Brothers)
Biographical Statement: I am old, bald, and somewhat physically hobbled, but I WILL be heard!

 

I am a 45-year-old white woman with short ash blonde/light brown hair. I am wearing a black sweater with white flowers at the top. I am sitting in a restaurant with a wooden background. My nicknames are “Smiley” and “The Bionic Woman.” Use whichever one you like. I’m joining because I’ve been disabled since 14. I severely injured my knees and had a concussion that later caused epilepsy. I nearly died twice from status epilepticus. I am not able to drive after studying to be a reporter. I did community reporting and other jobs, but faced discrimination over seizures. I can’t work now. I’ve had 7 operations on my knees in the past 5 years, including bilateral replacements. I’ve had 20 total. I’m scared I will lose my health benefits and may die under Trump’s Administration. No one understands until they live in another person’s shoes. Even then, I don’t think he or his Cabinet will understand. I live in public housing, where I was attacked twice. I can’t afford to live anywhere else. If I could walk, I’d be with you. Here’s my virtual march. With you all the way! I am a 45-year-old lifelong Bostonian. I graduated from Boston Latin School and went to BU on scholarship. I received degrees in Journalism and Political Science (when both fields were respected). I later received a Masters in Public Affairs (now Administration) From UMass Boston. I worked for several local papers. I worked in government and with the elderly. After being discriminated against in my last 2 jobs for having epilepsy, I became an unpaid disability rights advocate and a freelance writer.

SS

Statement: I march because I believe in disability rights and the ability of ALL people to live in a safe, secure world and with comprehensive healthcare.
Annette R.: I spent the first 38 years of my life as a conservative Republican, but Donald Trump woke me up! I quit the GOP July 2016 and while I do retain some conservative  such as pro-life, I will never vote Republican again! As a disabled woman on SSI, I am in the crosshairs of the GOP and Trump, as they will now work to make life unbearable and unliveable for those of us who are elderly, disabled, low income and otherwise vulnerable. As a Jewish woman whose parents lived through World War Two, I am terrified of Trump also, because everything he has said reminds me of the 1930s as my parents told me about it. I feel as if we are living that time again.
I am 57 years old, married 34 years, mother of 3 living children all of whom I homeschooled K-12, and 4 who died due to stillbirth. I am the family genealogist and currently do volunteer administrative work from home for a small animal rescue organization. I am on disability, my husband is laid off, and we are struggling to survive.
Katie  Due to financial difficulties, I am not able to attend the Women’s March on Washington, and as my disability keeps me from driving, lack of available transportation makes it so that I am unable to attend any local sister marches. However, I refuse to let my inability to attend physically stop me from joining in the fight to protect and recognize women’s rights and disability rights as equal rights.
My name is Katie. I am 27 years-old and I am a lifelong Michigander. I have spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy along with balance issues, making it so that I use either a walker or wheelchair for mobility. I am currently getting my Master’s Degree in Disability Studies, and am fighting to make the world a more accommodating and accessible place for everyone.
Aleksu H.
I am joining this virtual march to protest all that is wrong in American politics.  Trump represents the worst and most base instincts of people, and serves only to encourage division and despair among citizens.  His Party of Hate excludes everyone who is not exactly like him, disregards anyone who is poor, of color, female, LGBT, or non-Christian, but America is diverse.  Trump wishes to disenfranchise those already marginalized even further, allow to suffer those who are sick, poor, weak, or financially constrained, and to allow those most in need of assistance to just die.  If cuts are made to Social Security Disability Income, I will not be able to afford food, medicines needed to stay alive, and heat in winter.  I will go back to dying instead of working on slow improvement. If cuts are made to Medicare I will not be able to afford the dozens of doctor visits each year, nor frequent E.R. visits.  I will die, but I will suffer first.  That is Lyme Disease.
I have Chronic Lyme Disease from a tick bite 20 years ago, and have been dying a slow and painful death for some years now.  My elderly parents sold their RV to pay for my IV antibiotic treatment since Medicare will not cover it for me and it is exceedingly expensive.  My hope is to improve enough to be able to live independently again, and not to have to sell my house to move into assisted living.  I will not be in full remission by the time we run out of money for treatment, and I will never be well enough to teach again.  My career and life came to a screeching halt when my disease progressed, and I have not recovered much.  I went from being independent and capable to frequent E.R. visits and crushing pain and fatigue.  It is difficult enough to deal with this illness, I don’t need to have the stress of knowing Social Security and Medicare are on the chopping block too.  The services I qualify for are minimal.  I live in poverty, scraping by.  There is no fat to trim.  There is no way for me to put away money for retirement because I am not well enough to work any more.  Cutting services to the disabled, elderly, sick, poor, female, disadvantaged, etc. is a form of murder.  Let’s call it what it is.  Putting corporations over people and profits over humanity is the worst form of evil there is.
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