Heidi Lasher-Oakes

  1. shadow
    Text that describes the image in your photo: The photo shows the shadow of a woman in a hat and coat, standing with her elbow crutches, cast on a smooth limestone block wall and patch of bare ground in front of the Baltimore Museum of Art, December 31, 2015.

    I am so many other things besides disabled.

    In my life I am, or have been, a/n

    academic

    administrative assistant

    animal-lover

    babysitter

    baker

    biologist

    bookstore clerk

    cancer survivor

    cook

    cleaner

    custom color matcher

    daughter

    dishwasher

    editor

    ESL instructor

    flock-mate to three canaries

    friend

    gardener

    granddaughter

    grant-writer

    knitter

    library page

    niece

    patient

    photographer

    poet

    reader

    seamstress

    sculptor

    sister

    student

    support group moderator

    teacher

    tutor

    veterinary assistant

    volunteer

    welder

    wife

    writer

    I got my first official job the day after my 16th birthday, and worked for 26 years before illness forced me to stop. I have earned advanced degrees in two different fields, and taught in both.

    I give back to my community whenever I can. I have taken food to sick neighbors, and made blankets to donate to shelters or give to friends who have experienced the loss of a family member. When someone on the street asks me for money, if I have some I offer to buy them a meal and sit with them while they eat. I have tutored high school students in math, helped elementary school students with their homework, written curriculum materials for my neighborhood family center’s after school program, co-moderated a support group, shelved books at my local public library, and written letters in support of accessibility improvements there – all for free. I’m glad to pay forward all the help I have received over the years, and participating in my community gives me a sense of purpose.

    I am joining this march in the same spirit.

    We are so much more than our gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, or age. First and foremost, we are all human beings. Each of us has a unique collection of knowledge, experiences, and accomplishments. To survive and flourish, our communities need ALL of us.

    You can see some of my work here.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Chedekel says:

    I can appreciate all you said. I am a Polio
    Survivor and a Breast cancer survivor.
    I have volunteered in politic groups and a volunteer Ambulance group.
    Now my disability
    Has gotten worse , loss of energy and fatigue is takeing a toll . I thank you for
    All you continue to do.

    Like

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