Sunday, February 24, 2013

I am an Ordinary Girl

I am an ordinary girl about to do something extraordinary. My name is Aidan Sullivan, I am fifteen years old and I was born in Idaho and recently moved to a small town in New Jersey with my mom, dad, and brother. I have always loved to write and would love to see my name on the New York Times Best Seller list one day. Last year, my essays on  “Life in the Middle” were published as an ongoing column in the local print newspaper. It was a series of short stories about life as a middle school student. I was awarded 1st place student columnist at 2010 The Idaho State Press Awards, which was an incredibly inspiring achievement.
I have also had a few battles. Two years ago I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, which is an abnormal curvature of the spine. It seemed like everything in my body was in some way affected by my deformity, from chronic pain to poor circulation.
Nine months ago I had my spine fused from top to bottom using two metal rods and twenty-nine titanium screws. I was out of school for six weeks and had serious restrictions for six months. This was the largest struggle I have ever been through but there are other girls who have been through worse. From girls we hear about on the news in Afghanistan who face death treats for voicing their opinion to young girls all over the world who are diagnosed with incurable diseases, there are girls all over the world who struggle with things on a daily basis that would trump challenges like my scoliosis. Though scoliosis seemed like a hardship to me, to others it might not have been so bad and realizing how much worse it could be made me feel better.
 Since November 11th I have been traveling around the world to work on a project called Mighty Fingers Facing Change which is designed to unify and empower girls through art. The more I travel and interact with these girls, the more I realize the intensity and reality of some of the cruelty and gender inequality that women and girls face, particularly in third world countries. I am excited to share their stories with you as I travel around the world.

1 comment:

bwappman said...

Aidan - I can't wait to hear all about your adventures! Thanks for sharing them with all of us.