Saturday, June 13, 2015

Promoting My Life Story at the Family Cafe



Welcome to UnabASHed by Disability: The Blog, an extension of my autobiography published in October of 2014. In this blog, I intend to share my experiences with readers while providing information. To give you a little background, I was born 29 years ago with a rare genetic disorder called campomelic syndrome. The symptoms of this condition include deformed bones and weak muscles, so I’ve used a wheelchair and dealt with health issues all my life. For more information about campomelic syndrome, go to http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/campomelic-dysplasia.

Nowadays, I work part-time at home as a quality analyst for J.Lodge, a call monitoring company that employs mostly people with disabilities. (When calling a company’s customer service department, you’ve probably heard someone say, “This call is being monitored for quality purposes.” This is where I come as a quality analyst.) I am also a director-at-large for the Space Coast Writers’ Guild, and I plan to write another book. In the meantime, I take every opportunity I can to promote my autobiography, which is available on Amazon and Kindle.

A week ago, I promoted my book as a micro-enterprise along with many companies and organizations in the 17th Annual Family Café’s Exhibit Hall at the Caribe Royal All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando. The Family Café, a three-day conference for people with disabilities and their loved ones, includes various workshops, entertainment, and the Governor’s Summit on Disabilities where relevant political issues are discussed. The first photo below shows the cover of the 17th Annual Family Café program.

Sitting for five hours in my own booth (see second photo below), I sold five copies of my autobiography, which was my goal. However, the highlight of my day was meeting a three-year-old girl named Grace who has campomelic syndrome like me. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone else with campomelic syndrome at the Family Cafe because it occurs in just one in 40,000 to 200,000 people. With her appearance and mannerisms, Grace reminded my parents and me so much of myself when I was little. Her mom said meeting me gave her hope for her daughter. That is one of the reasons I wrote my autobiography: to give hope to special needs kids and their parents.

To learn more about the Family Café, go to www.FamilyCafe.net. The next conference is scheduled for June 10-12, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. I’m already looking forward to it. Thank you for reading, and see you next time!

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