About Me

Overview of Me

I’m Jen, age 22, and from Illinois. I’m currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, and I expect to graduate in May 2020 with my bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders. My next step will be to (hopefully) attend graduate school for a masters in speech-language pathology.

When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. I was also diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 14, which runs in my family (and has much more severely impacted my family members than me). You may or may not have heard of them, but I encourage anyone to learn more about these disorders here, as they both deserve more awareness!

• Transverse Myelitis: https://wearesrna.org/living-with-myelitis/disease-information/transverse-myelitis/

• Crohn’s: https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-crohns-disease


About my writing:

I have enjoyed writing my entire life. Ever since I first learned the alphabet, I’ve been writing and making up my own stories. English quickly became my favorite subject in school, and in third grade, I wrote and published my own picture book called Benny The Runt Banana. In seventh grade, I decided to try to write poetry, and although it was difficult, I immediately loved it. After being paralyzed by a neuroimmune disorder called Transverse Myelitis just before eighth grade, I was afraid that my years of writing were over. But I regained my left hand almost completely and taught myself to write with it, even though my right was originally my dominant hand. In July of 2013 I finished writing and publishing a book called 5k, Ballet, and a Spinal Cord Injury with my friend Sarah Todd Hammer, which is about our journeys with TM. This was followed by a sequel entitled Determination in August 2016, and then Up and Down in October 2018, the third and final book in our trilogy.

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the first two books

 

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Sarah Todd and I. (Credit: Danielle in Chicago for Flytographer)

Over the years, I have written many different stories and poems, and in 2013 I decided to create a blog to keep and showcase my best work. For the most part, it began as various little poems and a couple short stories, but eventually, I started writing more blog-type posts as well.

 

What else do I do with my life?

When I was younger (even when I first started this blog), I knew that I was two things: writer and runner. I’m still a writer, of course, but I can no longer run. However, I do have other hobbies as well, such as singing and swimming. I recently competed in adaptive swim at the National Junior Disability Championships in Fort Wayne, IN in July 2018. I am also pretty obsessed with musical theatre, my favorite shows being Les Miserables and Next to Normal.

Writing is still one of my biggest passions, and I hope you enjoy my work (even the terrible, cringy stuff from years ago)!

 

(This blog originated on Weebly, but I moved everything here a couple years ago!)