By Lexi Pappas
Every year my school holds a public speaking colloquium where over 50 people participate. It is a competition for students to prepare a 3 minute speech on any topic they would like. It can be motivational, inspiring, funny, informational, etc. I decided that this would be my year to compete in it.
I used to always hide my FSHD, but something changed within me this year. I have opened up and I am starting to share my story. I sent in my application and was able to participate in the preliminary round.
I felt extremely nervous during the weeks leading up to the competition. Finally it came time to do it and my whole body couldn’t stop shaking. I got up on that podium and told my story.
I did not end up making it to the final round (only 6 out of 50+ made it). At first I was sad that I did not make it but then I realized how impressed with myself I was for actually doing it in the first place. Ever since then I’ve felt a great boost of confidence. The judges loved my speech and told me how brave I was to do that and that made me happy. From now on, I am not going to hide my disability, I am going to share my story with anyone who will listen.
RACHEL BRUSSEAU says
Great job Lexi Pappas! I too have FSHMD and shared my diagnosis in a work newsletter earlier this year, and then in a newspaper article today. I am nervous as well, but I know it’s the right thing to do. People need to know that FSHMD does not limit us, it helps us develop into STRONG, CREATIVE individuals with perseverance. Take care. I’m proud of you.