By Caroline Martell
Imagine spending your whole life with people constantly telling you that you will not be able to do something, and then consistently proving them wrong. This is Sheila Radziewicz’s story.
Born with a rare congenital disorder called thrombocytopenia absent radius, or TAR, Radziewicz was born without arms. She has overcome many obstacles in her life and refuses to let her disability prevent her from doing whatever she sets her mind to, like living an active life and not letting her disability stop her from going on adventures.
One of her recent accomplishments includes achieving her black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Radziewicz has become an advocate for people with disabilities and wants to prove that with perseverance, nothing is impossible.
On Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Stonehill College will be hosting the event, “Making the Impossible Possible: The Sheila Radziewicz Story,” in Martin Auditorium. She will address the Stonehill community, sharing her life experiences and emphasizing the importance of self-advocacy.
The event is co-sponsored by the disABILITY Enlightenment Project, The Office of Disability Services, and the SGA Diversity Committee. Radziewicz’s visit to campus will provide the Stonehill community with an opportunity to learn more about disabilities and diversity.
Radziewicz will be speaking in October, which is Disability Awareness Month. There will be many events around campus during October to celebrate diversity and raise awareness for people with disabilities.
The disABILITY Enlightenment Project is a student group highly involved in these events. The main goal of this group is to educate the Stonehill community and to provide diverse perspectives about people with disabilities.
Radziewicz offers a unique perspective into the everyday life of a person living with a disability. She has challenged institutional discrimination and societal norms by refusing to let her disability stop her from achieving her dreams and goals.
“A task that you would do, takes me five steps that would take you two,” Radziewicz said.
Radziewicz will discuss challenges she faces and what it means to live in an able-bodied society when you have a disability.
“I think it’s really good to get the perspective of someone living with a disability and learn about how they rise above challenges,” sophomore Chanel Mazzone said. “I’m excited to hear a story that will be inspirational and motivational. It’s important to be open to new perspectives and diversity.”
Radziewicz’s goal is to empower communities to create more welcoming environments for those living with disabilities.
“As a child my dad would ask me, ‘What are the last four letters of American?’” Radziewicz said. “I would answer, ‘I CAN!”
Her perseverance will send a powerful message to the Stonehill community and educate the campus on the importance of advocacy for people with disabilities. Sheila Radziewicz’s story connects with a theme of Disability Awareness Month; the importance of seeing the person, not the disability.
This program is a great opportunity to learn more about disabilities, diversity, and inclusion which can then be applied to the Stonehill community. Radziewicz’s story can inspire you to face new challenges and pursue your dreams. After all, the impossible only takes a little longer.