But… They’re disabled…?

Hi Smergos fans,

Nikki here. I work in the background of Smergos. I run around making sure we have coffee, blankets and food. I make sure Nick eats his breakfast or takes a five-minute break. I make sure Nicole doesn’t run over Nick’s toes in retaliation to friendly banter. In short, I try make sure everyone is comfortable. You know… those kinds of things.
Today my post will be about the personal side of Smergos that I see every day splashed with a few comments that people have told me regarding being friends with Nicholas, Nicole and Jayd.

I am Nick’s other half (sometimes literally if you know him). I have seen Smergos grow from the small brain child of Nick and Nicole to the awkward teenager finding its way through life, which is where we are now. Nick and I have been dating for almost 6 years and we have grown so much together. A few questions and comments that I have been asked over the years are: isn’t it weird dating someone like him? Does his arm bother you? It must be difficult with him being the way he is. Must be weird doing something your BOYfriend can’t. And my personal favourite… Did you know he is disabled?
If I didn’t like Nick, I wouldn’t be here, now would I? How is it weird? He is a guy like any other guy, I just happen to be particularly fond of this one. His arm has never bothered me, rather, I think I bother his arm more than anything else. Our relationship is the same as any other, we’re both extremely happy, we drink coffee together, we snap at each other, we snuggle on the couch and we tease each other. Nick can do basically anything he wants because why…? He can! I ask for his help more than you think. (Side note: don’t challenge his right arm to a duel, because I lose every time… go for his left!)
When it comes to Nicole the comments range from, “But… you guys can’t go out and do stuff?” to “Isn’t it weird that she is in a wheelchair?”

Again, what is weird? This might shock a few people, but I don’t see Nicole’s wheelchair. I see her. She has the most stunning eyes and the most infectious laugh and smile. But how would you see that when all you focus on is her chair? That chair has run over Nick’s toes who-knows-how-many times. It’s taken her over fields to get that glass of wine, through forests of legs to find her spot before the stage and over crevices to get to her car. She can drive, go shopping, work full time and tease you. She just happens to be shorter… From our movie nights to girl’s nights out, Nicole knows how to bring the party. Got mad love for her!

On the other end there’s Jayd, our social media manager. “She must be the same as Nicole.” Or “Oh, she just sits at home all day on her PC.” Ha! You couldn’t be farther from the truth. Jayd is living life to the full when she’s not working. She kicks ass and takes names. She’s been skydiving… SKYDIVING…! Jayd proves that, just because you have a life-shortening disease, it doesn’t mean you need to prepare for death your whole life. Both Nicole and Jayd are the same in how much they care for their friends. They truly, deeply care about you. So yes, I’ll give you that one. But their personalities are vastly different, the same as the rest of the world.

Yes, they’re all disabled. But that has not stopped either of them from doing the things that they love. I admire the way they see things and I love the stories we can tell each other. Smergos isn’t only about disabled people buying bags; it’s about giving everyone a voice to show the world who they are. I can’t tell you how important it is to look passed the physical differences and see what they have to offer.

So, the next time someone has the urge to tell you that disabled people are all the same or are not worth getting to know… send them my way.