Well it’s been a long while since my first post here.
I started this blog as an outlet for me dealing with what it’s like to be different. Then I stopped since no one from what I could tell was reading it. Man has that changed!
A few months ago when at work I was looking at CNN’s website, as I do everyday. One photo essay caught my attention. I always gravitate towards stories of children and more so to stories featuring children who are “different”. The article was about these children who were abandoned and live in this hospital. I apologize but the actual place in the world escapes me just now. The children featured were deformed in some way, they believe that they were born this way because of the dangerous and harmful effects of a chemical called agent orange. I learned about this chemical in school during our studies on WW!! (or was it WW! that it was mainly used) and knew that it was banned a long time ago and also know that it’s still being used in a lot of poorer countries since they can’t afford the alternatives. This is disturbing enough all in of itself but NOT what really got me. At the start of the photo essay there was a warning that read as follows “Warning: the following photographs contain graphic content of severely deformed children. viewer discretion is advised.” This PISSED me off to no end because the first picture was of this sweet little girl who had the biggest smile you could tell that despite her surroundings she was HAPPY. The other reason why this hurt me was because I am different. I am “deformed” and reading that view discretion warning ahead of the article was amount to telling me that every time I left the house I should wear a similar warning. I of course commented on the article not thinking anything would happen (and it didn’t) so the next day I emailed them directly I wrote about how I was so hurt and offended and that i wanted to stick up for those children and give them a voice. They don’t know what/who CNN is they don’t know that they were “labeled” as so many of us are so I asked, pleaded with CNN to reconsider their warning. Again I didn’t think anything of it I sent the email with thought that I tried that I gave a voice.
To my surprise the next day I got an email from CNN a wonderful person whom I have come to know named Debbi and she wanted to let me know that she had got my email and that she would forward it to the “powers that be” to see if it can be changed. Again I was just THRILLED that the acknowledged me and that was all I needed. The next day she emailed me again to let me know that they had agreed to change the wording so that it wasn’t so insensitive but she also asked if she could call me. She had a proposal to run by me and of course I jumped at that!
What happened next has changed my life. When she called me a few days later she again apologized for the insensitive word choice and asked if I would be ok if they shared my story. ME, CNN wanted to do a story about me…. even writing this now it’s surreal and so crazy! Debbi and I made a date to talk again so that she could interview me we have spoken before this and since and just want to let everyone know that the people who write these articles are AMAZING people. The first draft of the article was a bit long so they had to shorten it but I will post the extended version here in a few days. I emailed her pictures and just waited.
Today it was posted and the response has been amazing. I have committed to not reading the comments since some people are jerks but have friends and family trolling them and sending me the best including a poem that was written by a lovely person which again I will share in a bit.
So to all those who read this THANKS!! You are all amazing people who have touched my heart and restore some of my faith in humanity.