In a world filled with challenges and obstacles, my story is one that I hope will resonate with young millennials and anyone facing adversity. I was born with a neural tube defect that affects the spine, and from the very beginning, the odds were stacked against me. Doctors gave me just 48 hours to live. I proved them wrong, surviving not only the first week but also the first month of my life and I’m still going!. My journey is a testament to resilience and the power of determination.
Despite my rough start in life, I pursued my dreams with unwavering courage. Today, at the age of 24, I stand as both a model and an inclusive fashion designer, breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes along the way.
Growing up, I had a strong support system that allowed me to thrive. I never felt different or limited by my disability. My twin sister, Emma, was my constant source of encouragement, instilling in me a fearless spirit. Even living in a small town in the Eastern Cape, the community welcomed me with open arms, reinforcing my belief that challenges could be overcome with the right mindset. My peers protected me fearlessly and ensured that I was welcomed into all spheres of school life. I was fortunate to grow up within this “bubble” for many years until moving away from home.
University life was a turning point for me. It was there that I confronted the stark realities of living with a disability in a world that is not always accommodating. This experience ignited my passion for change. I decided to use my love for fashion as a platform to advocate for representation and inclusivity. Through my social media presence, I strive to educate and debunk myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities.
People are often amazed at how someone “like me” could be thriving in a world of fashion and modeling, two incredibly superficial industries…my secret is simple…I am myself.
I’ve never let my disability define me, and my hope is that my journey can serve as a source of motivation for anyone who has ever felt held back by circumstances. My journey is a reminder that we can all rise above adversity, no matter how insurmountable it may seem. My story is a call to action for young millennials to embrace their own challenges, pursue their dreams relentlessly, and break free from the limitations that society may impose. My life is proof that with determination, support, and unwavering self-belief, we can all rise above and achieve our fullest potential.
My message is simple, you can’t always choose the body that you were born into, but you get to choose how you’d like to feel in it. You are responsible for your path in life, fight for it.
rubies, we hope you are inspired by Laura as much as we were. Her ability to rise above adversity is so powerful. Have you gone through something similar? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.