Disability is Diversity

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Finding Your Calling in a World of "Chaos"

By Katy Brennan, Digital Content Manager

"Thank You for Your Cancer" book cover (courtesy of Patrick Călinescu

"Thank You for Your Cancer" book cover (courtesy of Patrick Călinescu

Tapping at the keyboard day after day, writer Patrick Călinescu has laid out his story of growing up around constant illness. Living with a disability himself, along with parents with cancer diagnoses, Călinescu’s life has always been full of chaos.

He explained that “the conclusion I reached in my book is that chaos, the responsible force for my situation, speaks a language that I do not understand.”

Still, he does not see this as an inherently negative force in his life. He is a strong believer that disability brings chaos, but this chaos can have a positive impact on a person’s life.

“As a positive thing, chaos gives you the possibility to turn it [disability] into a good thing,” he explained. “Like I did with my book. It began as an attempt to decipher the indecipherable, and it ended as a manifest for all disabled people to read.”

Through the writing process of his book, Thank You for Your Cancer, Călinescu believes that he has found his niche in life. Now, he hopes to support himself through writing and to continue to document his story. He encourages all other people with disabilities to do the same.

“Disabled people can be as good as fully-abled people if they find a niche of their own, and I am proof of that: my niche is writing and I am good as any other writer,” Călinescu stated.

To him, he simply lives with a diverse ability. While he may have some physical impairments, he strongly believes that his mind, and therefore his writing, can be just as strong as anyone without a disability. His hopes for the future are that others can understand this and begin to treat people with disabilities as equals.

Călinescu described diversability as “another way of saying ‘I am normal. I am as diverse in my abilities and inabilities as any one of you who is not medically classified as disabled.’”

He hopes that those who read his book will see these themes come through as he explores the chaos and irony of life with illness. The conclusion that he has reached is that every big change in his life had to have occurred for him to live the improved life he is living now. Sadly, this meant cancer and death being a major player in his life.

Having lost one parent to cancer with another diagnosed, Călinescu explores whether or not this has had an inherently negative or positive impact on his life; this is the question from which he has derived the title of his book.

While life has thrown a lot of curveballs at Călinescu, he hopes that his writing can help others navigate through the chaos that disability throws their way. For now, his best recommendation is to find your niche, find what makes you happy, and “have it speak for you”.

You can buy Călinescu’s book at this link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/patrick-c%C4%83linescu/thank-you-for-your-cancer/ebook/product-23058411.html