A Teacher Learns Her Way

Tell us a little bit about your family and your connection to muscular dystrophy.

I am Sarah Schwartz. I come from a family of 8 and am the oldest of 6 kids.

My late teenage years I started realizing that I couldn’t do the stairs two at a time like my siblings could. I didn’t think much of it. In my early 20s it got worse. I didn’t know what was wrong and I hid it from a lot of people.

As the years went on I came to realize that I have amazing family and friends who will always be there for me. It took a long time to get there, to realize that I didn’t have to do this alone.

In 2018, I finally got an answer and it was the happiest day of my life. Having a label helped me accept that, although I’ll have this for the rest of my life, I can now tell people with certainty, what I have. I have limb girdle muscular dystrophy.

I realized that this will not keep me from being the best teacher for my students. It won’t keep me from enjoying being with family and friends, watching a good movie, reading a book, or painting a “paint by number”. 

How has MDFF affected your life?

My neurologist first suggested that I contact MDFF when, in 2019, I bought my first house. It was exciting to be a homeowner, but my home was not tailored to my current or future needs.

I knew I needed a walk-in shower and a toilet lift to be fully independent in my home. I also knew I wouldn’t be able to finance these, alone. I reached out to MDFF and they helped me get both! My favorite moment so far was getting the toilet lift. I love the small things in life!

Now, they are even helping me look into my options for a walk-in tub.

I tell people that MDFF has, and still is, helping me with things that aren’t affordable so that I can live a somewhat normal life. 

What would you share with someone who has just received an MD diagnosis?

I would tell others to remember that you aren’t alone. Connect with other people with MD and share your story. MDFF can provide a variety of resources. Life can be bleak and scary, but if you connect with others, you will realize that you have people in your corner.