In this episode, we delve into the remarkable journey of Yarelbys Túa Pachano, a Venezuelan model and influencer who is defying expectations and advocating for inclusivity. Yare’s story is not only about overcoming cancer and disability but also about the power of communication and kindness in her interactions.
We'll explore how Yare discusses her disability with strangers, shedding light on the misconceptions and taboos surrounding disabilities in her home country and beyond. She shares her experiences of responding to well-intentioned but offbeat questions and comments and addresses the common misunderstanding that being disabled prompts pity.
Moreover, Yarelbys reveals her approach to communicating effectively within her close circle—her partner and friends—especially when it comes to traveling and attending concerts and music festivals. Her story demonstrates that communication can bridge gaps, challenge stereotypes, and foster a more inclusive world.
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Hosted by Lainie Ishbia and Estela Lugo.
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Welcome to the Embrace it series, where women with all types of disabilities can be real, resourceful and stylish. With each episode, you'll walk or roll away with everyday tips, life hacks and success stories from community leaders and influencers. So take off your leg braces and stay a while with Lainey and Estella.Speaker 3:
Hi, I'm Lainey and I have CMT. I'm a neuro-muscular disorder affecting approximately 2.6 million people worldwide.Speaker 2:
That's as many as MS. We believe disabilities should never get in the way of looking or feeling good. Both of us wear leg braces and have learned through our own personal journeys to embrace it Brought to you by Launchpad 516 Studios.Speaker 3:
each episode is designed to challenge your own stigmas and beliefs around disability. We want our listeners to get the most value for their time spent with us, so we interview some of the most empowering disability badasses in the world. Through storytelling, personal experiences and tips, we're all reminded of our own strengths and endless potential.Speaker 2:
For more information and exclusive resources, check out our websites at trend-ablecom and hnf-curorg, and don't forget to hit the subscribe button for future episodes and special promos.Speaker 3:
Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of the Embracing Podcast with Lainey and Estella. Hi everyone, it is the end of summer here, it's coming to a close, but we have a fun guest who will bring the heat from Florida. Her name is Yadet Dua. She is a disability and inclusion advocate, she is a content creator, she is a model, she's a badass, and we've been following her for a while and we're so excited to speak with you today, yadet, welcome.Speaker 4:
Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me and for that amazing introduction. I'm really, really excited to come out here and share a little bit of my story and my experience with everyone that's listening. So thank you so much for this opportunity.Speaker 2:
Yadet Estella sent me your little TED talk and I love the title especially, which was why I should be the next sports illustrated model in 2023. So to kick us off, you, know, I think you should, and maybe everyone else is going to put in their vote as well. Can you start telling us about yourself how you acquired, if you acquired, a disability? You know how you entered the disability community and kind of just a little synopsis of who you are, what you do and where you came from.Speaker 4:
Yeah, so I started advocating like kind of like my career. I started two years ago well, three years ago now during the pandemic and you know, when I became disabled. I became disabled when I was 15. I went through cancer and, after receiving treatment for chemotherapy and radiation, I developed like a spinal cord injury and that caused my disability when I was 15. So at that time and at that age, I really didn't see any representation out there and I grew up in Venezuela. I moved to the US when I was 18 years old. So, especially in Latin America, I didn't see anyone on the media, anyone not even around me that had a disability and that lived a happy life with a disability. So it was very difficult at that time for me to understand what was happening and how I was going to become an adult and do all the things that I always thought I was doing and do all the dreams that I had. So about two years ago, when I was younger, before my disability, I always wanted to be a model. I always wanted to be in the entertainment industry. I was in every activity. I danced and like a lot of performances during my life. So back in 2020, I was just like thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, and obviously I had a lot of free time during the pandemic to think about what I wanted to do, just because I got furlough from my job and kind of like the career path that I wasn't. It was one that was excited and I liked it, but I didn't feel that that was what I was meant to do. Like that didn't necessarily fit as an answer of the things that made me passionate and the things that I wanted to do. So about that time is when I started kind of like doing the easiest thing I could do, which was like taking photos and putting them on the internet and like making reels, and started to like just put myself out there and through putting myself out there, I found like many connections and I found an agency for modeling and then I gained like community of followers and that's kind of like how I started advocating and I obviously started learning more about disability and what I can do and how I can make things better, and it's just been a constant, constant learning from my community. I feel like we give each other, you know so much wisdom and we learn from each other experiences, so it's been amazing.Speaker 3:
We love seeing all of the fun traveling, especially that you do online. But before we get into that, I don't want to, you know, underestimate the journey that it took for you to go from a fully abled teenager to having a disability after. Take us more through that. What was that emotional transition and journey for you? Because I think a lot of people don't necessarily associate cancer with a risk of getting having a disability, and I know through chemo induced neuropathy whether that's the cause, or you know something that was affected with a surgery that was this cancer related. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that journey is, because I think there's a lot?Speaker 2:
I think that, like the spinal cord part, you know, because, for those who are listening, and I'm sure you know those of you who've heard this a million times Estella and I both have churros disease and one of the like drugs that I see on the do not take ever, like there's all these. You know this could make it worse, this could make your disease worse, but like the one that people say, oh, this really does make everything worse. If you have CMT is a chemotherapy related drugs, which Estella alluded to, but a spinal cord disability, like how does that happen?Speaker 4:
Yeah, so to take you a little bit back through that emotional roller coaster that it was when I first got cancer. I feel like I was still too young to understand all of the complication and what it meant. Up until that time in my life I knew cancer could be deadly, but I really had not experienced cancer in my family or anyone around me. And it's really crazy to think that your friends going to get cancer or your parents are going to get cancer, but even crazier to think that you're the one that's going to get it. So obviously that thought never even crossed my mind until until up until the point that the news were delivered to me, because up until then I had gone through surgery and something was going on and they talked about treatment but nowhere, no one ever mentioned the word cancer. So then, up until that day, I walked into the doctor office and I see that is a chemo treatment center. I obviously understood and sat down to the doctor and asked about everything that was going to happen, how long the treatment was going to be and what I could expect. So Nine, the doctor did not go easy on that. Obviously he gave the worst case scenario just to prepare me. It was going to be a year-long experience to go through about 12 cycles of chemotherapy every 21 days and then after that we had 20 discussions of radiation. In between that year we had one surgery plan. I already went through one surgery. This was going to be the second surgery. I had cancer on my ribs on the left side of my back. It's basically a cancer that is osteosarcoma. It's very common on children and teenagers because it grows on the bones. Usually the grow happens on this year, when you're a kid and you're growing, and then the cells go crazy and build a tumor and it's from the bone. Mine was specifically on my ribs. Throughout all of this time I had to go through the treatments and I saw this plan that we had with the doctor and everyone as a personal goal that I was going to finish. There were not going to be complications. Obviously, in my mind there were plenty of complications, but I saw it as an end goal and I was like this is how many days I have until the end of treatment and I try to do my best during that time. I still try to live life, I still try to go out, and it was difficult because there were some things I was able to do with others. I just couldn't. I had to stay home. I couldn't go out, I would be too exposed. But after that, and thinking that it was over and that I was going to go back to normal, finding out that I was developing a disability was like I started losing balance. I started having losing sensation on my feet and just losing strength in general. During a trip, I was on a trip and I was just feeling all the symptoms, had no clue what was going on. This was also like three months after finishing my treatment, which was the last treatment I did was radiation. So three months after is when I started feeling the symptoms, Going back to the doctor trying to figure out what was going on. It was an emotional roller coaster because a lot of people didn't have answers. It was so difficult to go to a doctor and they are like we don't know what caused it. This could have been, this could have been, this could have been and we don't know how to stop it and what we can recommend is that you do physical therapy, but after having a diagnosis of cancer, knowing exactly what I could do to fix it and coming to a disability diagnosis and the situation that I was in, basically, and not having an answer to what can I take to make this stop, what can I do to make it better, and still not knowing if it was going to be permanent. A lot of doctors were like it might be permanent, it might not be permanent. So I obviously had many, many questions and I was very upset about the fact that I couldn't understand why I was going through something so difficult after winning After just winning this battle against cancer. I was so lost on understanding why this was happening and obviously at that point I thought that was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Because I was a dancer, because I was active all the time and I had no clue generally how I was going to do my life, just because I didn't see it anywhere. I didn't have any role models, I had simple things. I didn't know how I was going to be able to drive, how I was going to be able to date, how just the simple things on life. I have no clue how I was going to do. So obviously it was very difficult and it took me some time. I will say it took me about probably six months, like the first three months were a lot about finding out, like going to doctors doing treatments or in physical therapy. Physical therapy was done at the house because I was very limited physically, I couldn't really move a lot and I went from having a cane to two canes to a walker and they really didn't know where I was going to stop, like to what point I was going to lose strength. So physical therapy was at my house. I didn't go to school for that beginning of the year and the last three months of that period were pretty much adjusting to my new life, to what I was going to do next, and I already knew that I had to start the school year that next year. So I was kind of preparing to okay, how am I going to do this? We got to continue like life is going on, basically. So, mental health wise, it was a lot, obviously because I had to figure that out. But I think I got to a point where I was more like well, I am 15, about to be 16, and I will never be this age again and I really don't know how I'm going to figure life out. But I'm just not going to stop because of this kind of like my mindset. I was like I'm still going to find a way to have fun. I'm still going to like go out with my friends, live my life. And I think on the way there, on the journey that I'm going on, I'll probably figure it out. And that's a big part of like my personality. I will say like a lot of the things that I've done in my life is because I've taken the risk and find out on the way, like that had not paralyzed me from like living my life. I remember asking for permission to my parents, being like oh, I want to go to this concert, and they're like well, how are you going to do it? It's crowded, full of people, it's probably not accessible. And I was like I'm not sure, but I'll. You know, I have friends around me and like I was the right people and I will figure out. And a lot of the things that I started doing were on situations like that Cause one thing is that Venezuela and, you know, I think the rest of Latin America in general needs to be more accessible. So even if it's already difficult here in America, I feel like even more there. So it was not accessible at all and I had to figure a lot of things out.Speaker 2:
You know there's so many things that struck me when you were talking and I definitely want to get to the concert part. And now, as an adult that you are, I see on your Instagram Estella tells me how you're always going here and there and I know our listeners would love to hear like about your tips and how you do that and, as an adult, and you know, plan accordingly and all that. So we'll get to that in a minute. But as I was looking sorry, I was like picturing you know your countdown calendar to being done cancer treatments and you're just like you know you're a kid. You're like have this calendar. It's like school is you know? It's like counting down to. You know summer vacation, right, and all you hear, as I would imagine as a cancer patient and people who are just living this world, is I've survived cancer, I've survived, I met the one year, I met the five year, and here you are just like counting down until you get to start counting on your survival. And then you know you get to that end and you now have all these challenges, physical challenges that you didn't even have before, right? So, like you said it, only it was like six months and you made it seem like that's a long time. To me it's like wow, like are you, like you know, stopping the search for what can help you to fit your disabilities, your newly acquired disabilities, and then to acceptance. Like the acceptance part, you know, like that isn't your personality, that's like something in you that is like okay, like I, you know, this is my reality. Now, like talk about that for a minute, like that couldn't have been quick, right. Like you are like now having a disability Like when did you? start saying I have a disability. Like when was that point?Speaker 4:
So the first thing was that I started more going into this mindset when I became, when I was around 17. So, like from 15 to 16, I'm still looking to a lot of solutions. My parents are looking for solutions Everyone's. You know I'm still doing physical therapy but, like when I was 17, I had already adjust a lot, like I adapted my life, like I was not letting my disability stop me from the things that I was doing. So at that point I'm very confident on like doing a lot of things. However, I'm still very lost into my identity and how to address and say that I have a disability, or how. You know, how do I explain to people when they are like what happened to you? Or you know that I then defined myself, took a while and I will say it was more when I moved to the, to the US. So when I was more like 1920, when I started identifying more as a disabled person and I stopped looking for more answers and like I kind of accepted my reality and obviously it was also too close, I moved from my parents. So like I was kind of like I'm done, like I am happy where I am, like you guys need to stop looking for solutions, Like I'm okay, like you know, and it's not like you give up and you don't like try to get, but it's just accepting that this is what happened and it's a permanent thing and of course you will do anything to fix it, but you don't want to live your life thinking over making it all about this one solution because, like, that's just not how I found my happiness personally, so I Will say more. When I would turn 1920 and it I was a few years into my disability I started accepting and the more I saw people put themselves out there online and share their story, the more Confident I gained in who I was.Speaker 3:
Yeah, I mean it sounds like you already had a very supportive group of friends and family around you. Were there any role models or, you know, examples of empowered disabled women that you particularly really gravitated to and connected with?Speaker 4:
So someone that I saw online a long time ago. One of the first persons that I found on the internet was Julia Mercado. She's the model. So obviously she was one of the first people that I was like, oh my god, like look at these women, like, so that was one of my first role models, both back in the day, back home I can tell you nobody, because it's just also a lot of the cancer patients that I met and everyone doesn't treat men with me they didn't go through a similar situation like this was kind of like a new thing for my doctor too. So he was like what are we doing? Like what is happening? Like nobody had an answer. So I was. I didn't have anyone for a long time like a role model like that. And, yes, I had a great, great support system because everyone and my family and my friends, they were so willing to adapt and so willing to. We'll get there and we'll figure out with you and I. Since I was very young, I also learned, you know, to look for those quality and the people that I surround myself with. So he never comes as a surprise to me. I'm always grateful that I have these friends and people around me. But it you know, I wouldn't expect less, I wouldn't settle for less. That I gotta say. And I think everyone should Go into making friends and you know, with that mentality of they are your true friends, they're gonna adapt with you and they're gonna be willing to help and understand.Speaker 2:
So I stopped you right there because I'm like, I think, you know, not knowing if our listeners have these questions. I have these questions. So, like young women, right, and even with you, have great friends that are human being, you now have a disability. You're totally, you know, different in that you're not able to run with them. If they're, you know, wait for a contest, say, you know, let's take the concert as an example. Your friends knew I want to go to a concert. It's not as simple anymore. It's like if they're the kind of people who like to stand in the front and, you know, whatever I don't even know what the term is anymore, but you know dance and like it's a very crowded space. I know I Personally wouldn't put myself in that situation, would be very dangerous. I don't have great balance. You use Building device. I would imagine that's not your choice. I don't know that. But like your friends, as good as they are, their lives are being it as well. Like they, they Did you feel guilty? Did you feel like you were holding people back? How does that go on? And like, how do you do a concert?Speaker 4:
Yeah. So back in the day I Felt like I will still have some doubts about that, like I'll still get you know. When it was my first time, for example, I was like, oh my god, I don't want to hold them back. I don't want to. You know, I don't want them to be here because of me. But one thing I learned would like go into concerts and experience, if that communication is key. So, like, being open with your friends is the best thing you can do, like and and and having friends that are also willing to ask and tell you how they feel exactly. So, basically, what I do now is that I'm very open. I'm like, hey, I really don't feel comfortable going there, but I'm totally fine if you do. Like, I'll be fine for a few minutes alone. Like I'm, you know, and I learned to be flexible. In that way I don't need to grab my friends with me all the time. Like, if I'm in an 88 section, for example, and they want to go out there, go out there. Sometimes I will go out there with them, but like depends on how I feel. So, like I think the communication that you have with your friends and and you know, it's so nice when they ask and they're like hey, are you okay? Are you good here? Do you want to go? How do you feel you know? So, being that open relationship with friends, family, it's so important because I feel like that's just the only way you understand each other. I would never want my friends to hold back because of me, but I also would love to for them to tell me what they want to do, and if they don't want to be there, they should be able to tell me. And you know, just kind of like have that mindset of being flexible with each other. Everyone deserves a chance to have fun, and if I think this is comfortable and fun, I'm gonna stay here. We'll be together for a little bit. Then we'll do a little bit of what you want to do. Just like any friendship in general, you should be open to listen to each other and have a balance in there. And as far as concert back then in Venezuela, like when I first started going, I will always start to find a chair for a little bit, but I still had my crutches, so I was walking with two crutches longer in the store and then I, like the physical therapy and gains, ran and I'm just walking with one. So to this day I just walk with one crotch, like one forearm crotch, and I have a Mobility scooter. So, depends on where I'm going, I sometimes take my mobility scooter with me. If I know it's gonna be a little walking in distance, I will take my mobility scooter, just so I don't hold anyone back because I will walk slower, but I Can, really I can walk for long periods of time because, like I train a lot, I go to the gym every day, like I have a lot of strength for me for standing and walking, but I just will be slower. So for that choice I just take my mobility scooter and it's so nice to have it because any time you want to sit, you sit anything you want to stand, you then, and a lot of the concerts that I go to and festivals do have a Section. So it's so, so great that you get to, you know, have that in close area where you can just sit and Everyone's sitting there and you can take a break and then maybe later you want to go into the crowd, you do so, but you can alternate.Speaker 2:
Like that was what I wanted to know. Like I'm picturing, I went to one concert recently Jason Maraz and it's like old amphitheater here. I'm in the trade area and you know, as it turned out, my husband had had spines surgery and he's a marathon runner, so he was actually the one who had more of a struggle, because it was a lot of steps all the way down and then all the way up, and I can do steps with a handrail without a problem, but if there's no handrail I don't have balance. Okay, yes. I'm scary at a big busy concert where people are kind of blocking the handrail. So that was my question you get, do you like you get seats that are in the accessible like accessible seats when you go to a Sporting event, you go to a concert Are you getting the accessible seats all the time?Speaker 4:
Not all the time, but I do look at the venue, so it depends on what venue it is. So if I know, like for that example of the handrail, or like no handrail at all, like I try to find seats that are on the corner lower, or like the accessible seats for sure, or look at venues that have elevators, and Thankfully I've been very lucky. But in that those occasions I've almost never at a concert alone, like I'm always with someone, I always have people in the front kind of blocking so they move out of the handrail and I have the handrail for sure, because I do have the same situation where I lose balance and I do need a handrail to go up and down the stairs.Speaker 2:
So do you say to your person that you're wet, like, or do they just instinctively know Like, because I think that's part of the communication, right? Not everyone would know. People who don't have disabilities would not even think that you like, that someone is blocking the handrail and that that could be a problem, like you have to be able to do this yourself Initially to say, hey, when we go to this, I need to be able to have a handrail all the way down. Would you mind standing in front of me and like kicking people's ass or whatever?Speaker 4:
Yeah, yeah, I've learned to communicate a lot and that's something that I have to do, and it was outside my comfort zone for the longest time, but it's the only way I can let people like people are not going to read your mind, they don't, they're not feeling what you're feeling, and so you have to be able to tell them and you know, and just be kind about it, just like hey, will you mind standing here, just so people are not coming my way and that's it Like. If you are with the right group of people, they will be happy to jump and do that for you.Speaker 3:
Yeah, we'll be right back.Speaker 6:
This is George, Fred and Jason, the co-leaders of Speak, available every week on all of your favorite podcast platforms. Join us on the Speak podcast as our speakers step onto the stage and into the spotlight with impactful ideas and stories. We'll let you get back to the show.Speaker 3:
You were listening to another great podcast from Launchpad 516 Studios. You're tuning in to embrace it with Laini Anastella, brought to you by Launchpad 516 Studios, speaking about being kind and communication. I know that's not always the case in certain scenarios and I know you talk about, you know interactions you have in public with ableism and you're a young, beautiful woman, maybe using a mobility scooter or a crutch, and people are, you know, unfortunately, judging you or assuming that you're faking it or you're too young and beautiful to have a disability. Can you tell us a little bit about that, because I feel like that's an important part of advocacy is shining a light on, unfortunately, some of the ableism that still exists for people with disabilities and day-to-day things like going to the store and just living our lives.Speaker 4:
Yeah. So I think the attitude and the way that you approach questions, even if it's a short answer, it lifts a perception on the people that ask you or said anything. I think the way I answer it might not be a long answer to educate someone, but my attitude when I answer, they're like oh, that's not what I expected. Like whenever I said, for example, they're like what happened to you and I'm like I have a disability. They're like so thrown off at that answer. It's so simple, but it's so funny how they did not expect that. And they're like oh, and why is she saying it like that? And there's the people that are like I'm sorry. And I'm like no, no, there's nothing to be sorry about. And there's all kinds of interactions that I get Nice, not so nice and I get them all. The time I went to Vegas this weekend for a bachelor party and a lot of people in Vegas had scooters, so I was just making fun of them. I was like wow, I did really do fit the demographic here. It's like all these casinos full with mobility scooters. I was like this is great, I'm trying it. But of course, I had multiple interactions and one of those what's funny, because we're getting on an Uber and my group of friends that I'm with are setting up my scooter and putting it on the trunk, and the group of girls go to me and they're like, wow, you really have great friends. And I was like thank you, they are amazing. But I honestly wouldn't expect less from my friends and I wouldn't be with a group of friends that won't be willing to do that for me. Because, again, I feel like this goes to the inspiration porn of making your friends and your people that you're dating heroes just because they're dating you and you have a disability, and that's just so wow. And I don't see it as so wow. I think I'm surrounded by kind people and if I had someone in the same situation, I'll jump out of my way to help them. But I think people need to be educated on that and I wasn't rude to them. I was just like thank you. And I obviously absolutely acknowledged my friends right after them that I'm explaining that I'm not diminishing what they're doing for me, like I really appreciate it. But I think people need to stop with wow, they're really great friends. And I was like no, they are friends, that's what friends do. If they don't do that you're with the wrong group of people.Speaker 2:
Yeah, and that's really your point. Which we talk about a lot in our workshops is when people say oh, I'm so sorry, you're like. In my TED Talk I said as an example of ableism, but you're too pretty to be used in crushes, or you're too pretty to be using a scooter, and I love, I feel like it's more impactful from someone, a young, beautiful woman like yourself, to say it's not a tragedy, thank you, but you know, and because you're educating in a kind way and those girls are going to think differently. But next time they say to someone, oh it's so great that you're married to this woman, like, oh, you poor thing that you have to take care of her and you're offering cups to your friends as a word to your spouse not you personally but it diminishes that person. It says, oh, you're a charity case, but that they're a contribution to the world and you having that voice to be able to speak that and you and your small world with this group of friends who you then, in Vegas, went back to, they heard the whole thing and then you educated them. So they're going to go out there as able-bodied people in the world and they have a totally different mindset, just from you doing that one.Speaker 4:
It's awesome.Speaker 4:
Yeah, as soon as I got in the car, they were like wow, that was an amazing answer, like they were like I'm so proud of you and I was like, thank you. I just cannot skip an opportunity to acknowledge and correct that without being rude or anything. And there's still so many interactions. This weekend on Vegas I had someone walk by me and they were like wow, how do I qualify to do that like to be on a scooter and I looked at them and I said, do you just have to buy it? I was like what, do you just have to buy a scooter if you want to be on one? But like, what are you talking about?Speaker 2:
So I don't mean to interrupt, but I'm thinking about like it's all about your tone and the energy right, like I do not have a problem being assertive, which means that sometimes it comes off bad. Like it doesn't come off in a sweet way, it comes off as, like it reinforces a stereotype about people with disabilities as being crazy and bitchy or whatever. Like I'm thinking about this summer. I'm thinking about people occupying like is I'm getting into a pool right and people don't know I have a disability, but yet I need that handrail to walk down those stairs and people are all shouting and like like you see it at many pools, in many pools. Yeah, all the time On the staffs reading books, like like I do. You know, okay, If someone walking in or trying to get in, I always move. People don't know that right. So me, my education of them doesn't come off in a nice way. And like I love, like I'm learning, like I think that's great, Like how you do, it is awesome. It's the tone, you know, it changes everything for those people, everyone else that they encounter. From that point on, it's awesome. You're very wise. I'm gonna stop with your guy. Why is your?Speaker 4:
woman. I always just I try, I'm always kind, like I never want to like come off rude, but I also want to come off strong, like I want to come up from a point that I have a voice and you probably did not expect an answer, but if you are speaking to me, I'm gonna answer and I'm gonna say something. So like, if you don't want to get this interaction and that makes you uncomfortable, then stop saying the things you're saying. You know, stop asking what happened to you, or like maybe next time you ask you're gonna be like oh, you know, maybe I don't need to be asking this or I can approach it in a different way, in a more kind way. And yeah, I had so many interactions in Vegas because, of course, it's full of people and everyone's just saying and a lot of people are under the influence of alcohol. Oh yeah, I was gonna say people are drinking. Yeah, so I also had a guy. He was going up on the on one of the stairs and I'm going on my scooter and he yelled like full boys. He goes like wow, I really think the wheelchair is hot, and I like started laughing and I looked at him and I said amen, and just like interactions like that throughout all weekend. But yeah, I get that every day in my life. Every day when I go to the gym it's like in a hospital inside a hospital, so like I interact, like I there's a lot of people crossing, so every day I get asked what happened or an interaction of the gym or so like, and I do that every day. So obviously, every day I'm getting interactions from strangers and I just learned to answer and how to answer and in what tone I want to answer and what per section I want to give them. With someone with a disability, I want to answer in the most normal, like how I will answer any other question and how an answer that will make them think, oh, this just sounded like any other human answer, because we are human and we're just like everyone else. But people do not expect that.Speaker 3:
Yeah, and without you know, without the self pity, because obviously that's not something that you carry but also talking about you know, friendships and relationships. I know one of the things that you were worried about when you became disabled dating, and I know this is a big topic for us and I think it's a it's very much similar to the friendship dynamic of communication. But can you, can you share a little bit about you know? I know you're in a long term relationship now and I think this is one of the big things that people with disabilities struggle with is that you know that they feel worthy enough to have a relationship, that they, that they are not a burden on the person that they're with, and a lot of times they're afraid to put themselves out there authentically on dating apps or disclose. What was your personal experience like with that, re-answering the dating world after having a disability?Speaker 4:
So I was definitely on dating apps back in the day before I met my partner with my partner and I would be together for five years now and it was so interesting. But I will always disclose it and I had some pictures with my game. Some people will think that they were temporary, like like that's just something, a photo when she had a game but I will always disclose it before the first date, like I always say hey, just so you know, I have a physical disability and I want to gain. This is what happened and, thankfully, a lot of people that I went out with they were not bad people to go out with, so I didn't have any terrible experiences but I was always disclosing it just because I didn't want to then end up on a date with someone that did not want to go out with me because of that and that was definitely a no-nigger wishable for me. But now, being in a relationship, I got to say it's a learning curve and you're not going to have it all figure out Like you're. Like, obviously, if I were to date someone now like a different person, like I will have it figure out because I've been in a relationship for five years, but like at the beginning, when I first started dating, I learned a lot of things with my partners and with my partner and it's just been, it's obviously communication and it's also being able to have uncomfortable conversations and things putting things out there, being kind of up front with your needs and how those things are being met and how you can help each other and how you can. But yeah, I will not lie. Like when I first started dating back in the day I was 17, I was probably thinking, wait, how is anyone going to want to date me? Like they probably are going to care. And I was always thinking, because I guess it goes with accepting who you are and yourself and the value that you bring and who you are as a person and that confidence that you build. But when I was in the process of building that confidence I have now, of course, I'll have my doubts and I'll be like what if they don't want to be with me? And now it's almost like it doesn't even cross my mind because like, well, it's literally their loss, like what? Like that doesn't even cross my mind, like I'm not ever questioning what if they don't want to be with me with a disability? Because, like, that's not a question in my mind If you don't want to be with me, then I don't want to be with you either, like that's just not a concern at all. But it obviously was back in the day. It just transformed. The more confident I became and the more I knew that my value doesn't have anything to do with my disability and I was like, is this just a quality that I have, just like any other quality any other person can have, and of course it makes me different. But everyone's different. Everyone has different needs. People have allergies, people need glasses, you know, like those are more common, of course, but just like that, it's just understanding that it's a human and it's going to be different than who you are, like what your experience is, and it's being able to adapt to each other, like disabled or not disabled, I think.Speaker 2:
So you're a partner of those like past five years five years, right, yeah. How does he respond to the pity comments that you get or he gets you know? I would imagine he gets a lot of looks when he's with you like, oh, you're such a good person. How does he respond?Speaker 4:
Oh. He's immediately like oh no, she's a good person. Like it's like he immediately flipped it. Like the answer is always like oh no, I'm lucky to be with her, like you know, and people are like stroke, literally stroke by that. But he's also learned with me. Like you know, everyone's is learning. He was not exposed to anyone with a disability before dating me, so within this five years he's learned a lot. He's learned to oh yes, we need to advocate, we need to do this. He's had people refer to him, talk to him when I'm not around and be like oh yeah, you're with that girl that has a cane. And he's like no, her name is Janet. Janet, that's who I am with. You know. Like what are you doing? Like, why are you referring to her like that? But, yeah, like he tries to like always call people out on that and and on those stands. Like I made a blog a while ago talking about the inspiration for him, like how there's no room on that in our relationship, because we're like no, we're both valuable and that doesn't have anything to do with my disability and I genuinely would not expect anything less from any partner. And then again, it's never to diminish what they do for me and how kind and helpful they are my friends and my boyfriend. But it's just to put it out there that you should not settle for less, because this is just and like an accommodation that you need. It's not a, it's not negotiable. So if people are gonna love you, they're gonna love you with that, not Just part of it, you know. So I think that just should be something to keep in mind when you're starting today and you, when you're making friends, and when you see those signs that they're maybe making comments that you know we're in so nice. So then that might be a hint that this is just not the group of friends. And I know it can be hard because making friends is hard, but I promise that you will find that group of people and it maybe you will have those friends and with time they will Learn and be more educated by being around you.Speaker 3:
That's a great perspective that we try and share as well. I know it's. It's different when it's your life and it when it's you know, when it's your Experience. But it's just we hear this time and time again that you know people in healthy relationships. It's about the communication, it's about acceptance. You both have to feel comfortable dealing with the stigmas and society and not having fear around what people think of you, because you know you can be a very confident person with a disability. But if you date someone who is uncomfortable and values the judgment of strangers, then they're gonna have that. They're gonna be uncomfortable in situations with you and public. So it's important to have that confidence on both sides and to never settle for anyone who Passage judgment on you or be too few, less than or makes himself out to be the hero. I know we're coming to a close here, but I would love to share a little bit about the exciting work that you've been doing on the runway. I know you partner with some some big brands and you are really advocating for disability inclusion Across many different industries. Can share a little bit about that and what's on the horizon for for the end of this year and next? Yeah?Speaker 4:
absolutely so. I Partnered with Tommy in the past on me, he'll figure I. One of my biggest things that I love doing is working with brands that are Adaptive, because it's so cool that they're making clothes for people with disabilities and also because they're putting us out there. Obviously, we are the ones modeling the clothes. So it's incredible and I had amazing opportunities within just three years that I've been in social media. I've connected with people. I definitely think I made an impact working with some of those brands and I am trying to get like this year, next year I'm trying to do more of like public speaking, because it's like this new venture that I really enjoy and I Thankfully got some of the poor, some opportunities this year and I have one coming up. It's in Spanish, which is super exciting because I think a lot of this content also needs to translate to Latin America, also need to translate to Spanish. There's definitely less creators making content in Spanish, so like that's a big thing that I want to start doing more of and Kind of one people like me to feel represented and you know that I'm speaking their own language and that I am from Venezuela and I'm a Latina, so I am very excited about that opportunity coming up and I also think it's less common those topics are less common in Latin America. So like it's like a big thing that I have in the front of my mind that I want to do, but I'm definitely continuing to model and looking forward more opportunities as a content creator as well.Speaker 2:
So and when are we gonna see you in sports illustrated?Speaker 4:
Oh, that's still on the plan. Seriously, I've auditioned. I Got so close last year, so close I almost made it into like the 12 finalists. But it was an international trip and I'm still figuring out my Immigration process so like I couldn't leave, I couldn't go to that like so obviously that's the reason why I didn't make it into the 12. But I'm still applying because there's a lot of opportunities within the US with them and I've met the team. I met and Jay, and I am still like applying every year. So we'll see when that happens, but yeah.Speaker 2:
That we have an opportunity as your followers and people. We will be putting, of course, links to how to find you in our show notes, but Count us in if we can all tag sports illustrated and say In the next issue, right?Speaker 4:
Yes, it's definitely, it will be definitely excited. I think they've only had one curb with a disability Part of limp in and that's it. That's these and there are. They are very diverse Inclusive magazine and that's what they call themselves to be. So I think and I've called them out on that for sure I think they should be yeah, I definitely have more than one disabled woman in their magazine in all of the years. So we'll see.Speaker 2:
Awesome, now really, I just said it, but how can people find you?Speaker 4:
all right, so they can find me on Instagram at Jaren V. So that's why a? E are ELB ys. That will be also on the show notes, but that's the same for my tiktok. I'm also on YouTube. I'm starting to put more content out there, so look forward to more blogs and more of the behind the scenes of my life, which is what I love about YouTube and and yeah, those are the places where you can find me. For now.Speaker 3:
Well, thank you for spending some time with us and sharing your wisdom and your powerful story. I think it's going to resonate with a lot of our followers and we're sure that they will be connecting with you after this show and following your contents as you Continue to do incredible work. But thank you so much. Yeah, it's been an absolute pleasure and we wish you the best, and then, hopefully, we will be crossing paths in the next few months and years as we align with our missions on disability advocacy and In our circle of influencers.Speaker 2:
So See you at a concert. So thank you for that. Great for people who are hesitant about getting out there and doing things. It's all about communication and planning and you look and you're, you're really embracing it as as, so thank you for being with us, and by everyone, course.Speaker 4:
Thank you so much. Bye everyone. I appreciate it.Speaker 3:
Bye guys. Hey embracers, thank you so much for listening and supporting the embrace it podcast brought to you by launchpad 516 studios executive, produced by George andriabalus and hosted by Laini Ishpia and Stella we go. Our music and sound effects are licensed through epidemic sound embrace. It is hosted with bus brown.Speaker 2:
Do you have a disability related topic you'd love for us to feature, or could someone you know be a fabulous guest on our show? We would love to hear your comments and feature them on our next podcast. So leave us a voicemail, or you can even send us a text to 631 517 0066.Speaker 3:
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