spinal-couture

An Open Letter to Cow Chop

Ever since I was born, I was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It’s like ALS in that it’s degenerative. Right now, I’m in a wheelchair and can barely use my hands to drive my power wheelchair and control my computer. My whole life is online since that’s the only thing I can really do, even my university is an online program. I used to be able to play video games like Mario Kart and Pokémon and now my disease has even taken that away from me. Since I still enjoyed the video game culture I decided to look into YouTubers playing them instead. From that day forward, everything was different.
It started with Seamus and his GTA IV videos, he was the first person I had subscribed to. One day he made a video about the drama with his group of friends (we all know who that was). So, I decided to check some of the other guys out and that’s how I was introduced to James, starting with his Hey You Pikachu! videos. (I can’t believe it’s been three years!) I’ve been along for the long haul and have enjoyed every minute of it. Starting around January of 2016 I had received yet another diagnosis of chronic kidney stones. Since I don’t move, my bones basically are decalcifying constantly, which leads to calcium kidney stones. From March to September I had extensive kidney shockwave surgeries which were excruciating and barely helped the overlying problem. During that period, I was severely depressed. Not being able to do anything physically while having to suffer so much AND trying to keep my grades up junior year was dreadful. It was to the point where I wasn’t even sure if my quality of life was worth suffering so much for.
However, as many of us know, something else appeared that year. On April 1, 2016, Cow Chop uploaded their first video and changed my life for the better. The way James and Aleks took such a major leap of faith in creating the channel astounded me. Their courage showed me that you must work hard for what you want in life and that it isn’t chocolates and roses every day. So, every day that summer when I came home from the hospital feeling like shit I’d log on to YouTube and be able to laugh at whatever amazing video they released that day. Especially with this LA move, everybody at Cow Chop has taught me that sometimes you just need to take that step forward to make your dreams come true. I am now looking forward to starting my major of Computer Science and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the amount of entertainment and positivity that this one group of people has attributed to my life. So, from the bottom of my heart thank you, James, Aleks, Trevor, Brett, Joe, Anna, Asher, and Lindsey!
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