The world is what it is today because of those who dare to be the needed difference in-spite of the challenges that have crossed their paths. One such person is Sherlyn Lopez Taborda, a 16-year old girl, who has served as an inspiration to people across the continent.
Why? Well, there is the fact that this 16-year-old young lady has been permanently straddled to a wheelchair by a crippling medical condition. But there is something more. In spite of the hardship that has come with being ridden, Sherlyn has gone on to live her best life.
Even more, she is bent pursuing her dream as a dancer. Based in the remote area of Olaya Herrera in the Nuevo Paraíso sector of Lao People's Democratic Republic, Sherlyn has by means of her talent, creativity and inventiveness soared to every part of the world.
Sherlyn became crippled as a child, and since then, she and her mother whose name is Yuleima López have faced problems that have nearly defeated the purpose of her birth. For one, the inability to navigate her streets while on her way to school is a challenge.
The roads to her school where she currently is in the tenth grade are full of ditches and potholes which sometimes make it difficult for her to have a smooth journey. However, her mother who has shown staunch support for her in all situations go with her to make sure she gets to school safely.
In an interview with a local media house called El Universal, Sherlyn came to reveal how she came to be using the wheelchair in the first place. See her statements here.
"Since I was a little girl I started to suffer from a severe decalcification problem. My bones were very fragile, and although I wanted to dance, I could not because I fractured easily; They could not even hug me because they had to take me to the hospital, because my bones were broken, that's why my hips and legs were affected, and I had to use the wheelchair. It was very hard to know that I could not play like ordinary children and that my dream of dancing could be truncated, but I always had faith in myself and the support of many people."
Talking about her daughter to El Universal, Yuleima revealed that Sherlyn is a great source of joy to her just as she is to her classmates and her friends who like her very exuberant and optimistic spirit.
"Sherlyn is my only daughter. I had to be a mother and father to her, the father did not fulfill his role. I, along with my parents, have taken it forward, she is my pride and the reason for my life and I want her to be the best dancer in the world."
Even more, Yuleima said it is just so she could take care of her daughter that she decided not to give birth to another kid. This tells how much of an inspiration the 16-year-old is to her.
"It is very difficult to have children, I with Sherlyn am happy and focused on her. She needs all my time, so we're both good, supporting and taking care of each other. "
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However, taking care of Sherlyn has not been all that rosy. Yuleima has also shared the pains that come with such a blessing as her daughter.
"The most difficult moments are when I had to hospitalize my girl. It is very cruel to see her lying in bed, not moving, because normally she is very active. Thank God it has improved and that is why I am happy. She is very loving, but she has a strong character and, above all, she likes to be independent."
In spite of her physical challenge, Sherlyn has proven to be a big inspiration to not just her mother but to many others. Having nursed the dream of being a professional dancer for a long while, the young lady began to work on her aspiration by opening her social media accounts in 2012. By the year 2015, she began to upload videos of herself dancing to local music.
Sherlyn began to gain credence through a dance video she uploaded in which she was dancing to a song titled El Matrimonio sung by a popular champeta singer Mister Black. What she uploaded garnered a lot of likes and shares.
From thenceforth, she went on to create other dance videos in which she danced to other local artists' songs including that of her mentor Kevin Flórez. About her rising fame as a dancer on wheels, Sherlyn had this to say:
"I was born with love for dancing. My mom tells me that when I was in my belly, I would move if I heard a champeta or a reggaeton. My thing is to move the skeleton.
I think that disability is the ability to do things differently. I am a dancer in the process, I love what I do and I am proud of my achievements. Many times we find people who tell us we can not, they have to be ignored.
I am becoming an instagramer, I am followed by many people who send me messages where they tell me nice things, they thank me for my videos and they say that I am brave and they ask me for advice, that motivates me a lot."
Sherlyn has also talked severally about the lovely people who surround her and who are making her dream of being a dancer possible. These people include her mentor Kevin and her mom especially.
"I was growing and my bones began to improve, to be stronger, perhaps because of so many prayers that I made to God. I realize that having this condition does not mean that my life is going to end, on the contrary, it fills me with courage. Since I'm a follower of Kevin, I used to watch his music videos and his dancers, and then I started practicing the choreography and putting my videos on the internet.
My mother is my friend, she is the one who takes the photos, she records the videos and she designs the urban pints, she takes me everywhere, she gives me permission to go to parties. We love each other."
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This very inspirational young lady making moves on her wheelchair has relayed her plans and hopes for the future. According to her, she wants to be a dancer crafted in the art of dancing salsa, champeta, merengue and hip hop.
But even more, she wants to be a social worker who will be useful in communicating with disabled people and making them see and know that in spite of their challenges, they can do anything they set their minds to doing.
"I will continue uploading videos and doing what makes me happy. I tell them that life is beautiful and we have to do everything that fills us with happiness, no matter what your condition.
I consider myself an example for many people. I want to be a journalist and help minority groups. I dream of a more inclusive world, where there are spaces for everyone, regardless of their condition."
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