Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Don't "Dis" My Ability by Danielle Pellerine

Hi, my name is Danielle Pellerine. This is my story.

I live with a condition called spina bifida, which is a birth defect where you're born with a hole in your spine. I also have hydrocephalus, a condition where too much fluid accumulates in the brain. Due to these conditions, I was required to have multiple surgeries, including repairing the hole in my spine and inserting a shunt in my brain to drain the fluid. The exposure of latex gloves from surgeries has caused me to develop a latex allergy. I also have a non-verbal learning disorder. I started wearing glasses when I was 9 months old  my George Burns glasses! I live with a dislocated hip that doctors have tried to repair twice, unsuccessfully. This requires me to use a wheelchair to get around, but I don't let that stop me from enjoying fun adventures and accomplishing big things. 

I enjoy trying different wheelchair sports. I play sledge hockey and I love it! I was given the honour of being chosen as captain of my hockey team! I've also tried wheelchair basketball, bowling, as well as skiing and hiking with an all-terrain wheelchair called a Hippocampe. I even performed in a couple plays with my school's after-school drama club  Cheaper by the Dozen and being a mermaid in the Little Mermaid.  

I was asked to be a Rick Hanson Ambassador for my local area one year, where there was a big walk to raise money to buy a lift for the pool at the local university. During Rick Hansen's 25th Anniversary Relay, I wheeled as a medal bearer. It was such an honour to wheel with Rick Hansen's medal! 

My biggest accomplishment, however, was completing 23 courses in an online Library Information Technology program and graduating as a library technician. Wheeling across the stage at graduation was definitely my proudest moment in life, to date. I work part-time in two local public libraries, and am also a Facebook Administrator for one of those library systems.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story. "I have a Disability yes that's true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path than you."  - Robert M. Hensel

I'm just a girl who experiences the world using a set of wheels. Don't "dis" my ability.


  1. Amazing Story! I'm the mom of a 7 year old who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy she's nonverbal and is also in a wheelchair. You're story gave me hope, thanks for sharing :) You're awesome!!

  2. Congratulations Danielle .... you are an inspiration to us all!!!!

  3. Amazing Danielle! Keep sharing, keep growing, keep learning and keep loving! You are an amazing gift to this world and I am proud to call you "friend." You have added your voice to what is an all too small choir! I agree with Eileen, you are an inspiration. When I think of all you have faced and the amazing attitude you possess dispite the hurdles you've had to overcome... you are a beacon of light in an all too dark world!