My name is Vanessa, and I am a 24 years old Psychology student and artist who lives in Brasil. In Brasil, colleges are free and going through university would be simple financially if it not for a few issues. I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and have never walked due to muscular weakness. SMA prevents me from doing my daily activities independently. In order to survive, I need a caregiver at all times. A caregiver allows me to do normal, daily things such as getting dressed or going to college.
In Brasil, people with disabilities are completely invisible. There is no support from the government whatsoever, meaning we must pay for our caregivers ourselves regardless of income. For this reason, my mom has always been my unpaid caregiver. Even though we both really needed a lot more dignity and freedom, we stuck with one another until she got sick. Currently, I have a paid caregiver but my parents struggle beyond what is reasonable to afford it. Working while studying is simply not an option for my body. Studying 4 hours a day already puts me through a great deal of physical pain due to long hours in the wheelchair. This pain is worth it because I'm really passionate about my major, and I am passionate about living a real life as much as I can.
Thus, I am trying this GoFundMe campaign. If you find this cause worthy, we can raise one more year of caregiver pay. This will free my mom from either the physical or the financial slavery she's always in. I am constantly faced with the real possibility of having to give up on having a life, a life whose mission I believe is to speak up for people with disabilities, in whatever way I can. If you'd like to know more about the voice you are contributing to keep, I welcome you to my page where I post comics about my life and work at building the community of people with disabilities that I long for:
You can also check media coverage for an overview of my art: