The Voice of Ability Series

Seiler - Disability, surgeries have not slowed young man from growing in his faith

By Sean Seiler
I am blessed with life. I have a disability that can be life threatening, but since I have a shunt, it takes the probability of life threatening danger to a minimum. I have Dandy Walker Syndrome – a cyst attached to a brain ventricle which results in fluid on my brain and can cause extremely bad headaches. The shunt helps relieve the pressure. I also have a heart condition and I’ve had several open heart surgeries to place valves in my heart. I enjoy hunting, writing stories, and being outdoors. I like to play with and walk my dog, Angel, a border collie. In high school my favorite subject was religion. It taught me about my faith and reminded me that it’s the most important thing in my life. Even though I’m not perfect in the eyes of the public, I am perfect in the eyes of the God who made me. I attend Saturday morning and Sunday Mass and participate by being attentive to the Gospels and readings and by singing. I pray about and contemplate what was said in the Gospel and homily which helps me answer tough questions I may have. My favorite saints are St. Sebastian, St. Don Bosco and St. John Vianney. They led a life I hope to have – like them, I have trouble with the devil tempting me. My favorite holy days are Easter and Christmas – they are the Birth of Christ and the day he arose from the dead and conquered death for all. It reminds me even though I fall, I can always get back up and fight for my soul. My favorite prayer is the St. Sebastian prayer and the St. Therese prayer. They give me hope when I feel down. It is helpful for others to know that I have downsides and upsides. I would ask that people be patient with me and don’t give up on me – challenge me, but meet me where I’m at. Don’t give challenges so hard that I can’t do them, such as asking difficult questions. It is not helpful when someone loses their temper with me. When I get a new task, give me time to work into a routine. Show me how to do things, don’t just tell me. Affirm me when I do a good job, and tell me if I’m not doing it right.
I would like to end by noting Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

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