D: What is your favorite way to pass time? D: I enjoy doing things that set my heart on fire. In my work, it's helping others with the power of healing through chiropractic. In my free time, it's playing with my dogs and spending time with my wife.
D: What is something people generally don’t know about you? D: I began my journey into health care thinking I'd become a pharmacist. I was insecure about my appearance, and I knew I could hide my hands behind a counter and be a part of a respected profession. However, my heart just wasn't happy. So, I decided to look into chiropractic after 4 years of undergraduate studies. I actually started chiropractic school without ever experiencing an adjustment. I wrote my entrance essay to school as if some of my orthopedic problems had already been corrected by chiropractic care. It turned out to be some great foreshadowing for my chiropractic experience because it has helped me in a multitude of ways. My sense of touch and temperature has improved, my range of motion and muscle tone have increased, and my discomfort has improved significantly.
D: Who is Dana? D: I'm Doctor Stubbs at work, and I'm Dana at home. I use she/her/hers pronouns.
D: What gets your fired up about the disability movement? The advocates like yourselves get me fired up! Not only have we (the uniquely different) been a very underrepresented group, but we would've been tossed completely out of society just over a generation ago. We've come a long way since then, but there's more work to be done. I'm so glad to see the two of you using your platform to advocate!
D: What is your advocacy platform? D: I do most of my advocating through chiropractic. I get to use my hands on a daily basis to improve the lives of others. It sparks quite a bit of conversation, and that allows me to educate people about Amniotic Band Syndrome as well as limb differences in general.
D: What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? D: My disability has given me invisible skills. Limb-different people have an amazing ability to assimilate into able-bodied culture. We do this so well, that even people close to us "forget" about the fact that we live with a disability. I like to call this: living on the edge of disability. Recently, even my wife asked if I'm reminded of my disability regularly because even she "doesn't see it". Daily, I am subtly reminded of my uniqueness when I have to wear gloves or shoes; I can't buy either without careful consideration or alteration. My shoes don't fit my feet equally, so I have to buy shoes with laces. Slip-on shoes and flip flops are a challenge to keep on my feet. High heels are an impossibility for me. Throughout my life, the physical challenges of my disability have been minimal compared to the social and societal challenges. I needed one accommodation while I was in school: I couldn't use the proper technique to type in my keyboarding class. This one accommodation awarded me 3 years of bullying from 2 students in that class. Bullying usually stems from a lack of awareness about differences. Differences should be celebrated rather than shamed, so I'm really glad that you're shedding some light on differences through Disarming Disability. The world would be so boring if we were all exactly the same! We should be proud of our differences because they're part of who we are.
D: What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? D: If you have a question about someone's uniqueness, just ask about it. I encourage everyone to ask questions. I would rather be approached with a question than be stared at by a stranger. Then, everyone gets to learn something. I think people might hesitate to ask because they're afraid of offending, but don't forget about intent. I can tell the difference between a curious question and a malicious one.
D: What areas are you still growing/hope to grow? Personally? Professionally? D: My hope is to become more connected to people in the limb-different community. There are so many unique people that I'm excited to meet! Of course, healing the sick through the power of chiropractic is something I'll always be working toward. Taking care of your spine is just as important as brushing your teeth. Your spine just has a greater responsibility to the body as it protects your lifeforce: the brain and spinal cord. Adjustments move the body toward balance, and help the brain function optimally. Monthly adjustments will definitely change your life.
D: Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you? D: As a kid, MLB pitcher Jim Abbott was the first person I saw who was limb-different. He was the one who made me feel like I could excel at sports. I went on to play multiple varsity sports, and I become captain of my high school softball team. I did not know I was a disability advocate until I opened my business. I realized that unique people need representation, just like I needed a guy like Jim Abbott. I enjoy the fact that I'm different, so I try to be a person to fill in that gap for other young people.
D: When people look at you/up to you, what do you hope they see? D: I hope others see a caring, compassionate person who sees the gifts in everyone. I hope they see love.
D: What are your next steps? D: My business, Stubbs Chiropractic, is hosting a mind, body, & spirit wellness event in Lincoln, NE on Saturday, May 11th. There will be a wide variety of practitioners available including: acupuncturist, massage therapists, chiropractor, energy healer, naturopath, etc. It is geared toward those who are looking for holistic therapies that complement traditional care. It will be held at Southeast Community College (84th and O Street) from 11am-4pm.
D: How do we follow you?! website: drstubbschiro.com
Facebook: Dana Stubbs
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