The end of ‘Special Sarah’
STLToday.com | August 28, 2011 | By Todd Frankel
KIRKWOOD • This is not that story, the one about how inspiring Sarah Schwegel is. It’s important you know that from the start.
Yes, Sarah graduated from high school in May, on time and with a 3.6 GPA. She starts college on Monday. And she has a form of muscular dystrophy. She uses a power wheelchair to get around. She needs help with everyday tasks. In fact, if you look up the definition of her particular disease on the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s website, you’ll find a picture of Sarah — literally, a photo of her smiling in her wheelchair.
So it’s tempting to think of her in a particular way. Sarah knows this.
Chances are you have read about her, seen her on TV. She was the national MDA goodwill ambassador when she was 8 years old. She played a starring role on the MDA telethon and joked around with Jerry Lewis. She was on the cover of Parade magazine. She threw out the first pitch at a Cardinals game. She still makes public appearances and volunteers. She knows the routine. Sarah even approached this article with the suspicion it would paint her in those familiar tones.
But Sarah wants to shed the expectation that she’s a poster child for anything other than her own life. It’s time. She wants to leave Special Sarah behind.
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