‘Happiness is always an option’

‘Happiness is always an option’

The Morning Call | December 24, 2011 | By Milton D. Carrero

The early morning looks dark from his room at his parents’ Bethlehem home, but Shane Burcaw’s mind is alert and on the go.

The dim beam from his MacBook Pro monitor bounces on his thumbs, casting a shadow on his curved hands as they pace their way through the illuminated keyboard. Burcaw, a blogging sensation who in six months has garnered tens of thousands of followers, rummages his most heartfelt memories with only one goal: to make you laugh.

A 19-year-old journalism sophomore at Moravian College, Burcaw will write almost anything if he feels it’s funny. He wants to be honest with himself and with his audience, which grows at baffling speeds.

“My main objective is to make other people laugh,” he says. “That’s probably my favorite thing in life.”

He comes from a family of writers and people with an unrestrained sense of humor. Burcaw grew up used to having others laugh either with him or at him, he didn’t mind.

“Whenever I am out in public it is pretty much a guarantee that at least a few people will make it completely obvious that they have never seen someone like me before,” he writes. “By ‘someone like me,’ I mean an alien-like pterodactyl creature with a human head that uses a wheelchair.”

He suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, type 2, one of the 43 neuromuscular diseases beneath the muscular dystrophy umbrella. His body lacks one of the proteins used to develop and maintain muscle. Or as he puts it: “My body made some muscle when I was young and then just stopped. And then it kind of sucks at maintaining the muscle.”

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