My name is Khiry and I am 25 years old. I have something known as Muscular Dystrophy. Although this is a part of me, it does not define who I am. When I think about the things that define me, the first three words that come to mind are Kingdom, coffee, and joy. The Kingdom is important to me in all decisions I make, and making sure I am always choosing God. Coffee means a great deal to me because it brings people together and it is my job! I approach everyday of my life choosing joy with a smile on my face. I don't allow my MD to bring me down, instead I use my story to encourage and lift up other people to bring them hope. What I realized is that I want to make a career around encouraging other people. I recently graduated from Point University with a Christian ministries degree. This is just the beginning of what I need to do to pursue the dreams I have for my life.
What do I do?
There are a lot of things that I do everyday. I currently work for two companies under an organization called Common Thread Community. The first company that I work for is called Taproot. In this company, I do office work and some hands on work in the gardening department. The other company that I work for is called Seeds Coffee. I work in customer service and run the register. I also help call out orders on our busiest days. I have been doing outreach work for a few years with an organization called Young Life. With them I am in a leadership position at a local high school where I build relationships with adolescent guys, introduce them to Jesus and help them build their faith during the tough years.
Along with my work, I enjoy going to spend time with my church community, visiting the people that I love, going on vacations with my friends, and attending events around Birmingham. A very important part of my life is that I also continue to care for myself and my heath, so I go to regular check ups and appointments with my doctors.
How do I get around?
As of right now, I have a great power chair that allows me to move independently and a pushchair that makes me feel pretty immoble. I can ride my power chair in my neighborhood, to both of my jobs, and to some of my friends' houses. If I have to go in a car, I rely heavily on friends and family for rides, and most of the time, my power chair cannot be transported, so I have to take my pushchair. It is impossible to push myself and have the independent transportation that I really desire. Unlike my power chair, my push chair is not conformed to the needs of my body, so sitting in it for long periods of time can become very uncomfortable.
Why a van?
The reason I started this fundraiser for a van is for my transportation independence. I want to be able to take my power chair, and drive MYSELF with a van that is modified to my needs. No one in my family currently has a van, so this will really make a huge impact on transportation. With all of this comes a lot of steps. First, I need to raise all or most of the money to purchase the van. Second, I have to contact a special dealer to buy a van that has mobility modifications. Third, the company will do an evaluation to see what other equipment and modifications need to be added for me to safely get around on my own. These things add up! Once I get the van, I will go through a training course and get my license.
How will a van change my life?
First is independence. I will be able to get where I need to go without heavily relying on others. I will also be able to continue to help others with my outreach work by attending more events with the group. Another very important thing is that I want to start a business doing encouragement outreach with public speaking. Speaking to others is my passion. I will be able to travel and inspire so many with my new found independence and how I have overcome hardship in my personal story.
To hear more of my story please visit my blog below!