Article Title

Laughing at My Nightmare


Katie Irion


Excellent, Young Adult, biography, spinal muscalr strophy, people with disabilities

Document Type

Book Review


Shane Burcaw has lived with spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disease, since birth. It is a disease that affects approximately .0001 percent of the population and individuals who have been diagnosed with it lack one of the vital proteins that help create and maintain muscle tissue. Shane recounts, in humorous detail, his disease, how he lives his life, and more importantly, how he finds humor in what could potentially be a very dark situation and existence. Without sustained muscle tissue, Shane is not able to do the most mundane things on his own: roll over in bed, use the toilet, drink from a cup, walk, stand, or talk for long periods of times (his jaw muscles get too weak). Instead of giving into sorrow and depression, Shane has decided to live a humor filled life and started a blog to let other people know that people with disabilities can have a very fulfilling, interesting, and yes, humorous life. His posts, detailing experiences in his life, became so popular that he wrote this book and has embarked upon a speaking tour.