Disabled But Determined

Sophomore overcomes adversity of challenging disability


Provided by Madison Scott

Madison Scott poses for a picture in her room.

Sophomore Madison Scott wakes up everyday and struggles to get out of bed. It’s not because she’s a typical, sleep-deprived high school student, but because she cannot get up on her own. She waits for her parents to come help her get ready for the day, then she gets into her wheelchair and heads to school for a day filled with challenges the average student has never had

Scott was diagnosed with Glutaric Aciduria Type One as a baby. Glutaric Aciduria Type One is a disease that interferes with the way the body processes proteins, including those in your brain that control brain function. The proteins in your body control your body’s movement, so people with Glutaric Aciduria Type One cannot control their movements, and their brain functions tire easily. This makes basic tasks for Scott difficult to complete, one of which is going school. Even though it’s difficult, Scott is a student who has found ways to continue in school through challenging classes.

“I have an aide who helps me with my work,” Scott said. “And the teachers cut down [my] workload so I won’t be so tired. A school day can be long and tiring, but I do my best every single day.”

Scott’s journey started at the time she was born. She was born healthy, but the protein in the formula of Scott’s bottle turned out to be toxic. At just five months old, Scott had a stroke.

“The doctors said I wouldn’t make it,” Scott said. “They were wrong.”

After the stroke, Scott’s life has been anything but ordinary. As she grew up, she spent her childhood in a wheelchair, never getting to enjoy childhood normalities like playing outside. Scott said she wishes people understood how hard everyday life is for her, since it’s a challenge most people don’t have to face. However, even though her life is difficult, Scott said she wouldn’t change a thing.

“It has definitely taught me not give up and to keep moving,” Scott said. “I wouldn’t want to change the way I am because I wouldn’t have met so many good people.”

However, Scott has encountered unkind people. She has been bullied a lot of her life due to her disability, but she said it has never stopped her from trying to live a normal and happy life.

“I got bullied from third grade to seventh grade because people thought I couldn’t do anything,” Scott said. “Yes, I may have challenges, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do exactly what they can.”

However, Scott’s disability didn’t stop her from making the most of her life. As a sophomore, she has found her passion: she loves art. She sells her art in the Dallas area and has made money for unique experiences that she’s gotten to be a part of, like backstage passes to meet bands she loves. She currently takes an art class at school, and also does art outside of school often.

“I got my talent from my grandma,” Scott said. “My grandma on my dad’s side was an artist. I never got to meet her, but my dad tells me I’m a lot like her.”

Living with a disability is a challenge. Everyday tasks become mountains that seem too daunting to climb. Though it took time and work, Scott has found her passion and can still attend school and participate in the everyday events life brings.

“Just because I’m in a power chair that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything,” Scott said. “Yes, it’s hard to everything everyone else does but that will never stop me from trying.”