After a successful surgical procedure earlier this year, a 4-year-old Michigan girl with cerebral palsy took her first steps, and her proud mother recorded every "step" of the …
Megan Loralee Hickerson, of Washington, has lived with cerebral palsy her entire life, and she’s endured a number of setbacks, but she hasn’t let anything stop her from her passion for writing.
The Kent Reporter writes that Hickerson has a form of cerebral palsy that requires around-the-clock care, something that inspired a number of her characters and themes in her stories. Since 4th grade, when she watched the popular former NBC television show, The Waltons, she knew she wanted to write. She remembers a character on the show who was a writer, which inspired her to start writing short stories as child.
Growing up in the Seattle area, Hickerson knew she was different as she watched other children run around, play, and do things she could only dream of doing herself. When she turned 18, she spent 13 tumultuous years in an institutionalized care center. She shared the center with more than 100 other people, but she remained determined, and eventually earned her a creative writing associate degree at Highline Community College.
Through Kent nonprofit Total Living Concept (TLC), Hickerson now lives in the Renton area, in a home overlooking a golf course. TLC provides Hickerson with 24-care, which allows her to continue writing. According to one of the service providers, Hickerson was depressed when she came into TLC’s care, but after working with job coaches and care assistants, she regained the fuel that flames her desire to write stories.
She’s now 60, and has a number of impressive stories under her belt that she turned into a book. Her latest book, “Megan’s Pendulum of Stories,” features a character named Sandy, a sheriff who gets around in a wheelchair while protecting citizens. She also helps her care givers understand the expansive words she uses in her stories. The book is comprised of short fiction stories that deal with compassion, diversity, love, humanity, and patience.
“See that huge dictionary over there? That’s basically for me when she says words I have to look up,” said Kally Bieber, a TLC job coach who works with Hickerson.
When she’s not writing, she makes sure to fill her days with exciting activities. With the help of licensed pilot, she flew a plane, and in her spare time, she can be found singing Dolly Parton’s, “I Will Love You,” hit at local karaoke spots.
According to an article Hickerson wrote on LinkedIn, she’s written seven books in total. Her first book is entitled, “The Mouse Of Town and Other Stories,” which was followed up by the novel, “Iris The Little Brave Rainbow.”
She’s already started on her next book, and hopes to travel to Ireland one day. She’d also love to appear on “Ellen” someday, one of her favorite daytime talk shows. Along with her “adopted” brother, Curtis, she hopes to raise enough money to buy herself a Side Car, which would allow her chances to “go party” with her brother.
Hickerson is living proof that dreams and aspirations are within reach of those with specials needs, even people with cerebral palsy who are confined to using a wheelchair. More and more students are entering and successfully college these days than ever before. If you have a child with cerebral palsy or if you’re an aspiring writer with cerebral palsy, there are a number of educational assistance options available.