Ah, Baby Yoda; the wide-eyed, smiling Mandalorian character has secured a spot in the hearts of everyone with internet access, and for good reason. He’s small and sweet, but powerful, wielding The Force against enemies and subverting expectations.
Maybe that’s what inspired 18-year-old Meagan to immortalize Baby Yoda in this portrait. You see, Meagan is also a sweet girl with unexpected power.
Sometimes she’s too sick to go to school, but when she’s there she gets voted student of the month. She can’t always go to drama practice, but she doesn’t let that stop her from dreaming of the stage. She was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a condition with no cure, but Meagan only gets stronger internally through the years. She’s small, but so mighty.
Meagan doesn’t always feel strong, though. Her muscles are constantly, chronically deteriorating, leaving her unable to walk. Even sitting up straight is a huge struggle. By 5 years old, Meagan had a 94 degree spinal curve, which ended up crushing her lungs. Her body has been fighting against her from day one, but her will to live her life her way has only gotten stronger.
And doing things Meagan’s way means being creative, outgoing, and authentically unique. Meagan loves to go to school when she can to hang out with her friends and, most of all, to go to drama class. Meagan has big dreams: she wants to be an actress on stage. She knows that, to make that happen, she has to practice. But getting out there to do it hasn’t been so easy.
To get to school, community theater, or anywhere else, Meagan and her mom have to borrow an old van from Meagan’s grandma, and it was not what you’d call accessible. They used two wooden boards as a ramp, and once Meagan was in, she’d be strapped down like a fragile package being shipped. The old van didn’t even have heat or A/C, which can spell disaster for someone like Meagan who can’t regulate her temperature and can overheat in the Georgia heat easily.
So Meagan doesn’t really go anywhere. She lets out her artistic expression through illustrating on her tablet. She helps her First Responder mom study to be a Paramedic, a dream that was inspired by caring for Meagan. She does her schoolwork and stays inside. But Meagan has had enough of saying “no”: no, she can’t make it to theater practice. No, she can’t hang out after school. No, she can’t even make it to school today. NO MORE.
Now, Meagan isn’t held back by something as simple as transportation, and that’s thanks to all of you guys! Your donor dollars put in some major work and changed Meagan’s life by purchasing her a $38,000 accessible van from our friends at Vantage Mobility International.
Now that Meagan can get where she needs to go, she doesn’t have to miss out on anything the world has to offer, and on the flip side, the world doesn’t have to miss out on what Meagan has to offer. 18 years old is the time when you really grow into who you are, and Meagan is a creative and bold girl who has a lot to say and more to prove.
Some might look at Meagan and only see her limitations; Chive Charities donors look at Meagan and see her amazing potential.
And that’s all we are trying to do at the end of the day. We want to let people like Meagan shine as bright as they can, because they deserve to show us what they’ve got, and the world is a better place because they are in it. You can help the underdogs, the Baby Yodas of the world, realize their potential by contributing to Chive Charities.
We can’t change lives without you, and you can’t feel that amazing feeling that comes from helping the underdogs without being a donor. Get started right HERE.