Not all people with disabilities depend on a wheelchair. Many diseases are invisible to other people. Karina Sturm can tell you a thing or two about it. What challenge, besides her disease, the 30-year-old had to overcome while eating with her neighbours and why she secretly dreams of the Nobel Peace Prize, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Karina Sturm: Two days ago, when we were invited to dinner with our neighbours and, although being 30 years old, I had no idea how to eat clams.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Karina Sturm: My bucket list is long and many things are limited to it, due to lack of financial resources, others by the disease itself. I always wanted to dance salsa, but today I would dislocate all my joints. Besides, I wanted to go on a trip around the world, which I have half-fulfilled. Other things like learning how to play poker just haven't happened yet. And yet other goals are too big to ever reach, but they remind me of how I would like to live my life ( for example winning the Nobel Peace Prize).
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Karina Sturm: I was influenced not by one person, but by many different people. I have learned a lot from the women in my family (mother, aunts) who have already had some serious illnesses and have taught me how to fight and never give up. Another very important encounter was with a distant relative, who was always there for me and my problems in his most difficult time, just before he died. He even called me during his chemotherapy and asked me how I was doing. I've rarely met a more selfless man than him. My friends who were always at my side while I didn't know who I am and what was going on with me. I have learned a lot from other people with the same disease, but also from people with completely different diseases.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled in your country. What would you do first?
Karina Sturm: I would like to start a big campaign with people with different diseases and disabilities. Some of them are supposed to say a few words and briefly tell us what their limitations are. This campaign will then be broadcasted on television for several weeks and printed on posters. As long as it takes to get everyone to see it.
Being the best version of yourself and reinventing yourself despite all the obstacles in life is Karina Sturm's greatest challenge and at the same time what drives her.
Your life is made into a film: Who would represent you?
Karina Sturm: Jennifer Lawrence. Because she stands by her opinion, fights for other people and does not change just to fit in. I also hope to be or become such a person.
I would like to be ...
Karina Sturm: healthy and rich.
Which questions would you like answered the most?
Karina Sturm: Who decides what a man can bear?
What I finally want to say?
Karina Sturm: No matter what disease or disability we have, how much we have had to endure and what our future looks like, each of us has a very specific role to play in the world. To find it and to reinvent oneself in the process is my greatest challenge when it comes to living with my disease.