My name is Danielle Marx and I am 28 years old. I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida, causing me to be paralyzed from the waist down, which means I've spent most of my life in a wheelchair. But hold the sympathy! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about disabilities, it’s that we all have them in some form or another. Mine is just more visible than most; however instead of letting it be what defines me, I have let it fuel my inner strength, passion and creativity. Since childhood, I’ve always been active, pushing the boundaries. Before I could even drive a car (which I do with the help of hand controls), and I was a dancer performing onstage across Ohio. Also, I learned to swim using only my arms and I have been surfing on the San Diego coast, as well as downhill mono-skiing. In fact, I'm also an artist, model, and have my YouTube channel.
Life experiences have taught me that creativity can convert nearly any obstacle into a joyful and rewarding experience. My YouTube channel, Daniellability, focuses on what life is like with a disability because I'm extremely passionate about raising awareness and opening up conversations surrounding disabilities. I think many people are afraid to ask questions, and this leads to assumptions and ignorance. I would also like to see disabilities included in conversations regarding diversity - in Hollywood, in modeling, in fashion, and in creating spaces (whether that be homes or public spaces) that are accessible for all. When I was growing up, I rarely (if ever) saw anyone who looked like me in the movies, on the television, or in magazines. If I did, it was typically in a sad and depressing way; so, I would like that to be different for the next generation. It's time that the world sees people with disabilities as people who can be fashionable, interesting, vibrant, and important parts of society. But that is not where my mission stops as I would also like to encourage fellow wheelchair users to be brave, innovative, and live life to the fullest. Including, showing parents of children with disabilities that they can not only survive but THRIVE if given the proper tools. The way all of these things start is by being open and communicating.
You might think to yourself where this passion for sharing with others came from. The two things that have always motivated me to be the very best I can be and to encourage others to do the same is my faith and my family. It's so important for kids to have role models they can look up to, and I hope to be that for other girls (and boys) growing up with Spina Bifida.
If you'd like to follow along on my journey, you can find me at:
Art Website: Ellie Design
Art Instagram: ellie.design_gram