My name is Karan Sunil Shah. I am 21 years old. I have type III Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. SMA is a genetic disease that affects the motor nerves that control voluntary muscle movement.
It was tough growing up especially in a city like Mumbai which is not wheel-chair friendly at all. My parents had to search for schools and colleges that would accommodate me. Many schools rejected me assuming that I was also mentally incapacitated. People do not realize that SMA does not affect the intelligence quotient of any person. I finally went to Aditya Birla Integrated School, which was known as JBCN, but it was not very wheel-chair friendly either. However, the school provided me with special aid and helped me adjust and overcome my dyslexia. Making friends initially was not easy. I was judged about my condition, but my communication skills became my icebreaker. I soon became notorious for being the mischievous kid on the motorized chair. I was known for pulling pranks and being the smart-ass. I was the speaker every annual day function.