ROSS TWP. — The students at Ross Elemementary School learned it’s OK to be different during an assembly presented by author, Emmy winner and award-winning blogger, Shane Burcaw.
Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, was born with a progressive neuromuscular disease more commonly known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy or muscular dystrophy. His cousin, Sarah Yunusov, who travels with Burcaw to his engagements, aided his message of positivity to the students.
A graduate of Morvian College with a degree in Journalism, Burcaw started blogging about his affliction five years ago. The blog became so popular it grew to over a half a million followers. From the success of his blogging, he started a nonprofit organization, Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc., of which he serves as president.
Three years after the start of the organization, Burcaw and Yunusov joined the lecture circuit, speaking all over the country. “We’ve done over 75 speaking engagement,” Burcaw said. “We love it.”
The duo spoke to students from kindergarten through sixth grade about anecdotes in Burcaw’s life from his adventures of swimming in the ocean, to being padded with pillows playing goalie for hockey, to what it’s like for a person with a disability asking for help.
“What I learned from Shane today was, no matter what, someone is going to help you with your problems and to never give up,” said sixth-grade student Braelin Neville. “He was very inspirational.”
“I think it (the assembly) promotes a positive message for our students that it’s okay to be different and it’s okay to ask for help,” said sixth-grade teacher Amanda Plisko. “I think Shane’s message of real life stories hit home with the students.”
Yunusov, 28, also a Moravian graduate with a degree in Organizational Leadership, is the director of development of the nonprofit where both she and Burcaw are full-time employees.
Monies raise from the 501(c)3 organization help Burcaw spread his message of positivity as well as provide grants to those living with muscular dystrophy.
The Ross Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization sponsored the event.
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