Young man with muscular dystrophy brings message of positivity to Ross Elementary


Young man with muscular dystrophy shares his thoughts

By Tony Callaio - For Dallas Post



Kindergarten through sixth-grade students at Ross Elementary School had plenty of questions to ask guest speaker Shane Burcaw about his life’s journey with muscular dystrophy.


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Sarah Yunusov, 28, Burcaw’s first cousin, travels to his engagements. Yunusov is the Director of Development for the Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. non-profit organization started by Burcaw.


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Second-grade student Paige Mieldazis listens to Shane Burcaw’s message of positivity during an assembly at Ross Elementary on Nov. 17.


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Shane Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, PA, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at an early age, travels the country spreading his message of inspiration to never give up, is shown during an assembly at Ross Elementary School last Thursday. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Sarah Yunusov, 28, Burcaws first cousin, travels with Shane to all of his engagements. She is the Director of Development for the Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. non-profit organization started by Shane. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Kindergarten through sixth grade students as Ross Elementary School had plenty of questions to ask guest speaker Shane Burcaw about his life's journey with muscular dystrophy. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Second grade student Paige Mieldazis attentively listens to Shane Burcaw's message of positivity during an assembly at Ross Elementary on Thurs., Nov. 17. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

Shane Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, PA, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at an early age, travels the country spreading his message of inspiration to never give up, is shown during an assembly at Ross Elementary School last Thursday. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post


Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post


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    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.

    Kindergarten through sixth-grade students at Ross Elementary School had plenty of questions to ask guest speaker Shane Burcaw about his life’s journey with muscular dystrophy.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Ross-Elem-Burcaw-4.jpgKindergarten through sixth-grade students at Ross Elementary School had plenty of questions to ask guest speaker Shane Burcaw about his life’s journey with muscular dystrophy. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Sarah Yunusov, 28, Burcaw’s first cousin, travels to his engagements. Yunusov is the Director of Development for the Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. non-profit organization started by Burcaw.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Ross-Elem-Burcaw-3.jpgSarah Yunusov, 28, Burcaw’s first cousin, travels to his engagements. Yunusov is the Director of Development for the Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. non-profit organization started by Burcaw. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Second-grade student Paige Mieldazis listens to Shane Burcaw’s message of positivity during an assembly at Ross Elementary on Nov. 17.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Ross-Elem-Burcaw-1.jpgSecond-grade student Paige Mieldazis listens to Shane Burcaw’s message of positivity during an assembly at Ross Elementary on Nov. 17. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Shane Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, PA, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at an early age, travels the country spreading his message of inspiration to never give up, is shown during an assembly at Ross Elementary School last Thursday. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Ross-Elem-Burcaw-2.jpgShane Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, PA, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at an early age, travels the country spreading his message of inspiration to never give up, is shown during an assembly at Ross Elementary School last Thursday. Tony Callaio | For Dallas PostTony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Sarah Yunusov, 28, Burcaws first cousin, travels with Shane to all of his engagements. She is the Director of Development for the Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. non-profit organization started by Shane. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Burcaw1.jpg.jpgSarah Yunusov, 28, Burcaws first cousin, travels with Shane to all of his engagements. She is the Director of Development for the Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. non-profit organization started by Shane. Tony Callaio | For Dallas PostTony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Kindergarten through sixth grade students as Ross Elementary School had plenty of questions to ask guest speaker Shane Burcaw about his life’s journey with muscular dystrophy. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Burcaw2.cmyk_.jpgKindergarten through sixth grade students as Ross Elementary School had plenty of questions to ask guest speaker Shane Burcaw about his life’s journey with muscular dystrophy. Tony Callaio | For Dallas PostTony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Second grade student Paige Mieldazis attentively listens to Shane Burcaw’s message of positivity during an assembly at Ross Elementary on Thurs., Nov. 17. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_burcaw4.cmyk_.jpgSecond grade student Paige Mieldazis attentively listens to Shane Burcaw’s message of positivity during an assembly at Ross Elementary on Thurs., Nov. 17. Tony Callaio | For Dallas PostTony Callaio | For Dallas Post

    Shane Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, PA, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at an early age, travels the country spreading his message of inspiration to never give up, is shown during an assembly at Ross Elementary School last Thursday. Tony Callaio | For Dallas Post
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_burcaw5.cmyk_.jpgShane Burcaw, 24, of Bethlehem, PA, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at an early age, travels the country spreading his message of inspiration to never give up, is shown during an assembly at Ross Elementary School last Thursday. Tony Callaio | For Dallas PostTony Callaio | For Dallas Post
    Young man with muscular dystrophy shares his thoughts

    By Tony Callaio

    For Dallas Post

    Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-704-3982 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.

    Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-704-3982 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.

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