Ask Liz Anything!
By Elizabeth, age 20, Pennsylvania
I would like to start off with a special thanks to Stephanie Lynn, for giving me the opportunity to write for Sweet Designs Magazine. My name is Elizabeth. I'm a 20 year old full-time student at Lehigh Carbon Community College, majoring in the Registered Nursing program, and hopefully becoming a successful Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I consider myself to be a smart, strong, funny, independent, hard worker, and a great listener.
I'm going to be writing for the magazine, answering advice questions from teens in a column called "Ask Liz Anything". But first, a little about me.*
I'm an active staff member of Fashion on a Limb. FOAL is a not-for-profit organization comprised of both amputee and non-amputee professional women from around the country whose primary goal is simple: to bridge the gap between the fashion industry and the products they design and the disabled. "Clothing and Shoes Designed with Disabled Women in Mind" is their slogan. The need is great, overwhelming, and long overdue. Just ask any disabled woman. Something as simple as a tweak here or tuck there to a pair of pants or shoes can make all the difference in the world of Lisa Goshon, FOAL's founder. When it comes to fashion, the real question is: Do amputees have a voice?
Let's raise the level of awareness by becoming one big voice. When we unite, we have the power to demand change. This means encouraging fashion industry leaders to take a more inclusive approach when it comes to fashion and the disabled.
It's Easy to Join!
1. Go to the website www.dressthelegs2010.com
2. Sign up - remember, if you don't register, your legs don't count!
3. Commit to wearing hosiery, leggings, or socks for 1 day.
I became an amputee at the age of 13 due to a cancerous tumor called osteosarcoma. I had a couple surgeries for a knee replacement, but it only lasted five years, which was the beginning of college for me. The pain was intolerable, so I made the decision to have my leg amputated in order for me to live an enjoyable and almost painless life. To tell you the truth, I'm so glad I made that decision. Don't get me wrong - I do at times picture myself not having had the surgery and how I would have turned out. Thankfully, I don't regret having it done. If you are interested in reading my whole story, it's in this issue, and a different version is on the site http://dressthelegs2010.com/story.html.
As I mentioned, I'm going to be writing for SDM, answering advice questions in a column called "Ask Liz Anything". I'd like to start this off by mentioning that your identity is strictly in confidence between you, me, and editor Stephanie Lynn. Only your first name and age will be used if your question is posted in Sweet Designs Magazine, unless you request that your first name not be used. If you don't wish to have something you write to me posted in the magazine, just let me know, and your message will be strictly confidential between you and me. So you've come to a safe place!
These are some categories that I can be a REALLY HELPFUL with:
* College advice
* Peer pressure
* Boyfriend/girlfriend problems
* Friend betrayal
* Drinking/drug problems or advice
* Being an amputee survivor
* Looking for a scholarship
In helping you, I'll:
* Give nothing but positive advice
* Include info on getting help in your area (if needed)
* Provide helpful info on sites, and/or people who can help
* Make sure that whatever you say is strictly in confidence, if you request.
* First name and age posted only; your name changed or withheld if you request.
It takes time to open up, but trust me, once you do, it's worth it. I'll try to write back within 24 - 48 hours. Thanks, and take care.
* For more about me and about FOAL, read my article "The Undiscovered Truth about Fashion" in this month's issue.
Editor's Note: To reach Elizabeth with an advice question or comment, please use the response form below or the form found in the Sweet Advice section of the magazine, adding the tag line "Ask Liz Anything" to ensure it's directed to Liz.