As I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital bed already. There were nurses around me and a dextrose bottle hanging on my side. My family was around me, their eyes silent but anxious of how I would react to the impending news. In the center of the room stood one man, stethoscope hanging on his neck & he is intently looking at me.“Your son has polio & his lower extremities are now paralyzed.” The doctor delivered it straight to my parents without any form of embellishments. The news took time to register into my brain, then I suddenly stared back, expressionless since I’ve heard what doctor said. Finally, the message sunk into my mind, I instinctively cast a glance on my feet. I tried to raise it up in an effort to dispute the doctor’s verdict. I urged my feet again and again for some movement. I really struggled to move it around but to no avail, it remained limp and motionless. I turned to GOD by looking at the cross & said silently, “I thought you are a kind and loving GOD. I have done nothing wrong that merits this kind of punishment. Why this? And why me?” These are the questions that never stopped echoing in my mind even until now. I cried in silence because I can’t believe why it happened.

I, Naprey Almario, would never suffer from paralyzing polio. I was born terrifically healthy on July 28, 1988 in Poblacion Sta. Maria, Davao del sur. I even experience the pleasure of my childhood. But an early age of 8, life did not exempt me from cruelty. That time I never mind about the cause of my illness, all I had in mind was “Will I get better? Can I walk again?” I was really in deep sorrow that time. I never knew how I am going to do daily activities without one of my important parts. I felt very useless & insignificant that time.For almost a year, I immersed myself in a therapy with the hope of recovery. Then one day in my life, I was literally shaken back into reality. I took a good look at myself. Yes, my legs were paralyzed, other than that; I have a perfect vision with my eyes. My hearing is excellent. I could speak fluently, which in itself was already a miracle and a blessing. I realized that GOD had been indeed so kind with me after all. I counted all my blessings & became very thankful for them.Currently, I am studying at Holy Child School of Davao, a fourth year Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. It has been 11 years and as I look at myself right now, I could say that I’m still blessed, very much blessed. Though life seems to be crucial, but then again, the taste of life that I have is a worth living. Without or with disability, life must go on. Instead of counting your woes & tears, count your joy & smiles. Count on GOD instead of yourself.

REALITY CHECK One’s disability is not a hindrance to one’s growth, development, & success. What able-persons can do, you also can. You just have to prove them that you could be part of the improvements.