Inspiring Individuals is a new series in which I will write about… inspiring individuals. These are people who are doing awesome things to make the world a better place. My goal is to show you (my wonderful readers) the incredible impact that one person can make. If you know of any inspiring individuals that you think deserve a post, let me know if the comments below!
Today I’d like to introduce you to Shane Burcaw. He’s basically your average 22 year old. He graduated college, has a girlfriend, wrote a book, started a company… Okay, maybe he’s a little more accomplished than the average 22 year old. Shane also has muscular dystrophy and has been in a wheel chair since he was two.
Muscular dystrophy weakens the musculoskeletal system, which results in a loss of muscle mass and impairs movement. There is no known cure. Not all forms of the disease affect lifespan, but it can if there are heart and breathing complications.
Although the disease sounds far from funny, Shane created a blog called Laughing At My Nightmare where he uses his sense of humor and positivity to poke fun at his daily struggles. He quickly caught people’s eye and amassed over 500,000 followers. After that Shane realized how important humor is and he made it his mission to help people laugh.
In 2013 Shane won an Emmy in the Human Interest category for a short documentary he produced titled Happiness is Always An Option. It’s available to watch here anytime you need a pick me up. Then in 2014 Shane published a book, which I just recently added it to my reading list. Rainn Wilson even recommends the book and Rainn Wilson is hilarious.
Currently Shane is working on a project called No More Nightmares to end the “nightmare” families’ face when they can’t financially afford basic muscular dystrophy needs. The project helps get wheelchair accessible vehicles, ramps for houses, and other adaptive technology that helps people who have been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy to live healthy, productive, and comfortable lives. Shane also started a Positive Outreach Program, which includes speaking at schools, businesses, and events to share the message of using humor to overcome adversity.
I encourage you to click around the Laughing At My Nightmare website to learn more about Shane’s latest initiative, watch some of Shane’s funny videos, read his blog, and donate to LAMN if you can. Shane is truly proof that humor improves lives. It is said that “a day without laughter is a day wasted” and some days it is easy to forget to laugh, but Shane is there to remind you.