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Shane Burcaw Says No Whining Allowed


Meet 20-year-old Shane Burcaw. That’s right, we’re the same age, and yet I am no where near as awesome as he is. One fundamental difference between us is that Shane has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a form of Muscular Distrophy. 

In its most basic form, Spinal Muscular Atrophy is what happens when there is no electrical activity across the muscle synapses causing your muscles to deteriorate. This means that Shane needs help doing everything from brushing his hair to putting clothes on. He has been in a wheelchair since he was two.

I watched the video at the bottom and let me tell you, grab some tissues now. It’s not sad in the typical way though, it just pulls on those heartstrings in a good way. It sounds strange to be sad in a good way, but it’s the truth. Shane is just incredible. What I would deem his “philosophy” is just laughter. Plain, simple humor. On the subject of how he uses his humor, Shane said “Yeah it’s a coping mechanism, who cares?”.

He also said that what he lacks in the physical realm he more than makes up for in wit. So there’s a little preview of his sarcastic humor that is sure to make you smile. I guess that’s the point though right? If you can’t poke fun at yourself and have a laugh then how on earth are you supposed to enjoy life?

It’s uplifting to watch and listen to Shane describe his journey, but the hardest part was actually watching the father for me. Call it this whole daddy/daughter connection I have with my dad, but watching Shane’s father speak made me misty to say the least. His father is just as hilarious as Shane though, and that’s what makes their relationship speak to me.

Two years ago Shane decided to start a blog called Laughing At My Nightmare to document all of the normal and unusual things he encounters daily. This lead to him creating his non-profit organization,Laughing At My Nightmare Inc. He is also filming a documentary on his first road trip without his parents.

Shane and his family go on to explain in the video how they don’t focus on the time they have left because it’s just depressing. Instead they do exactly what everyone should, they live their lives to the fullest. Gives a whole new meaning to YOLO right? Right.

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