2016 was surely a nightmare of a year for many, especially my family. My family was getting chemo treatments, surgeries and taking trips to the hospital. It’s been a crazy year and despite 2017 starting off weird, I am looking forward to some things in the future. In a few months, my dad’s chemo treatment will end and the leftover cancer cells from his surgery will be obliterated. Also in a few months, I will be receiving treatment for my disability. I will be taking a breakthrough drug that is for those like me with a specific mutation of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. It basically halts the progression of my muscle wasting disorder and there is a possibility that I could regain a small percentage of muscle strength. This treatment is a weekly infusion and it is very expensive yet the company manufacturing the drug is seeking ways to help patients fund the treatments through charities. At the moment, I am waiting for the hospital to set up the treatment but there is a long process for new medications.
I am not working at the moment but since the summer, I have been finishing up my autobiography and searching for a publisher. I may have exceeded in sending over 30 query letters to these publishers but they all declined to work with my book. I am sort of annoyed because my manuscript is ready to go for the editing/publishing stage. I would like to have my work professionally done but I am considering the self-publishing route. I have discovered a self-publishing website called Lulu Press, which allows me to create my book, print it, and sell it all for free. Apparently, the company only receives 20% of my book sales. I will utilize this website soon. However, I am still waiting for a response on a query letter I sent recently to a normal publisher.
I am giving them another week, then I am taking action and self-publishing my book. I am nervous about it, however, since nobody edited my work. Yet I am thinking, editing or not, on the self-publishing route, the outcome would be the same. I am mostly doing this for myself and others with my disorder and not solely for profits. Before I publish, I still need to insert pictures from my life into my manuscript. Also, my Grandmother is designing my cover by hand so I will need to wait and convert it digitally. (AKA take a picture and format it) So I would say everything will be ready to go by the end of the month.
Look out for my book soon online. My title is, “My Wheels Keep Rolling” and my name is Michael McDonnell. In this autobiography, I aim to showcase the positive as well as the negative experiences during my life with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Throughout my life, I have experienced many personal battles that have tested my strength and in the end I have come out accomplishing more than I ever imagined. My mission thus far, has been to be considered a normal human being. I believe that I accomplished just that through my arduous journey through school and college. The stories and messages that I shared within these pages hopefully will inspire disabled individuals that the path to a normal life can be possible despite the challenges. Also, I would like anyone else to understand that the disabled life is worth living and all that disabled want is to be treated as normal human beings.