S2E17: Finding Your Voice and Identity when Growing Up with a Rare Bone Disorder – Part Two 

Continuing our discussion with warrior, Marlena Chertock, born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare bone disorder and form of dwarfism resulting in short stature, chronic pain, arthritis, scoliosis, and more. In Part Two, listen as Marlena describes what it was like to grow up with her condition and to begin to recognize the resilience of her body. She shares her journey to identifying as disabled and her thoughts on invisible disabilities in our society. Marlena has published two works of poetry called Crumb-sized: Poemsand On that one-way trip to Mars. She works as a Communications Manager, Water at the World Resources Institute, sharing research and data that helps companies, cities, and countries understand water risks and invest in solutions for a water-secure future. She also serves on the Board of Split This Rock, a nonprofit that cultivates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change, and was previously the Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ literary festival. Marlena utilizes her life experience to showcase the diversity of disability and chronic pain, highlight the importance of including disabled people in climate change planning, and imagine all bodies in the future through science fiction, speculative fiction, and crip lit (crippled literature). To learn about Marlena Chertock, go to marlenachertock.com

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