(This story was shared in response to our Youth Blog call for submissions. All opinions are those of the writer. Please share your story!)
By Tylia Flores
It was the fall of 2010 that changed my life forever. I was a freshman in high school going through many changes in my life and just trying to find out what I wanted to do in the next four years. Then something tragic happened that I would never forget. On October 19, 2010 my longtime friend Daniel, who had cerebral palsy and a brain tumor, lost his battle to cancer.
Anguish and sadness
At first I was shocked and sad. Then I had so many emotions whirling in my mind. Anger and sadness were raging inside of me. I was happy that he was in a better place but there were other times I wished I could have prevented the cancer from spreading through his whole body.
My mind was a ticking time bomb. It was ready to explode at any time. I felt like I was living in the world, but not living all at once. My mind was dark and I was carrying feelings of guilt. I would often ask why I couldn’t have had the brain tumor. Why I couldn’t have died at fifteen years old. Daniel wanted to do so much with his life and now he was gone.
I didn’t know how to channel my emotions. I was too young. I didn’t know what to do.
But one day it clicked. I was at a Barnes & Noble with my step dad. I was drinking a vanilla bean frappuccino and looking at the bestsellers section. And all of the sudden it just clicked. When I got home I opened my computer, started a blank document and began writing the first sentence of my book, James’ Ticking Time Bomb. I have not stopped writing since that day.
Writing has become one of my greatest gifts. I’ve gone on a journey to become a self-published author and I am thankful for all the people that I have met along the way. Seven years ago if someone would have told me I was going to become an author I would have laughed in their face. I would have said there was more of a chance that I would become a graphic designer or even an actress in Hollywood.
But now here I am: a 22-year-old woman, with cerebral palsy, using my gift of writing to spread awareness about the condition. I just want people to know that sometimes it takes a tragedy in life for you to find your passion and your dreams.
Tylia Flores is a 22-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination. Through her determination she is able to write stories in the hopes that she can inspire others with disabilities do to whatever they put their mind to.
She published her book “James Ticking Time Bomb” at 16 years old.