Disorder Makes Patients Want to Be Disabled

Share
Copy

Jennings-White made her first television appearance on a National Geographic series called "Taboo," prompting heated debates even before it aired. A spinal cord injury forum had to shut down a conversation about the show because posters became so hostile toward one another. They argued over whether Jennings-White should experience a loss of bladder control to see how it really feels to be a paraplegic and whether some posters were insensitive to her plight.

Last February, Anderson Cooper interviewed Jennings-White on his daytime television show. Cooper interrupted Jennings-White during the interview to say actual paraplegics would find her need to be paralyzed "completely inappropriate," prompting applause from his studio audience.

Despite the hostility, Jennings-White said she's received messages from people who sympathize with her – even people from the disabled community.

Although O'Connor, the transabled.org founder, said he thinks the way Cooper treated BIID as a topic was "a shame," he still thinks it's important to raise awareness about it.

"In the end, it is a real condition that causes terrible pain for people," he said. "I know a few people who have died from it, either through self-injury attempts or suicide."

Despite the hate and scorn so often directed at Jennings-White, Comer came forward to ABCNews.com because he didn't want her to stand alone.

"I don't have T-shirts printed up," he joked. "Really, honestly coming public with this is a big step."

He said he was apprehensive about coming forward, but he hopes his voice will raise awareness and maybe even prompt more research. He even volunteered to be a "guinea pig" if it means a step toward a cure.

"So far, she's been our national public voice," Comer went on. "[I want] to augment what she says and provide yet another experience of this because no two people will experience the exact same thing in life."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...