Published at Pacific Standard, August 2016.
At the end of August, a 14-year-old girl intends to commit suicide. The media is full of the news, and it’s calling her brave and inspiring for being outspoken about her decision. Typically, suicidal ideation in teenagers is not celebrated: It’s viewed as a horrific problem that indicates the need for medical intervention. The difference in this case is that Jerika Bolen has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a congenital disability.
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