Illuminating Invisible Disabilities
Quadriplegics in a wheelchair or Blind people with a walking cane are some afflictions that come to mind. If I asked you, “What is the most common disability?” what would you say? Actually, the most common ones are typically non-physical related. Many people will not know immediately that someone is living with these Hidden Disabilities. This is where we want to step in to help spread the word.
Plazma Streams for Joy
Who is Plazma?His real name is Haike Van Rooij, but his audience/community knows him best as Plazma, a League of Legends streamer on Twitch. At age 6, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Autism, yet he hasn’t let it slow him down. Instead, he spent several years receiving help to work through some of the challenges that came with his diagnosis. That isn’t to say he hasn’t experienced the impact of ADD and Autism. There have been times when the label that came with his diagnosis felt like a stigma. “People often separate you from the rest; as in they are normal and you are strange,” Plazma explained. “It’s like you’re being tagged and you can’t get rid of that tag.” However, bullying was never really something he experienced firsthand. With a strong support system of friends and family, he doesn’t let those “tags” hold him back. “I actually never really cared about [my diagnosis] because yeah, it’s real, but it doesn’t really matter that I have a condition,” he said. “I’m just myself.” Plazma turned to streaming because he wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives. He received a lot of support from friends, family members, and people online, encouraging him to grow his channel. “Making people happy makes me happy and it keeps me motivated,” Plazma said. It helps that the computer is his favorite gaming platform. As a streamer, he’s able to share that passion with others while creating a community that isn’t limited to state lines or country borders.
Streaming for a CauseAs Plazma joined the streaming community, he encountered the Kool Kits, a stream team on Twitch. Impressed with how interactive the audience was and how everyone was having a great time, he decided to stick around the channel. That eventually led to him getting involved with the team. Kool Kits recently did a stream for Dreamscape Foundation during our holiday fundraising. Plazma was part of their team during this event. One look at our mission and goal made him want to work alongside us to help others with disabilities. In fact, he is now an active part of our community, spreading the word in whatever way he can to help us reach a bigger audience/share the dream. When asked about the event, his response was a humble one. “Definitely check out everyone at the kool kits,” he said. “They made it possible for me to help Dreamscape and given me the [opportunity] to go further with streaming.”
A Word of InspirationWhile young, Plazma has been adamant about embracing life to the fullest. When asked for any words of wisdom for others who are struggling with ADD or Autism, his words were encouraging. “Whatever condition you have, don’t see it as a disability,” he said. “See it as a possibility.” You can check out Plazma’s Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/officialplazma or follow him on Twitter. « PreviousNext »
Kessler Foundation Uses Research to Improve Lives
Many nonprofit organizations raise money for research. Dreamscape Foundation is no exception. But what does “raising money for research” really mean? More importantly, what does it do? We recently interviewed the Kessler Foundation in order to give our readers more insight into how funding research can make a big difference.
What is the Kessler Foundation?Kessler Foundation is a nonprofit research center dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities through both scientific breakthroughs and specialized programs. “We strive to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities through innovative research,” said Kessler Foundation Research Recruitment Specialist Samantha Schmidt. “We want to help people regain physical and cognitive function after a brain injury like a stroke or a debilitating illness like multiple sclerosis.” The Kessler Foundation has grown significantly since its founding in 1947. It now has 6 research facilities where scientists develop potential treatments and effective interventions. This foundation hones in on specific disabilities caused help by:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries in Adults and Children
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Breast Cancer
- ADD and Autism in Children