AN INSPIRATION TO ALL
SHE is small, her height only half the average height of high school student, but she inspires people with her perseverance, determination and competitive spirit.
Nicole Mayandoc, a pretty 16-year old, Grade 10 student at Carael National High School in this city, does not mind standing only at 2’6”tall with disability.
This daughter of Enrique and Alita Mayandoc is the only one among their three children who is not only short but also does not have knees and her left arm is halved in length and with only one finger connected to it.
She weighs only 20 kilograms.
She said her condition might be genetic as a relative has similar condition whose arms are not fully developed and her fingers lacking too.
“I don’t know what my finger (in my right arm) is, whether it is a thumb, a ring finger or index finger,” she said laughing.
She said she is still lucky because she is treated no different in her school and in her barangay.
“I would just sometimes cry when someone accidentally hits me with a ball when we play,” Nicole said.
She doesn’t mind people ogling at her, or tease her. “In fact, many of those those who used to do so have become my friends,” she proudly narrated.
Nicole said her classmates and friends accept and treat her equally.
Despite being differently abled, Nicole is a consistent honor student. She finished elementary level as top four, and first in her class and second in her batch in her secondary schooling.
She said she gets inspiration from her family when she joins various contests like the news writing contest in the recently-concluded Dagupan Children’s Summit on Journalism.
She also competes in an extemporaneous speech, art and dance competitions.
Nicole does not mind when she loses in contests. “I just try because I want to feel I’m no different from others,” she said.
“I still consider myself blessed because God gave me a perfect family and no one ever made me feel that I am differently abled person,” she said.
Because of her height, Nicole said her friends help her whenever she hops into a jeepney and walks up to her classroom which is on second floor.
To her fellow youths, especially the handicapped ones, Nicole has this to say: Reach for your dream, never give up. You should not think you cannot do something because of your physical condition because if others can, you should believe you also can.
She advised people to believe in themselves and trust in their capabilities.
“Wag magpapa-apekto, Go lang nang go (Don’t get affected by what people say about you). Just go for it,” Nicole said with a big smile. (Eva Visperas)
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