Shane Burcaw is a young adult with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and a wicked sense of humor. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he runs a blog and nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical equipment to people with muscular dystrophy diseases. He and his girlfriend are the duo behind Squirmy and Grubs, a YouTube channel that offers a behind the scenes look at their interabled relationship.
I’m beyond excited to officially unveil for you the beautiful cover of my book, “Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse!”
I’m sure many of you temporarily lost consciousness when your eyes fell upon the sheer sexiness of my girlfriend, Hannah, and I posing in such a sultry position, so I’ll give you a minute to regain your strength before I continue. I hope you’ll wipe up your drool and keep reading because I have a few very important things to say about this book.
My name is Shane Burcaw, and I was born with a lovely muscle-wasting disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I’m working really hard to use my time on this earth to create a positive, lasting impact. Specifically, my goal is to change the way society looks at disability. This book is the next step in that journey.
One of the biggest stigmas about people with disabilities is that we are incapable and unworthy of romantic relationships. To give you an example, I run a YouTube channel with Hannah, and every time we post a new episode, people inevitably comment with theories as to why on earth we are dating. Here are just a few of my favorites:
“Don’t get me wrong – he seems like a good dude – but I ain’t buying it. She’s either his nurse or good friend and this is an act, or she’s got a couple screws loose.”
“Ask yourself, would you date him? NO, YOU WOULDN’T. What is the catch here?”
“This [relationship] is abnormal and frankly disgusting.”
Aren’t these fun? Jokes aside, this is but a small indication of the vast and innumerable ways that people with disabilities are discriminated against on a daily basis. I am determined to change that situation.
My strategy is humor. In “Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse” I use funny stories from my life to show readers that using a wheelchair is not some horrid, depressing existence. I’m a person, and my disability should not invoke pity or aversion, but rather, respect and love and kindness, just like we all deserve.
When I opened my email on the morning of March 10, 2016 and saw a message from a stranger named Hannah who lived in Minnesota, my heart disobeyed its natural rhythm as I read her words and began to hear her voice in my head, but I had no idea what was in store for the two of us.
In March 2018 Shane moved to Minneapolis to live with Hannah. Today, they are very happy together. #trueLove
Buy on Amazon:
“Equal parts humorous, tender, and insightful, the pieces give an unfettered look at Burcaw’s life and the assumptions others make about living with a disability.” – School Library Journal
“With the same frankness and gallows humor that marked his Laughing at My Nightmare (2014)… An accessible, smart-assed, and unexpectedly tender exploration of life, love, and disability.” – Kirkus
“His capacity for self-reflection offers a good model for readers struggling to do the same, and his negotiation of independence will have resonance for many young people. People with disabilities still don’t get the kind of #ownvoices space they merit, and Burcaw’s voice makes him just plain good literary company in this approachable, enjoyable, and often edifying title.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Starred Review
“With uncompromised self-confidence and contagious humor, his no-holds-barred essays address some of the curious, quirky, and even intimate questions folks have about his condition… Written in his frank, often earthy, style, this will hold readers mesmerized.” – Booklist
“Burcaw doesn’t shy away from topics that might be considered delicate; instead, he emphasizes the awkwardness, celebrating highs and lows alike. Above all, [he] succeeds in illustrating that ‘disability does not equal sadness.’” – Publishers Weekly
“Burcaw writes with humor and humility in the engaging, insightful collection of tales from his life. His anecdotes are candid and revealing— all areas of his life are fodder for laughs and discussion.” – VOYA
Website: Laughing At My Nightmare
YouTube: Squirmy and Grubs