Model: Johana Nolasco
Amelia (congenital absence of a limb)
Spanish TV Network, Mundomax 8
When my mother was pregnant with me, we lived in New York. When I was born, I was a perfect baby, except for the fact that I only had one hand. My parents were from the Dominican Republic. When I was five years old, they decided to move the family back to their native country. There, I went to regular schools, and was treated very normally by my parents and siblings. I remember, however, being bullied and ridiculed by some of the children because of my birth defect. This caused me to form a somewhat “protective shield” around myself. I have always been able to stand up for myself. My parents never babied me. As a matter of fact, because I was the oldest child, I was the one who had to do most of the housework. This made me strong and made me realize I could do anything.
The person who really gave me self-confidence, however, was my grandmother. I moved in with her when we moved back the US and to Miami. I went to high school and attended Miami Dade College. Now I work for a Spanish TV network, Mundomax 8. I am an assistant traffic coordinator and I supervise the placement of commercial advertisements. I have to say this about my disability: “You are never going to miss something that you never had…I never needed a “hand” because I already had one! I’ve always wonder why a person with two hands ever complains.”
My motto has always been: “Do what is right, not what is easy.”
Photographed by Tony Chirinos