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Though Dayniah Manderson Has Muscular Dystrophy, A Lasting Friendship Has Inspired Many

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Dayniah Manderson lives with muscular dystrophy -- just two years ago she wasn't expected to live, but now she's become an inspirination to her middle school students, her four-year-old daughter, and many others who've read her story.

At the age of 16, Manderson met Dr. Roberta Shapiro, who counseled her through an abortion -- they've now been close friends for more than a decade.

The New York Times profiled Manderson on Friday, April 30. She discusses living with a disability and how the dedication of her mother and Shapiro have changed her life.

"I couldn't live a day inside her body," said [Shapiro].

But Ms. Manderson manages to arrive at work on time, get her hair done every other week and shop regularly at Victoria's Secret -- as long as everything around her works exactly as it should. It is an exhausting negotiation, a mountain of minuscule achievements punctuated by bouts of depression; a fiercely independent streak at odds with an inescapable vulnerability.

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A foundation has been set up in her honor, to help others cope with disabilities. You can donate to the fund via PayPal.