Featuring Interview With Raheera Dopson: An Advocate For People With Disabilities and Motivational Speaker

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

***Thanks so much for the opportunity to have you on my blog. Can you please share a little about yourself?

My name is Rasheera Dopson I'm 28 years old and I am a soon to be Philanthropist, motivational speaker and an Advocate for people with disabilities. I myself have a disability. I was born with two rare diseases and over the course of my life, I have had 103 surgeries.  From chronically my own journey in living with chronic illness and disability, I launched the Beauty with a Twist brand which aims to empower women who have facial differences and disabilities. In speaking across the nation and doing grass root advocacy I hope that one day by sharing my story my Difference can change the world. 

** What was it like growing up?

I had a pretty normal childhood. Outside of being born with two rare diseases and having a chronic illness and disability. My childhood was great! Of course, my medical condition complicated things a lot because I was hospitalized and did experiences some teasing. But I can honestly say the good overshadowed my childhood memories. I just remember being around family a lot and playing with my Barbie's and being really innocent. I was so wrapped up in my own world of being a child that it didn’t hit me until I was an adult how the illness affected my life. I know that sort an all over the place answer but its the truth. 

** You are an amazingly strong young woman. I saw on your Instagram that you have had over 100 surgeries. What was that experience like?

That experience or I should say those experiences because they happened over the span of my life have been challenging at moments and eye-opening at some and downright real for lack of better words. And when I say real I mean having surgery is one of those things that its something you never get used to. You sort of just adapt. And as I got older the adapting to having surgery process got a tad more difficult. However, I can say ,  having as many surgeries as I have had have built me into a pretty solid person ( I hope that doesn’t sound cocky) but I'm not one to play with life because I understand how valuable life is.  I feel like having a lot of surgeries has given me a relentless passion. After I went through my period of hating my difference and being ashamed of my medical journey I found purpose in it and in finding purpose in my sickness it has given me a greater perspective of living life with no limits no matter your ability. 

** What is your favorite quote?

Umm, I have a lot. And it really depends on where I'm at in my life journey.  Right now I’d say Malala Yousafzai “ I am not a lone voice, I am the voice of many.”

** You are absolutely beautiful and I love your confidence. After everything you have been faced with, how do you stay positive?

Aww, thank you for your kind words. Um to be honest confidence is something I have to the daily walkout. Because there was a time I had none. So to be where I am today in the headspace I’m in now is a miracle. All credit goes to Jesus and great pastors and role models. I  believe in the power of affirmations! You are what you say and what and whom you listen too.  I also stay positive by being accountable. I know that's weird but it's true. Being accountable goes a long way because sometimes we need others to keep us in check. If I’m having a bad day or I’m going through a tough time, I reach out to family/ friends who can help keep me in a positive state of mind.  

** Tell me about Beauty With a Twist.

Beauty with a Twist is a brand for young women with disabilities and facial differences. Our brand aims to empower these young women letting them know that there is beauty in their difference!

** As you have grown and blossom, what advice would you tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self, “ to Embrace your authentic self and that you are enough.” I wish I would’ve heard these words more growing up.

** If there are people interested in helping out your cause, how can they do this?

Yes! They can definitely reach out to me via email or social media! I am actually in the process of launching my Nonprofit organization so if you follow me I will in days to come be a lot of ways to get involved! 

** Please share your social media and website information.
My social media handles Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - Rasheera Dopson or @rasheeradopson. And my website is www.beautywithaTwist.org

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