Fashion Friday - Jessica Lopez

The moment we've all been waiting for is FINALLY here!! I proudly present our first 2015 Mandi CandI DiversAble Model *insert drum roll*........... JESSICA LOPEZ!!!





Jessica is wearing the Bead + Chain Multi-Wrap Bracelet from
the Desert Blooms Collection as a necklace!

I met Jessica at the Henry Viscardi School, where we were both students. As soon as she heard about this project she was excited and really wanted to participate. This is Jessica's story in her own words:

"My name is Jessica Lopez, I was born on December 2,1992. I was born and raised in Queens, New York with Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 3, which basically means that my bones are fragile. O.I often affects a person's hearing. I started losing my hearing in 8th grade. Although I just have a mild hearing loss, this has been one of the toughest things I've had to accept about my disability. It was embarrassing for me to think about wearing hearing aids. I tried to deal with my hearing problem for awhile before accepting it and actually getting help. Once I finally decided to take that step and get my hearing aids, it was as if 10 pounds was taken off my shoulders. I no longer had to strain so much to hear; I no longer missed out on conversations. it made my life so much easier. I am comfortable speaking about my hearing loss now and I've even helped others deal with their hearing loss. I also have scoliosis, which causes severe back pain, but even with all of my disadvantages I don't let any of it keep me down.
My biggest accomplishment has been living on my own for about two years. I proved to myself and those around me that even though I have a disability I can still take care of myself. Not only did I take care of myself, but I took care of my nephew for about a year and a half. It felt amazing being able to take care of someone else on my own knowing that I have always been the one who needed help. I believe in my abilities and I don't and will never let my disadvantages stop me from living my life.
This project is important to me because it's an opportunity for people to see us in a different light; for people to see that we aren't so different in the inside. We still like fashion, we like to dress up, wear beautiful jewelry and feel pretty regardless of our physical disabilities. I believe that society is slowly opening the door for people with disabilities but it is our job to show just how much we are actually capable of. There is still a long way to go but I believe that we can make a difference. I would like to see people with different types of disabilities show that no matter what, we are each beautiful in our own way. I want young kids with disabilities to feel beautiful no matter what their physical disadvantages may be. In the near future, I want them to  be able to open up a fashion magazine and see someone just like them and feel great about that. If you cannot change something, then embrace it and remember to never give up on your dreams. No matter how many obstacles you may face in life, there will always be a way to overcome them!"

Thanks Jessica! You're just amazing!

Jessica will be featured on my social media and online boutique all week! Please show her your support by commenting!

http://bitly.com/DiversAble
www.facebook.com/MandiCandIShop
Instagram @MandiCandIShop

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