Marisol is 50 years old and has a home in Deer Park on Long Island where she lives with her daughter, Katie, and Katie’s father. She is a trained facilitator for Supported Decision-Making New York. She heard about it in 2017 at the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS), where she works as Long Island Regional Organizer and as SDMNY’s Administrative Assistant for our Long Island site. As a facilitator, she is helping Decision-Makers to create Supported Decision-Making Agreements (SDMAs) so they can make their own decisions. She intends to go through the facilitation process to make her own SDMA because she sees how it can help her with medical and financial decisions.
As a baby, Marisol was misdiagnosed and, as a result, her parents were told she wouldn’t live past the age of 5. While she has more than proved that early prognosis wrong, she admits that her whole life has been a challenge, especially “showing people that I am more than my disability.” Her tenacity is a strong part of her personality, which she describes as “kind of all bundled in one”—sometimes outgoing, other times shy, often funny and confident. When she is not working, raising two children, or maintaining a household, she enjoys traveling with her friends.
Marisol’s challenge is “showing showing people that I am more than my disability.”
In 2020, Marisol proudly watched her daughter graduate from high school during COVID-19. While Marisol’s daughter missed her prom, she earned a Distinction Regents Diploma and began college in the fall. As a parent, Marisol has learned that her children have minds of their own, wryly adding “if I did my job right, they will hear my voice faintly in the back of their heads.” When asked about her goals, Marisol keeps her many accomplishments in check by stating: “make it through the day and hope I open my eyes to do it all over again.”