Taylor Swanstrom – Illinois Nomination & Photography by Suzie Bell Photography Issue 65 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Taylor Swanstrom has inspired me with her ability to persevere. When she was 10 years old, she began having chronic hip pain. She slowly lost her ability to walk and had to give up dancing- her favorite thing in the world. Almost a year later, she received the diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis. She had surgery and went through months of physical therapy to re-learn how to walk. The most inspiring part of her story is that through it all she remained positive, and now plans to enter the medical field and help children in similar situations.
Photography by Suzie Bell Photography
What do you want people to know about your condition and where you are with it today? I’m currently doing great handling my condition. I take medicine twice a day and I haven’t had a problem with it for a few years!
What do you wish people knew about Juvenile Arthritis? I wish that it was more well-known that kids can have arthritis too. Every time I tell someone they act so surprised!
How did you find and why did you choose Suzie Bell Photography for your senior photographer? Suzie worked with my mom for many years. She took my family pictures and did a great job, so that’s why I chose her.
What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? I was SO cold because it was only 20 degrees outside, but I loved how beautiful Suzie made me feel!
What has been the best part of being a senior this year? Getting to celebrate all of my “lasts” with my friends.
Photography by Monica Swanstrom
What will you miss most about high school? I’ll definitely miss going to miss prom and homecoming the most.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently? I recently learned that they make left handed scissors. I'm not even left handed so I don't know why I thought this was so cool.
If you had nothing to do and all day to do it, where would we find you?
Probably in my bed until noon and then hanging out with friends!
What is your family like and where do you fit in? Where do you stand out? I have a mom, dad and a younger sister. They love to go out on the weekends, but I’d rather just stay home with my 2 cats- Noodles and Meatball!
What is a favorite memory? Working at Subway and accidentally pushing a button that calls the police.
What is a favorite family tradition you hope never ends? My family and I always play silly games on Christmas Eve and finish the night watching a movie.
What do you and your friends like to do together in your spare time? My friends and I love to go to the mall whenever we spend the weekend together. We spend WAY too much money!
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Freshman year it became so bad that I had to go on medication. It took me a while to be okay with the fact that I needed medicine in order to act like everybody else. Since then, I’ve learned to be grateful for the opportunity to be on meds, and I’ve used my anxiety to push me further in life.
What else would you like to talk about? My struggles with arthritis. Also my struggles with body image.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? How body shaming comes in many different forms.
Look for Taylor in issue 65 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!