A person with a disability might use their condition as an excuse to miss out on life but Talisha Grzyb still chose life when all the odds were stacked against her from birth. Even though doctors told her parents she would not live past three days, Grzyb is a living medical miracle who is a wife, mother, influencer, author, and management analyst.
Grzyb was born with muscular dystrophy inherited through a recessive gene. The condition largely affects the body’s voluntary muscles. This means she cannot walk and has been a wheelchair user her entire life.
She was raised and loved by both parents and taught how to live independently. “Since I was born, my mother has always encouraged me and supported me to follow my dreams and anything I can do,” Grzyb said. “My strong spirit has made up for my weak muscles,” she said. “I wasn’t even allowed to say I can’t do something. The only thing I cannot do is walk.”
Grzyb went through life pretty much like every child her age because her family was so supportive and never made her feel as though she was any different from other children her age.
She got her first job at age 16 as a telemarketer for Bank of America only quitting to enroll in college to read psychology and criminal justice after two years with the bank.
At Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, an 18-year-old Grzyb lived her best life while helping the school to be more disability-friendly for herself and others. She enjoyed all the college experiences and met her best friends on campus as well as the love of her life, Quentin, who was her teaching assistant at the time.
It was not love at first sight for her, but Quentin was swooned by “her positive energy, spirit, and her courage.” She decided to give him a chance and they got married.
After their surprise honeymoon and a medical scare that let Grzyb be hospitalized for five days, she found out she was pregnant with not one but two identical twin boys. Although it was a high-risk pregnancy because of her condition and the babies being twins, they were born prematurely at five months to a very happy Gryzyb and Quentin, who had them home after eight weeks in the hospital.
“Michael was born first at two pounds, seven ounces,” Grzyb shared. “Mason was born right after… at two pounds, nine ounces.”
Not long after that, the 28-year-old new mother of twins realized she was pregnant with another boy. Now the couple have three children all under the age of three, although they have faced prejudice as an ‘interabled’ couple. “The topic of pregnancy and disability is very uncomfortable for some people, and I’m not too sure why,” Grzyb said. “I mean, the reality is, us disabled people deserve the right to procreate, as well.”
Being a mother with a disability is not so different from able-bodied mothers, according to Grzyb. She said it does not affect her day-to-day life as she often gets all the support she needs from her husband and family.
“I have weaker muscles, so things such as lifting my children and dressing myself, I have difficulty with,” Grzyb said. “However, with the help of my amazing support system, I’m able to complete all my tasks throughout the day.”
With all her life experiences, Grzyb has decided to inspire others who may be in her position to live their best lives by starting her YouTube channel, Rolling Through Life With TaLisha. On the channel, she shares insights about her life from college, getting married, and starting a family, according to Daquan. TV.
“The reason I decided to start my YouTube channel is to sort of highlight the abilities that people with disabilities have. Even though we are disabled, we live normal lives,” the disability influencer explained. “I wanted to inspire others by giving them hope while watching my videos.”
Through her advocacy, she has met other ‘interabled’ couples and written five books mostly inspired by her children. The books touch on her life as a disabled mother to other topics such as Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, all her books have received positive reviews from the public and with many five-star ratings on Amazon.
While juggling motherhood, her YouTube channel, and writing her books, Grzyb got a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from Wilmington University after graduating college and has worked as a management analyst at Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, as a credentialed background investigator for government agencies, and as an intelligence analyst at General Dynamics Information Technology.
On top of that, she is Miss Wheelchair Delaware, a competition based on the “advocacy, achievement, communication, and presentation” of wheelchair users and advocates. This is the first time since 1975 that the state has sent an official representative to the national competition. Grzyb will be participating in the “Ms. Wheelchair America” in August.
Currently, she is focused on raising her family and teaching others acceptance and self-love. “I would like to inspire others just by me living my life. Everything is possible. There’s nothing impossible, even though it might be done differently.”