Hello! I’m Carolyn Farmer Sampson, freelance writer and grandmother; an ordinary woman with some extraordinary life experiences.
I was born with shortened, deformed arms and hands caused by my mother taking the drug thalidomide while pregnant. Thalidomide, manufactured and marketed by Chemie Grünenthal in Stolberg, Germany, was a sedative taken by men and women to relieve anxiety, insomnia and headaches. According to Gruenenthal, “Due to its sedative effects, women also used it to counter pregnancy-related discomforts, such as morning sickness.”
Thalidomide was taken off the market in 1961, four months before I was born, amid mounting evidence that it caused severe birth defects including phocomelia (shortened or missing arms and legs), and other deformities. The recall was too late for me and thousands of other babies born around the world, many of whom died or were euthanized at birth.
For decades I worked hard not to let my condition and limitations define me but in 2016 I began writing and speaking about what it’s like to function in an able-bodied world that does little to accommodate people with disabilities.
This blog is dedicated to shedding light on the challenges faced not just by people with disabilities but all minority groups. Of course, disability is just one piece of my life experience and I enjoy writing about all aspects of family life in America.