Disabled Writers is a resource to help editors connect with disabled writers and journalists, and journalists connect with disabled sources. Our goal is specifically to promote paid opportunities for multiply marginalized members of the disability community, and to encourage editors and journalists to think of disabled people for stories that stretch beyond disability issues. 

 

April Lynne Smith

Contact April: AprilLSmith at protonmail.com

When I was seventeen years old I was dead set on becoming a journalist and attended the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I attended Northeastern for two years, but due to financial reasons I had to transfer to a more affordable institution that unfortunately did not offer journalism as a major. I graduated from University of Massachusetts-Boston in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice. Then I decided I wanted to become a lawyer so I graduated from the Massachusetts School of Law on the sixty-fourth anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2008 and received my Juris Doctor. Shortly after I graduated I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my second cancer diagnosis. My first cancer diagnosis was at the age of two, which I was told was from Agent Orange as my father served in Vietnam and nobody in my family had ever been diagnosed with cancer before. I had a large portion of my muscles removed in my right leg and was placed in a bodycast at a very young age. However, I still managed to excel in track, cheer-leading and dance. Although my second breast cancer diagnosis put a major damper on my plans to be a lawyer, I still managed to complete the Multi State Professional Responsibility Exam with a score of 99% and took the bar exam while on chemo-therapy. I did not pass the bar exam and my desire to become a lawyer waned. I began working in law offices at the age of eighteen up until about three years ago. About two years following my initial breast cancer diagnosis it spread to the other breast. I had two separate mastectomies and approximately thirteen surgeries due to complications. After being placed on chemotherapy for over a year, and a total hysterectomy at the age of thirty along with a few other hospitalizations for complications arising from cancer, my life felt like it was over. I no longer had much of a social life, I was unable to have children and I could not find a job that would allow me to live on my own as I had to move back home with my parents. I ended up hospitalized twice due to heart related complications resulting from chemotherapy and the stress of working as a part time paralegal was too much for me. I wanted to be able to communicate more with people and be around people so I took a job in Hingham, MA working with the elderly and Alzheimer's patients. I also took a brief freelance writing position with a writing company outside the country that was very short-lived as they did not make good on their end of the contract so I quit. I was raised by a private investigator so investigating, researching anything and everything is in my blood. Aside from several jobs working for lawyers practicing various kinds of law; I have also worked as an Emergency Room Coordinator and had my own business on the side caring for elderly animals. At this point in time my dream is to meet people of like mind and pursue my original dreams of journalism. 

April is available as a source

Additional communication availability: Phone, Text, Chat, Videoconference

Languages: English, Spanish (Basic)

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