It’s been a year since Sofia Sarabia suffered a stroke that left her with physical and verbal challenges.
His wife, Alicia Vega, said it was “unexpected and unjustified”. “Before that, she was healthy. So this year, we learned how to navigate the world.”
On Saturday, Sarabia, who had a transgender pride flag draped in her wheelchair, and Vega, who wore a rainbow flag like a cloak, marched in the 19th annual Disability Parade for the first time.
Sarabia, writing on a piece of paper to help her communicate, wrote the word “enjoy” to describe her experience of marching in the show.
“I know she really wanted to be here because she wasn’t ashamed of her physical and verbal challenges, and she wanted to celebrate life,” Vega added.
The Disability Pride Parade, which has taken a virtual form for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returned in person Saturday morning. The parade attracted several hundred people who walked from South Plymouth Court and West Van Buren Street to Daly Plaza in the Loop.
“Because the last two years of COVID-19 have been so hard on everyone, it’s good to have this show for people with disabilities so we can all support each other, so we can all encourage each other to continue to face the ongoing challenges that are ongoing,” said Alec Kapakungan, Leader The march and patient ambassador at Shriners Children’s in Chicago, “We Have in Our Lives.”
“[The Disability Pride Parade is] For people who may not have this community in their area, in their lives. “It’s an opportunity for them to meet other people with disabilities who really have a sense of belonging,” Kapakongan said.
As show-goers walked in, Patrick cheered and filmed near the pier.
“It’s a recovery event, in that we don’t recover from our disability,” Patrick said. “We really celebrate them and they are an important part of our human diversity, you know.”