Family overcomes challenges despite disabilities

September 9, 2010 10:15:25 AM PDT
Parenting is never easy, but it can be especially challenging when both parents have physical disabilities. But a Chicago-area family is giving their daughters a "normal" childhood despite their physical challenges.

Pascuala and Isidro Herrera have been married 15 years. Their daughters Ariel and Ariana are 11 and 10.

Pascuala has polio.

"I got it when I was 9 years months old, so I've been using a wheelchair and I've had lower mobility problems all my life," said Pascuala.

Isidro has arthritis.

"I have rheumatoid arthritis," said Isidro. "I've had it since an early age, but I've been able to function with this disability and be successful in life and everything I do."

Having a family was something they always wanted. They know it will be challenging.

"All the physical things that I cannot do...We had to be creative, like we used to look like a choo-choo train pushing a double stroller...Sometimes, I used to carry a pouch on the front. My little one always rides on the back of the wheelchair, my power chair, she stands on the battery and she gets free ride all the time."

They also do typical activities.

"We've gone on cruises, I've taken them horseback riding, they've done karate, they know how to ride their bikes," Pascuala said.

Some people question their ability to be parents.

"We're actually hard working Americans that are just like anybody else. We work, we play, we do basically anything anybody does. It's fun. It's really interesting how people see us, you know, out and about," said Isidro.

"My family is wonderful, they keep me company if I'm scared or anything like that," said daughter Ariel.

"Even though they have disabilities they can do a lot of things with me," said Ariana.


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