(from The Chicago Tribune)
Dating, offline and online, isn’t easy for anyone. But imagine if you were disabled.
Just south of Joliet, Ill., 54-year-old Suzie VanDyke struggles with a painful muscle disease called fibromyalgia. Sometimes, she feels like her neck, shoulders and legs are on fire. When the pain flares up, she’s in bed for days at a time.
For 15 years, VanDyke has dealt with fibromyalgia. She tried dating but eventually gave up on it.
“When I would tell people I have this disorder,” VanDyke said, “they’d push me aside. I wouldn’t get a call again. It’s just too much rejection.” The big dating Web sites weren’t any help, either.
“I don’t know any other way to say this,” she explained sheepishly, “but those guys are just looking for sex. That’s not something I’m looking for. I’m looking for a committed relationship.”
Dating4Disabled.com is the site that Ms. VanDyke used to find her husband. It caters to singles with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, stroke recovery, hearing and sight impairment, brain injuries, paralysis, amputation, polio, arthritis, learning disabilities, epilepsy, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. A number of people identify themselves as “not disabled.”
A very important niche, ably filled.