Tony was born nearly 8 weeks early in 1988. Most likely as a result of his premature birth, Tony has Cerebral Palsy (CP). CP is the most common motor disorder diagnosed in childhood. It is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or damage to the developing brain in infancy. Tony has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which means he has muscle weakness and often experiences spastic movements, and that this condition mostly affects only his legs with lesser symptoms in his upper limbs and neck.
Born in Portland (OR), Tony lived here until he was in 5th grade. His adolescent and early adult years were spent on the Kitsap Peninsula of Washington. In 2016 he and his mother moved back to the Portland area in pursuit of greater employment opportunities. It was at that time Tony applied for housing with Quad. “I applied at many different locations. Quad was the only one that offered specially designed accessible apartments.”
His apartment at Myers Court is the first opportunity he’s had to live independently. Of his apartment, Tony says what he most appreciates is that everything in it is made for people who require accessibility. Although Tony is currently almost entirely self-sufficient and does not need attendant care services, it’s empowering to know that he is living in an affordable apartment that allows him to acquire support services if needed. “A great thing about this apartment is that I can stay here and if I need more support or accessibility I can get it. Right now I’m very independent but I know that might change in the future so it’s good to have this option. I’m not planning on moving out anytime soon!”
Tony volunteers every Monday at Shriners Hospital for Children in downtown Portland. As a child he visited Shriners at least twice yearly for checkups. Volunteering is his way of giving back to the organization that supported him in his formative years. Additionally, volunteering is a way for Tony to gain valuable work experience. Ultimately, he would like to work as in medical reception. Outside of volunteering, Tony enjoys online gaming and reading (especially Sci/Fi and Fantasy). He visits Comic-Con yearly and has an extensive collection of signed photos with celebrities including Wil Wheaton, David Tennant, Gates McFadden, and (the late) Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew.
Although he loves living in Portland, Tony states that there are some barriers to being fully integrated to his Mississippi/Williams neighborhood. Many sidewalks are narrow, uneven and without curb cuts. Lack of curb cuts makes turning around in a wheelchair extremely difficult, sometimes meaning that a wheelchair user must go several feet out of the way before they reach a place with a safe turning radius. Otherwise, Tony has enjoyed exploring and is looking forward to becoming more familiar with the area surrounding his new home.