Sue Nuenke has been giving away stickers featuring kids with disabilities since 2007.
For eight years she’s been making stickers and coloring books showing physically diverse children. It’s the continuation of a project she started with her son, Christopher Harmon, when he was still alive.
Harmon was born in December 1985, and Nuenke and her husband adopted him when he was 4 days old. Three years later, he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an inherited disorder that causes rapid muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue.
One day, when Harmon was 20 years old, he and his mother were in a craft store looking for stickers to decorate a photo album. Nuenke made a comment about how no stickers featured people in wheelchairs. A nearby shopper heard and expressed a similar frustration. That day, Nuenke decided to make some of her own, using her son as her model and mentor.
“He was my most valuable critic and biggest cheerleader,” Nuenke, who lives just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, told The Mighty. “He was always coming up with new ideas for designs and encouraging me to keep going. He believed there were lots of kids who would like to see stickers that looked like them, too.”
With Harmon’s help and input, she drew different images of children in wheelchairs and using walkers and sent them to a printer. Then she cut them out and gave them away for free to people she met. Soon, Nuenke also began making and printing coloring books with her artwork.
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