Paralyzed at 15, student finds self-advocacy, independence at Berkeley

In 2015, 15-year-old Mariana Soto Sanchez woke up one morning with weakness in her hand. Within minutes, the feeling had spread throughout her body, and by the time she got to the hospital, she had total paralysis. She later found out she had a rare disorder called transverse myelitis. Six years later, Mariana has regained some mobility and will graduate from UC Berkeley in December 2021 with a degree in media studies and a minor in journalism. She says she continues to learn how to advocate for herself in a world that isn’t built for her.

In this episode of the podcast Berkeley Voices, Mariana and other guests share their thoughts on navigating the built world and the history and future of the disability rights movement at Cal.

Visit Berkeley News to read the transcript and subscribe to this podcast.

Photo of Mariana on a campus pathway wearing a t-shirt that says,

Mariana Soto Sanchez will graduate in December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in media studies and a minor in journalism. Photo by Neil Freese.

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