There are few people who have inspired us here at Zazzle more than Zazzle contributor Ricky Buchanan.
Ricky created her Zazzle gallery in 2004 and currently has more than 75 items available. She’s the founder of Adults Need Smiles Too, an Australian nonprofit organization that mails inspirational notes, cards and other items to adult who are ill long-term just to let them know that someone is thinking about them. She actively runs three separate web sites on her own.
And she does all of it while lying flat on her back in bed, operating her computer with one finger, using an onscreen keyboard with a trackpad to type and navigate the screen.
Ricky is 30 years old, and has spent the last ten years of her life in that bed. She suffers from a progressive multi-system disease known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. The disease affects nearly every system in her body, from her memory to her digestive system to her skin and hair, leaving Ricky in constant severe pain despite strong painkillers.
Despite her constant pain, Ricky perseveres. Her web site NoPity Shirts, a site which she designed, constructed and maintains without assistance, features t-shirt designs she’s made available on Zazzle. Ricky’s shirts are designed around disability awareness and humor — people with a variety of disabilities are proud to wear Ricky’s funny, thought-provoking shirts every day. The site also offers an “Occasional Newsletter” and is soon launching a competition for photos featuring customers wearing their NoPity gear.
She also sells Zazzle shirts for the Adults Need Smiles Too web site (see the site for details). Ricky puts part of the proceeds toward the organization, and the remainder toward her own skyrocketing medical bills.
Even as her body continues to weaken, Ricky sees her life as improving — each decade is better than the previous. And she plans to keep it that way, saying that she has “big plans for my thirties, and for NoPity Shirts … and no disabilities are going to be able to stop me!”
Visit Ricky’s Zazzle gallery or read more about her at:
- NoPity Shirts
- Not Done Living
- Ricky’s LiveJournal
Thank you, Ricky, for being such a source of inspiration for all of us.