17-year-old Erin Bischoff received the shock of her life after earning the leading role in her school’s production of “The Wizard Of Oz.”
Bischoff, much like any teenager, just wants to fit in with the rest of her classmates. However, due to her condition, Bischoff’s often felt like an outcast.
As a child, Bischoff was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that makes her more susceptible to bone damage.
Since being diagnosed, Bischoff’s broken over 100 bones and undergone 10 surgeries.
With assistance from her service dog, Gauge, Bischoff’s able to carry out everyday activities including walking up stairs, opening doors, and navigating the halls of her school.
Given their strong bond, it only made sense that Gauge star in the play alongside his doting owner.
Gauge, who played the part of Toto, did a fantastic job on stage with Bischoff as she played Dorothy.
Together, the two made an adorable and talented duo. The school even altered the script to accommodate Bischoff better.
Since Bischoff uses a wheelchair, they removed any lines that referred to walking and running.
According to Bischoff’s mother, Erin has a great sense of humor about her disability. In fact, she sees it as a blessing rather than a curse.
Following her performance, Bischoff was overwhelmed by the audience’s ability to embrace her disability.
Bischoff states that she wants nothing more than to just be seen as “anyone else who’s up on stage.”
Bischoff’s high school, Hasbrouck Heights High School, was honored to allow Erin to share her talents.
For the first time in her life, Bischoff felt she was being recognized for more than her shortcomings.
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