Sara Papa's story helps us understand who to include in "design that's usable by all people."

And not just in Zion Crossings, Virginia, but anywhere.

During the summer of 2017, Sara noticed a lump in her breast that wouldn’t seem to go away and grow larger. Sara decided to get the mass checked, and was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer at the young age of 26.

In order to treat the cancer, Sara underwent 6 sessions of chemotherapy, followed by a double-mastectomy, and finally, completed 25 rounds of radiation.

Following the treatments, Sara experienced profound fatigue that interfered with essentially every aspect of her ability to perform self-care routines, housework, driving, sleeping and meal preparation. Sara has many recommendations for home and community design in order to help make performing every day tasks easier for individuals recovering from cancer.

Location: Zion Crossings, Virginia, United States


Watch the interview:

Notable quotes from the interview:

I, unfortunately couldn’t really get out much into the community. I just I was so sick to my stomach and so weak and fatigued that I just stayed home. That if my friends wanted to come see me, they would have to come visit me. Come to me, because there was no way I could go to them.

You know they look at me, and they were like, oh this young girl. Why is she using this [motorized cart]? Like, why is she sick? She shouldn’t be sick.

But it’s just different because you know, I would say…you truly don’t get it, you truly don’t understand unless you’ve gone through it yourself.

And fear of recurrence is real. You know, like you want to hear the positive…the success stories. The success “I kicked cancer’s butt” story.

Please treat us the same as before. Don’t treat us any different just because we’re going through what we’re going through. You just crave, you just want that sense of normalcy all over again.