Hi, my name is Yoav Gaon and I am one of the co-founders of yoocan. yoocan is the world’s leading empowerment site for people with disabilities.

In 2008, my son Erez was born with a rare disease and complex cognitive and physical disabilities. When Erez was born, we didn’t really know what to expect. The odds were against us and the doctors were pessimistic.

We understood that we needed to focus on his quality of life rather than trying to fix him through uncertain surgeries. This was the beginning of an emotionally challenging journey for me, Ruthi (my wife), and our family. It brought us together in many ways, but it was hard as we needed to adjust to a new way of living. Once we started looking at the glass half full and searching for his small accomplishments and positive strengths, his beautiful soul came out and we could see his abilities.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bloom

Erez has certain limitations, but this has definitely not prevented him from living life to the fullest! Today Erez is in third grade (a high-function class in a special school). He is also a helpful carpenter to me and I see that this passion helps to develop his motoric hand skills, enforces his muscle use and cognitive understanding. It gives him a sense of accomplishment each step of the way. In addition, water therapy has proven to be one of the major successes in improving his motoric and respiratory limitations. He loves going to the beach and feeling the water and waves.

Like Erez, there are over 1 billion people in the world living with some kind of cognitive or physical disability, striving to live a better more inclusive life, and fulfill their dreams.

The goal in launching yoocan was to create a safe and inclusive community in which people with disabilities and their families can share their stories. We currently have over 1,000 stories on the site and this number is growing each day.

Our Instagram account, @yoocandoanything, is reaching over 21,000 followers to date. Each day we post one story and photo from someone around the world living with a disability. Our stories include individuals from over 100 countries, allowing our page to unite people and families with disabilities and support one another.

I want to thank Laura for hosting me as a guest writer, helping us to spread the yoocan word, and for sharing her personal story on yoocan. I also want to thank each person who is a part of our community because they are an integral part of the network we are building.

I would like to invite anyone who has a disability or knows someone with a disability to join our community and share their story with us at yoocanfind.com!

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