She calls herself "Tisha UnArmed," but once you meet her it's difficult to think of her as disabled. All of the things we do with our hands every day -- from putting on makeup to driving a car -- this 25-year-old woman does with her feet. And even though she starts every one of her videos by pointing out "And I have no arms!," her cheer, determination, and sense of humor are what takes center stage.
"If you're always taking the easy way out, then you'll never learn how to do anything difficult," she told Yahoo! Shine in an interview.
In Jordan, "Everyone was fine but me," she says. "There are no opportunities for a handicapped American in a third world country."
She went through physical therapy as a child, but Tisha credits her mom with teaching her "how to do things without even thinking about them."
"You've gotta be really patient, because chances are it's going to take you 10 times as long to do anything with your feet as than it would for someone with arms," she deadpans in a video about making a sandwich. After advising viewers to do a little stretching or yoga, she takes a running leap onto her kitchen counter, opens a cabinet with her shoulder, takes out a plate with her toes, jumps down, and carries it to the table by holding it between her chin and her left shoulder (which she calls "my nubs"), before delivering a mini-lecture on the importance of sanitation.
"Sanitation is key when using your feet, because there are lots of germs on the floor!" she says cheerily as she scrubs, with soap, at the kitchen sink and grins at the camera.
She has little indentations where her arms are supposed to be -- she calls them her "nub sockets" -- and her right leg is about 8 inches shorter than her left. Doctors wanted to amputate her right leg when she was a baby, she explains in one video, but her mother wouldn't allow it. Now, she has a special prosthesis that fits over her right leg, to even out her gait while walking, but she takes it off to write, drive her specially modified car, and do work around her home.
"I have been using my feet all my life," she says. "They are my hands." When an infant is born without arms, her first instinct is to grasp at things with her feet, Tisha points out. "I didn't really think about it," she told Yahoo! Shine.
Last year, Tisha graduated from St. Louis Community College with an associates degree in graphic design; an artist with the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists, she uses her toes to draw and paint as well. "Right now, I'm a little obsessed with oils and water colors," she told Yahoo! Shine. (You can see a portfolio of some of her work on her Facebook page.) She's looking for a job and finding it difficult, not because she doesn't have arms, she says, but "because the economy is not so great, and there are so many people who graduated with me with the same skills."
She decided to start making YouTube videos to showcase her graphic design chops. Instead, the videos have become a source of inspiration for people from all walks of life.
"If I can educate more people to be a little bit more open minded about disabilities and conditions, then I've done my job," she says. "Not only am I educating abled people, but I'm also educating handicapped people to be more independent."
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