The second episode of the September Inclusion series features special needs advocate, writer, and TEDx curator, Eraina Ferguson. She is the founder of My Good Life, an organisation that enables families of children with special needs to live their best life despite their circumstances. Eraina authored a memoir in 2020, likewise titled My Good Life. In this conversation, she shares her journey raising a daughter with special needs but also empowering other parents. Listen to her story.
At the end of the show, the guests share a sneak preview into their favourite music or books by answering the same set of questions. Here are the links to Eraina’s answers. The books she is currently reading are Finding Your Calling by Veronica & Dale Partridge, and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. The song that particularly resonated with her at a specific time in her life is ‘I Got A Woman’ by Ray Charles.
You can view Eraina’s TEDx talk “My Good Life” on YouTube, and find her memoir My Good Life:One Woman’s Quest to Raise Her Special Needs Daughter online. If you wish to follow Eraina on social media, these are her channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
Here are some additional useful links. You can learn more about Teach for America, the organisation Eraina mentioned, on their website. An excerpt of her book is also available on the L.A. Parent Magazine website. In case you wish to have more information on Eraina’s organisation, My Good Life, you can visit the website.
Hello, and welcome to a new episode of Narratives of Purpose. My name is Claire Murigande, and I am your host on this show. And my goal is to amplify social impact by bringing you inspiring individual stories of ordinary people who are making extraordinary social impact within their communities all around the world. So if you're looking for a programme that showcases unique stories of changemakers, stories of people who are contributing to make a difference in society, and at the same time you want to get inspired to take action, then this podcast is definitely for you. This week, we continue our inclusion series with the second episode focusing on supporting parents of special needs children. My guest today is Eraina Ferguson. Eraina is a user experience designer. She is a writer and TEDx curator. Irina also founded My Good Life, which is a company that enables families of children with special needs to live their best life despite their circumstances. She likewise authored a memoir titled My Good Life. And in our discussion today, Eraina shares her journey with what she termed, "this isn't a normal life, it's a good life." Please take a moment to rate and to review our show on your preferred podcast listening app. But for now, have a listen to Irina's story on how she became a special needs advocate?
So Eraina, welcome to the show. It's a great pleasure to have you on.
Great, thank you so much. Great to be connected, and just share my story about Good Life and also just hopefully inspire others as they go along their journey.
So before we start our discussion, first things first, why don't you introduce yourself and share a few words of your background? What would you like our listeners to know about you?
And well, my name is Eraina Ferguson. I'm a wife and a mom, and the founder of My Good Life, which is this platform for parents of children with special needs. And I look forward to sharing more about that. I also just shared actually on LinkedIn, the reel from my TEDx talk that I did a few years ago while I was eight months pregnant. So that was interesting. And from that, I decided to become a curator. Currently, my role is as a recruitment marketing intern for Udacity. And Udacity has been great because I had the opportunity to get a UX nano degree from Udacity. And really started to build my tech career, which was really kind of the whole point of my content writing and things that have gelled together over the years. I've taken a path less travelled based on my background as a mom of a special needs child. And so I look forward to sharing my story that hopefully can inspire others.
So tell me about My Good Life. How did you start that? And why did you start that?
I got pregnant with my daughter at 20. And I was a sophomore and undergrad. And I immediately knew that I needed to go to college and to still have a career. My mom, my parents had just moved away to Florida to retire. And here I was pregnant and in the suburbs of Chicago, and with not a lot of other family. So I decided then, she was born, she was born deaf. And I knew she was deaf when we left the hospital, even though they didn't fully diagnose her until later. But as I'm walking out with her car seat, I just decided then that we will have a good life. Like I just decided it was something on the inside of me that it was just an easy decision that whatever that meant, it would have to happen and that I wouldn't necessarily look at the circumstances. And so the cool backstory is that I didn't grow up with this hard life. I went to private school from K to 12. We live in the suburbs. My sister was a page in Congress at a young age and went to Brown, an Ivy League university, and so she really charted the path for me, so I knew I needed to continue on that path despite what was happening in my life. So I just decided I had to finish school, and I had to raise this child. Well fast for 12 years. I completed three academic degrees, including one from Yale while raising her two. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of five, we moved to New York when she was like three or four. And I became a teacher and got my first master's at Boston College, and then my second, a girl, I knew that I had to make a good life for her. And so through that, I learned a lot about parents with children with special needs a lot of the disparities, a lot of advocacy, a lot of I looked, I mean, honestly, you know, some, there's some, there's some genes and some melanin, that helps me Look, yeah. And so I look a lot like I look now, like, you know, though it was 20 years ago, and I just, I had to gain the respect at the table, and I had to come informed and do my research. And I had to advocate for her. And so when she was told, just really like this time, 10 years ago, this guy from high school, reached out to me on Facebook, and he was a basketball player, I was a cheerleader, and we started talking. And fast forward, we have like three more children, and everything. But it was in 2017, that my good life really gelled. I started a blog when I was at Yale called quit life, I opened up a storefront in downtown New Haven to get press for a consulting pop up. That is called A Good Life. And I wrote a blog for Chicago now for years, even when I didn't live in Chicago called good life. And so I had started the brand and a lot of ways, and I had started to tell our story. But it wasn't until my husband was like, what is up with you and these bicycles, like, I just see them everywhere, like from a brand perspective. So I decided to pull that together, create a logo, and just connect with the core of our mission. It was actually when we were doing a weekend away. In downtown Dallas, we spent one year in Dallas, we moved around. And like I woke up and I heard these parents complaining about how their child wasn't included because of their special needs. And I was tired of it. I was tired of feeling like, you know, sometimes that happens with people of colour, we're constantly asking people for a seat at the table or asking. And I said, there are a lot of things about your life that are good, let's focus on those. And so I launched a good life and decided to have a company that helped give parents of children special needs those great experiences that I had had over the years. And just the things that I put together that were good in my life, even based on the blog, and my travelling and school and education and just the day to day of like if if the grocery store owner or the grocery store cashier smiles at you, it's a good day, if your child doesn't knock, you know, red sauce off the aisles running down the aisles. It's a good day. What are those things like? How can we concentrate on everything so that's how good life started. And it's a 501 C three that provides resources for parents of children with special needs, and also a newsletter that comes out bi weekly, that helps parents with resources. I took a UX design certificate course, then oh, degree sorry, through Udacity. And now I know how to build the wireframe for a product that's that I really am working on to help connect parents. So that's the end goal to have like a digital product, like an actual app that connects parents with the resources that they need, based on their zip code, also therapy, food delivery opportunities for their child, my daughter is now coming upon the age of 22. And I'm in a really interesting position now as I'm trying to help her mature. So that's a good life in a nutshell.
Well, that's simply amazing. I mean just to hear about the effect, but at a certain point, you decide it's going to be a good life. And since then, it has been a good life. So really having this mindset is so powerful. And the way you also share your story. I mean, you feel that energy. And this is so beautiful to hear. So tell me exactly. Now you said you have a newsletter, and you're working on having this digital product. Do you have any other offers right now? So apart from the newsletter, how do you connect with these families?
So the cool thing, something really amazing happened. Besides me getting pregnant with my child in January of 2018, I realised I was pregnant at the end of 2017. And when 2018 hit, I said, I have to write a book. And I have to do a TEDx. And so that leads me to those two things that year that were life changing. I needed to gel together not just the mission of good life, and not just the website and the newsletter. I even connected with some investors and donors really trying to pitch for the funding for that. So I'm always looking for opportunities to engage corporate entities, which I'm completely open to on this mission. But I knew I needed to tell our story. I knew I needed to actually connect to see what the parents wanted. And so first things first, I wrote a memoir called My good life, which you can find on Amazon and Barnes and Noble is only 100 pages, and it tells our story, it tells our story of the background of good life, just to rally a community around it and to have it become a movement. So that's the first thing. The second thing is I did a TEDx talk. And it's funny because I connected with Ted, soon after my TEDx talk, because the TEDx talk, the event did not go well. I actually got on stage and I was eight months pregnant, and the mic went out. And no one heard the latter part of my talk. But I kept talking. And when I got off, everyone's eyes had tears in them, because they were just like, "What just happened?" and the sound was going out. Being who I am, being particular, I hire my own videographers. So thankfully, they were able to refilm my talk. So my videographers had been following me around from the previous night, because here I am eight months pregnant, giving a TEDx talk. The biggest day of my life, besides my wedding day in the birth of my other children, was this day, and it could have been an epic fail. My mentor came from behind the stage, and she said, they have to let you do that over. And this also speaks to the fact that you need people to rally behind you. I can be sort of a cheerleader right now, whatever you do, clear, I can say, hey, I want you to excel, I want you to be on this particular radio station, I believe in you, I'm going to connect you Spotify needs to sponsor you, I can really support you with that. I needed those people for me. And that's what they did. So during the intermission, I filmed it over. And that became my official TEDx talk. So the reel is on YouTube. Actually, Ted now, because I have a relationship with them are going to actually upload my official talk to the YouTube station. And I have another link from my official talk. But it was great to still have the opportunity. And fast forward, I became a curator, because of that, those are the offerings that I feel like I have best right now, for parents, and also people who want to get behind this movement. Check out the book, let me know what you think about my story, how it resonates. Also, if you can read the first chapter is on a blog called Mater Mea, for moms, but also on LA Parent Magazine. So if you Google LA parent magazine, Eraina Ferguson, you will be able to see the link to the first chapter of the book. And so I think that will tell a lot as I rally the community in terms of an offering. In terms of resources, I would love to hear from parents on what they need, what are their biggest pain points? Right now I'm doing user research and background, user experience research on the best ways that I can build a product that would be ideal for them. I'm also taking a product management degree through Udacity to make sure that I'm hands on at every stage of the process, as I'm hiring developers for it.
That's really impressive. And it's very role-model-like.
Thank you. Thank you. That means a lot.
So did you also have strong support from your family and your friends on all your endeavours?
I did. I mean, there were times and seasons in my life naturally, and I'm sure you can speak to this during the pandemic, that we all go through those seasons where we just are alone. There are some seasons that no one can be there for us. So the good news that I love about my mom is that she always said yes, she always said yes, and could tell her the craziest idea. She was always living in Florida, I would only see her twice a year. Because of the pandemic. I just saw her for the first time, when she came to visit us a couple weeks ago, in two years. But we talked to her daily over the phone. And I remember going down to her house to visit her in this resort-like retirement community for older people. And I would go down to visit her and I would sit at her desk, right off the lanai. And I would have my daughter with me and I would say "I think I want to go to Boston College next year." She's like, "Yes, sounds good." And it would be done. Come back next year. "Well, they're telling me I need my academic degree. I've been teaching and I think I want to go to Yale." She said "Okay," and so I did it. She will say yes, and she won't be negative and she will say "you can do it" . I don't feel like I constantly needed this validation from her in every way. But I appreciated that she didn't say no, I appreciated that she listened, even to the things that she may not have wanted to know that she did not put that negative seed of doubt, and did not think of herself and her ego first. That is imperative for how we engage other people, and how we think of how it will affect us. It's almost like the idea of getting over yourself every day. That's the thing that my family did for me the most. And my sister having that example of greatness was great being in Washington, DC as a 14 year old, and like seeing all of the things that she was doing, gave me the rally point. So what you do, somebody will walk that path, and they will go behind you, and you will be able to tell them the lessons and you'll be able to show them, at least that it can be done.
I just wanted to ask another thing about this whole journey, because everything seems pretty good when I hear you. But did you have challenges where you thought "I'm not going to make it"? And how did you go about those challenges. I mean, perhaps if you have one or two examples?
one of the first challenges that comes to mind is, first of all, when I graduated from undergrad, I thought that I would get this job that would mean I would be making at least $40,000 or $50,000 a year and live in the suburbs of Chicago and raise my daughter, I just kind of assumed that. And I didn't have a special tie to Chicago because my mom wasn't there, though my dad lived in the suburbs, but I just kind of assumed that. And my first job was as a receptionist at a financial advising company, and I was making like $300 a week, which I could spend in a day even back then I wanted to order food and go shopping, and then groceries. So I'm like "this is not going to work." And so that was a pivotal point for me to realise I don't need to go look elsewhere. So I started applying for opportunities. So I applied to be a New York City, Teach for America person who likes teaching in urban environments, and back then Teach For America was just getting wrapped up and fast forward. I didn't get it. And in the box on the corner, I saw NYC Teaching Fellows got that, moved to New York City with my special needs daughter and a one way flight and my mom booked me a hotel for a week. And there I was in the middle of New York City. I woke up the next day, terrified. I was so terrified that I couldn't move out of the bed. I was like what did I just do? And I had to pull out the scriptures that I had and just stand on this yellow piece of paper of scriptures that I had gotten from my church back in Chicago called Living Word. And I just read them and I said, "Okay, I have to believe". So I made the phone calls like at that point, I had printed out like a bunch of daycare places. And I knew that my programme was starting and we ended up in a one room studio. And yeah, I mean, it was not easy. That was our summer in a one room studio and the heat of the summer in 2003. And it wasn't easy. But what I did was keep my environment small, keep my space safe, find one or two safe people and only them. I found a church in downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Tabernacle, I found one friend who was in a programme with me. And I kept my head down and was able to just having to listen and listen to that still small voice and that first summer there, we did not have a lot of money. I was running to Western Union every two weeks, my mom was being very helpful. And one day I found myself going to the train. And this is the part of the story that resonated as soon as you asked me if things have been tough, and I did not have money to go to train, I did not have a MetroCard. And I remember walking with my daughter's stroller, I had a cheap banana stroller. And she was always too big for the stroller because of her special needs. But we're walking and I said, "I'm getting dressed and going on to the train anyway," although I had no money to get on the train, and I needed to get to work. And I looked down and there was a metro card, like no lie. And I picked it up as if it belonged to me and went to the machine and there was money on it. Around 4 dollars. And I knew then that there would always be the next thing for me. There was something and that was it. That was how we lived that summer. That's how we get by. I have a friend who has a family now. She was also a teacher at that time, and we were both from Chicago. And the last story I will share in that regard to this question is one day I needed Pampers and she lived not too far away and she said, "Well, I have a bunch of change" She was like, "let's see what we can do." I mean, we both were so happy when we got like $40 for Western Union for my parents, we will split it and go to Wendy's or something. So I needed Pampers. Pampers at that time were like 599. So she counted them all up. And we went, and we turned them in at the thing. And literally, I posted this on Facebook, probably six or seven years ago, it was like 300 pennies. It was just enough for Pampers and her and I like to tell that 300 Penny story, because we both were together with nothing. Reliant on like our faith, relying on the programme and the money that they're giving out, relying on each other to be safe and stay supportive. And when school started, we had a $40,000 a year salary. Right? That worked out well. But I say all that to say that there were plenty of hard times. But thankfully, there were no times that I had to compromise my values. And my safety for things. I'm grateful for that.
I was wondering about something as you were talking. You talk about your daughter a lot. And the goal of your company is to help other families with children with special needs. So what has been the impact that you've seen, how have you contributed to them supporting their children better, or at least have their children better included within society?
Definitely. I mean, I think just from the people that I've engaged with, I was able to help a friend with a nonprofit that talks about self care for families. I think the biggest thing has been giving the parents hope. I want to be able to give them something even more tangible. I've had some giveaway events, actually, during the pandemic, I gave away bears I bought like 20 or 30 bears from Build A Bear for families and gave them away just to show them like someone's thinking about you mask on in the middle like of this a little area outside of the the mall in the South Bay in LA like just caring for families. Sent out a note, got to meet them and take photos. And just really giving hope and that you're seen. So I also was hosting for a while. And it was interesting that I started doing this. It didn't hit off too well before the pandemic but I was consistent for six months, I fed the moms dinner, and we would just come out to dinner once a month, and connect and they appreciated that. There was somebody who was able to do that. Well, what I realised is that many of them don't have childcare. And it was a no child dinner. Sometimes people brought their kids but I honestly didn't want to trigger other moms, moms or parents or special needs and dads are often just so exhausted. And they just need to feel normal for a second, go to a movie, go out to dinner, go on a vacation. I'm big on overnights at hotels. And so my dream is to provide that from a philanthropic standpoint for parents and families, but also provide them with day to day tools. And also they give them what they need. Give them what their children need. And so I'm excited to get on with that, to get on with that mission of doing that for families. But yeah, I was able to do that. free dinners, swag, just connected to parents giveaways. I really want to be able to give them what they need. But now I want to hear from them what they need and hear what their most immediate pain points are.
And what do they say to you when they come to these events?
They say thank you, Oh yeah, they're very gracious, especially with dinner, sitting out to dinner and just hanging out and talking and being heard and having time away. Like they're so gracious. When the check comes they just hate it that I'm paying, they're like "like no, you have to" I say "no, I want it for you. You're seen. You're heard. You're loved on and I know what has been given to me in the past. Like just Let's just eat. Let's just eat for now. We can figure it all out later." You know, it's so it's up when people will insist on even when you see someone in the street and what they need, like, do you need food? Do you need to eat? Are you hungry right now? Because that first and then second, like the resources or you, try not to place judgement on what parents need their children dying all over the world and being abused in homes of children with special needs, not because their parents are bad people just because they're overwhelmed. They're not seen. They're not heard and they're waiting. They're waiting on something, they're waiting on that thing to pop in that someone will come knock on their door and save them. My mentor who went to Yale with her special needs daughter who has severe special needs and wasn't expected to live past two years. Her daughter Titi is now probably close to 30, maybe 28. And she's doing well, she's still getting her hair done. And my friend is still a single mom of her special needs child. And she's been doing this for years, she went to Yale College, raised her in New Haven, but then moved on to go to seminary. And now she's an educator full time, and she has her daughter who loves coffee and to stay up at night, hanging out and doing her thing. She's still been a mom to her all these years, without not a lot of respite with not a lot of support. And so there are 1000s, you know, hundreds of 1000s, millions, even of families who are in that position. And so I think that is my calling, and I thank you for the opportunity to even speak it and remind myself, that's the call, right? That's the thing that my mission should really make sure that I'm embarking on long term.
And if I may ask, what's the relationship like with your daughter, all these years? Because you've shared with me throughout your journey you've lived, you know, alone with her when you went to Yale, for instance, how is she today? And what's the relationship with her?
Well, the relationship is good. She's still at home. We're figuring out her next steps. Will she go to college? I have an interview with the college tomorrow that has children with special needs. What is her next step? What is going to give her a good life? Every time I veer from what I say when I think that she's on this path. I mean, she's had great teachers along the way, great support, she did well, with digital learning and online remote learning. She only did like an hour a day. But then she went in person for a couple of hours, we've had great support and the school we were in, were helpful. We actually relocated to Apex North Carolina. So we're here now, we just relocated April 1, California. So she's doing well in that, as are my other children. But it is an evolving process, there was a time where, at some point, as a parent of a special needs child, you just check out because you're such a caregiver, I still help her with her girl stuff, I'm still very much hands on and making sure that she's dressed and all of these things and her medication she to developed epilepsy onset at 17. She had two seizures a month ago two days in a row and just just advocated for her. But our relationship, I'm grateful it's good. Because when she does have difficult times, and she's expressing frustration, I just lean into her like I would a typical child, take a break and step back, how is she feeling? What must she want, what must she need? And I can say this, our relationship and the trajectory of My Good Life and how she is my good life. There have been times in the flesh where I'm like, should I have this break? Should I have her you know, in a facility with other special needs adults or like what is her calling, but the truth of the matter is, there is no good life without Taylor. And like in terms of just what that is, she's so much a part of that at every step of the way, from Boston College, to Yale, to after to coming back to her, honouring her, educating her, taking her to her next level helps me build the right product and helps me get closer to that. That's all I ever wanted for her was a good life and a legacy and the opportunity for her to be taken care of for the rest of her life. And the opportunity to really build the best life for her. So she's doing well, we actually just enrolled in a challenge through Black Girls Code. And so I'm so proud of her because she's going to be a part of the challenge next week that's happening with IBM. And so we just showed up, and they welcomed us. And I'm grateful. So I get to differentiate instruction for her. As a former educator, and as a person who's in tech, I get to actually map out what she's learning so that she can understand it so that she can add to it and do her part. And I'm so excited for her. And I'm so grateful that she gets to do this. So we're doing well. I make sure to give her that time and not veer away from what the purpose was.
Thank you so much for sharing. I'm really glad that I connected with you and just having this story is so empowering and so inspiring. And I don't know how you did it, but I'm glad you did it and able to share that with all of us.
Thank you, thank you. It's been a journey, but I'm grateful to share my story and sharing my story just reminds me I encouraged myself in the day to day when I hear the no's and when I have the tough days and when I felt like "why me" When I feel like, you know, I want things to go a certain way, and I want these open doors and that I have put in so much time and effort to building this life for her and for us, and my husband is great, my children are awesome. They come with a whole other host of responsibilities and are not just us anymore. And so it is a full story that has evolved, but I'm grateful.
Well, thank you so much really, for sharing your story with me and I hope that our listeners will really be inspired by this and see all the you know, the good things people are doing out there, and also be able to follow the good life and support you. Before we move to the last part of the show. Do you have anything that you would like to share with our listeners, for them to take home from your story?
I just say start where you are. I think a lot of times, we see people's "end", or we see a lot of things that people see that I even do, it's something that I've been working on for a long time like years. I think nowadays everybody wants to microwave success. But the success that you build over time and your story in your life, take it a day at a time no matter what it is and take a nap, grab something to eat, drink some water and start the next day, if the pandemic has taught us something else is that things can shut down and slow down. And we all are kind of on a level playing field. Now, even as the world opens back up, I'm taking your time with all of it, and not feeling this pressure to do things a certain way. I'm listening to that still small voice. So I think the takeaway is starting where you are, like focusing on your now if it's the corner of your bedroom, or if it's your desk or your kitchen, whatever it is that you can organise and kind of reframe your thoughts and breathe and take care of yourself. I think that the most important of all this other stuff will be here. And I want you to be here too.
I really couldn't agree more. It's really some great advice. And you always have to start here and now. Because I'm also convinced that you can only influence what's happening right now. And whatever comes next, you'll be ready for it. Right. So thank you. That's great advice. So at the end of my podcast, what I like to do is I like to ask all my guests a little bit about what type of music they listen to, or what books they're reading. So I have three short questions. The first one is, are you listening to a specific song at this time? Or do you have a book that you're reading right now you can tell us about?
I should be more of a music person but because my husband does music, I like to listen to wherever he's listening to, I bought him a record player a while ago. So, a lot of times my kids will just in order to like have fun with them or to relax or to bond as a family, we'll just break out and dance. And so sometimes he'll play some, you know, some cool jazz music for them. So now he's been playing this music from the 90s in Chicago, which is what they call house music. So he'll like to play house music for them. And we'll just be dancing around and playing. So he played some of that this morning. So that was fun. Even though I don't have a whole lot of rhythm. So crazy that there was someone who does music, I just followed his lead. It is great. It's a great way to engage them. So that's that book, some reading. There is a book that I'm reading called, I think it's called The Calling, Finding Your Calling, which has been really important for me. And I'm also reading, Daring Greatly. That was part of this women's book club that I got involved with, through Sara Jakes Roberts. And you know, that's been great. So I am reading those books. And that's what I'm excited to slow down and do as well. During this time. Is just to slow down and read and relax and have my cup of tea and my fuzzy socks. And I've gotten so much better about that over the years. With practising self care and relaxing. I am a super hotel buff. And so I just spent my last birthday 22 Awesome hours because my husband had a meeting the next day at a hotel near UNC. That is like a brand new hotel and they had like a suite. So we got their suite with their balcony. I definitely believe in that. Just getting away in a change of scenery. So that's what is happening with me now in that regard.
And my second question is, do you have perhaps a book or even a piece of music that was special for you at a certain time in your life? Something that you really remember fondly?
I think it's funny because when I heard the lyrics for this song, my husband proposed to me on July 6, of 2012, because we were married August 17 of 2012, six weeks later - don't ask, like six weeks later really a wedding a six weeks ridiculous. And so when we were dating, somehow we started loving the song, the the Ray Charles song, "I got a woman way over town who's good to me" And so my husband when he proposed to me, I was in Chicago, living in Chicago at the time, I had moved there for a little bit to date him to see if we would get married. And he took me to Northwestern University, to the place where you get to see the stars and everything. And so I was up on the ladder, I was coming down, he asked the guy to take his phone and film it, it worked out perfectly. And he proposed to me and he said "I Got A Woman", he sang that song for me. And when we first had our first date in New York, it came on, we were in like this Italian restaurant in downtown Brooklyn, how random and they're playing like all these other songs, and then all of a sudden, you hear "well, I got a woman walk way over town" It's meant to be, right. I don't give him money - I don't so that part of the song is not applicable. But that was our song. That was yeah, that's one of my favourites.
And my last question is, do you have any books or any music that you would recommend for the listeners, something that you absolutely love?
Well, I have to be selfish and say, My Good Life. I think hopefully, it's a book that can resonate with people, even those who aren't parents of children with special needs just as a guide to how our own stories resonate. It starts off with this event that happened when I was at Yale with Taylor and should have been at the prime of my life because I had just graduated. And something that happened there. And then that's the prologue. And then it just starts to talk a little bit about our story. But a deliberate read, an easy read, and it ends with the story of my TEDx event. So I would love for people to check it out. It's on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. and my website is mygoodlifebook.com. So they can check it out there as well. I personally think it's something that will resonate, and I would love to hear their feedback. It's been a journey and a great opportunity to be able to write it and share my story. And I'm hoping to start working on my second book soon.
Thank you so much, Eraina. This has been absolutely wonderful. I mean, it has been beyond my expectations. It's absolutely great talking to you, and I really hope that we stay in touch. I'm sure there's still more I can learn from you. And you never know we might collaborate again together.
Yes, we definitely have to collaborate. So please stay in touch. Thank you so much for everything.
That was episode 19. A Conversation with Eraina Ferguson. Eraina is nothing short of inspirational. This conversation was so uplifting and so powerful, and I hope you enjoyed it. Her memoir, titled My Good Life is available to purchase online, you'll find the link in the shownotes. Do check it out. If you want to learn more about her life or raising a daughter with autism and deafness. You'll find it in the show notes as well. The link to Eraina's TEDx talk that she gave back in 2018, while eight months pregnant, is titled My Good Life. I absolutely recommend you watch it and listen to Eraina speak about why there should be a bridge between parents of special needs children and society to connect them to a good life. Thank you so much for tuning in today and listening to this new episode. I really appreciate you taking the time. If you like our show, do share it within your network. And leave us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. Make sure you also sign up for our newsletter so you can stay updated and informed about all our activities. And don't forget to check us out on Facebook, at Narratives of Purpose, on Instagram, at narrativesofpurpose_podcast, or on LinkedIn at Narratives of Purpose Podcast. Join me again next week for the third episode of our inclusion series, I will be speaking with a truly inspiring young man who is dedicated to destigmatizing society's perception of handicap. Until then, take care of yourself and stay well. stay inspired.