Written by Jessica Quarello
My best friend Ashlea (Potts) Beilis and I have been friends since 2006.
I was blessed by her friendship and as we became close, I learned a lot about disability through her stories of her relationship with her sister Danielle.
Danielle came into this earth as a 30-week preemie born with multiple physical and cognitive challenges. Disability wasn't something I had experienced in my family and Ashlea's grace always inspired me as Danielle's protective older sister. I was also incredibly impressed with her mother Terry who was such a strong and beautiful presence in Ashlea's life. I was a step outside her world at the time, but looking back today I am so thankful and appreciative that I was exposed to disability in this way based on what was to come in my life. I know it was no accident.
When we graduated college, Ashlea and I both moved to NYC and our lives were filled with girl's nights, auditions and hustling.