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Nurse Andrea Dalzell fights to stop discrimination against people with disabilities – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When we celebrate Women’s History MonthWe are introducing you to a young nurse who is fighting to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, she is sharing a message of never giving up.

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Andrea Dalzell grew up in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

At the age of 5, she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder affecting the spinal cord. At 12 years old, she was paralyzed.

Today, Andrea is a registered nurse at a school on the Lower East Side, and she has a complete photo shoot.

“Full-time job, I’m going to school full-time to get a master’s degree in nursing,” she said. “I am also a volunteer. I am also an advocate of the rights of people with disabilities ”.

She had to fight every step of the way. After earning her biology degree, she was admitted to nursing school. But here’s how the orientation played out:

“Maybe 45 minutes after the orientation, I got pulled out by the professors and they said like ‘We don’t know if you can become a nurse or not. We don’t know if you can stay here, ”she said.

She fought for her position with the school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Then, after graduation, another wall.

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“I did 76 interviews in about a year and I was rejected from all of them,” she said.

Yes, 76 interviews.

Finally she was able to get a desk job until COVID hit, and she worked on one COVID unit at Hospital Montefiore.

“I’ve been there for over two and a half months working with COVID, lifting, rotating the patient, CPR, running full code,” she said.

Her mentor is George Gallego’s Project Axle.

“Andrea is like this wonderful ball of energy that you cannot hold, and it is ready to explode at any moment to give life to everyone in her space,” said Gallego.

Just a few months ago, Andrea won the Craig H. Neilson Visionary Prize, which came with a $ 1 million grant. She is starting a nonprofit called The Seated Position to help create opportunities for people with disabilities.

She said, “Don’t listen to other people say ‘No’. “Please continue to speak up. Don’t deal with it. “

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She says that is the way to force change.

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