Hey Dudes! ✌ As some of you know, we were gifted a power wheelchair from Jillian Mercado, not too long ago. Alice has gone to corner store and Amanda has made scones and peach cobbler, so far in the chair. Let's just say we traded her for an interview. Introduce yourself, girl!
JM: Jillian Mercado 33 and I'm a model, actress, and advocate (to things but not limited to disability, women, lgbtq+, immigration, animal rights). Started modeling officially about 6 years ago or so. Did many ads, editorials, commercials and got my first acting gig on Showtimes The L Word GenQ playing Maribel.
**Image description: Above is Jillian in front of a purple background. There are large purple disco balls. She is wearing a light blue sequined top. Her hair is a shiny blue/grey.
A&A: An activist! We knew we liked you. We loved you in The L Word GenQ. Our only complaint is there wasn't more of you! What is your disability, and how does it affect you?
JM: Spastic Muscular Dystrophy or Muscular Dystrophy. Mostly my tendons spas and doesn't allow me to fully relax unless I really work on doing so, but once I begin to do anything it happens. Why I'm in a wheelchair too, I can walk holding or with assistance but for not very long.
A&A: Same for both of us. We cannot walk very long, and using assistive devices help us A TON. When did you first discover cannabis?
**Image Description: A GIF closeup of untrimmed cannabis flower.
JM: Ohhh most likely high school although, I didn't try it then. As soon as I entered the world of college I went in :)
A&A: How does it help you?
JM: In more ways than one. I work in a pretty stressful environment and my disability makes regular stressful situations tenfold. Cannabis has been such a helpful way to help me calm these spasms become less and more manageable. Forces me to relax in a "normal" level. It truly saved me.
**Image description: To the left, is Jillian in her power wheelchair, at an event, in front of a black background. Her hair is short, blonde and styled wavy. She is wearing a denim dress, with on shoulder hanging off, and it is cinched at the waist. Her ankle boots are silver.
A&A: We understand that, as I'm sure you know. Amanda has just recently started getting spasms, and its been amazing for that. How are you currently dealing with the pandemic?
JM: Well, it is a day-by-day question that I ask myself. Some days I am extremely productive and energized. I try to keep myself as busy as possible other days, if I accomplish making my bed that morning, that is all that I do. The uncertainty can cause your emotional state to be super unbalanced. Truly just taking things day by day, living in the moment than ever before.
A&A: Mental health is more important than ever before. So, living in the moment is important. For people struggling with your diagnosis, what is something you want them to know?
JM: That you are loved by so many people that don't know you. Ya sounds weird but trust me, its a fact. You're never alone and there's a community of us here for you with answers, advice, and love, ready whenever you are.
That is a great answer, and so true. Jillian's instagram is @jillianmercado and remember, don't be afraid to reach out.
You can also reach Alice and Amanda on Instagram @rollin.__.stoned and @handsgruber710 if you ever need people to talk to.
Later dudes! 🤟🏼