The challenges that I was born with helped me become the strong and successful person I am today!
The rubella syndrome did a number on me before I was born. Before my arrival the doctors prepared my parents that their child may never run, walk or even talk. Upon my arrival into this world the doctors quickly diagnosed me with a constricted aorta and cataracts.
I didn’t start talking until later than most children and when I did my parents quickly realized I had a severe speech impediment. The problem was so urgent that I was receiving in home speech therapy before I started pre-school.
Throughout my years in public school my ADHD caused me to encounter many struggles and setbacks. At the end of second grade I was asked not to return to the Missouri school for the Blind the following school year. On the tenth day of my freshman year of high school at Hazelwood Central High School I was expelled.
I never allowed any obstacle limit what I could do.
- Despite being born with a constricted aorta, undergoing several cardiac surgeries, both that limited how fast I could run, I did everything my peers did – including playing on a youth soccer team
- Despite being legally blind since birth (my vision is 20/200 in my left eye and 20/300 in my right eye – and I have never been able to read out of my right eye) I have driven a car and I have flown a private plane.
- Despite being born with a severe speech impediment, I have fulfilled a childhood dream and have worked in morning radio
- Despite my ADHD aiding in my expulsion from high school, two years later I returned to my high school and before graduating with my class, I earned honor roll grades for one quarter.
The challenges I faced and overcame as a child prepared me for the biggest challenge of my life – the survival and my comeback from an ischemic stroke to my spinal cord as an adult.
- Despite the stroke initially taking away my ability to run, walk or even stand, robbing me of my ability to feed myself, dress myself or even control my own bladder. Today I can walk short distances with a rollator and for longer distances I use a electric scooter. I can feed and dress myself and for the most part I have complete control over my bladder.