So I thought about this for a little while and figured it was the right time to share a little more about me with you. You know the girl on the mic, but not so much the girl off the mic.
I was born Jan 5th in Manhattan NY. My parents were super excited to be having a little girl, but there was something different about me that would change the lives of my parents and family forever. I was born with a birth defect. At the time all the doctors could see was that my right leg was shorter then my left. You can only imagine everything running through my mother's mind. Scared, nervous, unsure of the future. When you have a baby all you ever want is for a healty child never thinking something like this could happen. My family and mother stayed strong and just asked the doctors what had to happen next. After much testing they realized I was born with a short femur which means the bone between the hip and knee did not develop. My mother was hopeful something would be done so that I can live a normal life.
My mother (Maria) wanted nothing but the best for me so she called doctor after doctor in cities all over the US. We traveled finding a doctor that could help me lead a better life. Finally she found a hospital that treated patients with similar conditions. The hospital was right in the city close to home called "Hospital for Speical Surgery". This hospital would change my life forever. I was a year old when I became the patient of a doctor who I will forever be thankful for Dr Bone. He took me under his wing and today I stand as I do because of him. I had a total of six surgeries up to the age of six. Over the years I was fitted with prosthetics to help me walk but there was a problem with those, they would all stick out straight when I would walk and seat down. I couldn't run in them because they didn't bend at the knee. This lead to one of the biggest surgeries that would change my life also one of the hardest desions for my mother and family. See when I was born, I was born with everything below the knee which included a foot. In order for me to wear a prosthetic that would bend at the knee and make everyday life functions easier as I became older and more mobile they would have to remove the foot. So at the age of six my mother, family and doctors decided that in order for me to be fitted with a prosthetic leg that would bend at the knee they had to go through with the surgery to remove my foot. As a kid I didn't understand why they were taking something from me I cried and cried, but they were hopeful that once I got older I would better understand that it was in my best interest.
I spent a week in the hospital after this major surgery. While in the hospital I got a visit from a lady name Paddy Rossbach along with a young girl name Sarah Reinersten. Both ladies were amputees too. Paddy lost her left leg at a young age and Sarah was born just like me. Paddy talked to me about joining her amputee track team called "Aspire" which Sarah was a member of the team being only 14 at the time. The fact that I knew once I got fitted with a new leg that would bend running was the first thing I wanted to do. So I agreed and my mother wanted me to get use to new things with my new leg. So six months later I was on the track with them getting ready to run my first track meet. This was the start of something new for me. I traveled as far as Florida and Ireland to compete in track and field events for the next seven years and I loved every minute of it. I was even featured in a book at the age of six called "How it feels to live with a physical disablity".
Growing up wasn't always easy. I was my happiest when I was among those just like me. I attented school and that's when the bulling and making fun of got started. I was pushed around, called names like "robot leg" "limpy" things that childern who didn't understand something different would do and still do. But one thing I never did was let it get me down, in fact I always would tell my mom that I felt sorry for them because they didn't understand. My mom would go to the school and inform the school what was happening but teachers couldn't be at my side every second of the day. It bulit me and who I am honestly. As I got older I just killed them with kindness after a while they realized their words weren't getting me down but building me up and making me stronger. I started to make a name for myself after a while. I became a cheerleader in the 5th grade and would continue to cheer for the next four years. I also became a mentor for those childern like me to help them over come their fears once I got older. In high school I joined other activities that would include J.R.O.T.C., tennis, color gaurd and anything else I had time for. I always liked to challenge myself and prove to myself I could do anything everyone else could.
The older I got the more I realized that life wasn't ever going to be easy. People are always going to stare, point, make fun, all I could do was pray for them because they couldn't help not understand.
I started working at the age of 16 and that got me thinking what was I going to do with the rest of my life. What kind of person did I want to be? At first I wanted to be a doctor, but it wasn't fitting for me, than a lawyer because I was always running my mouth...lol. Then it hit me, I wanted to talk, express and bring awarness to those who are different and help those others understand that because we are different doesn't mean we can't. So broadcasting it was.
I have been in radio six years now starting in Crystal River Fl, Orlando Fl and now here in PA and this is the first time I share my story with others in such detail. I didn't know how people would react but then I realized it's who I am. I wake up every morning and I put on my prosthetic and go about my day. Only thing that makes me different is I have to buy one of my legs and have it made every two years, but I like anyone else have feelings, a family, goals, a career and challenges I face everyday. I can't nor would I ever want to change that for anything in the world.