The first chapter of my life was an adventurous one! I came into this world about 3 months ahead of schedule as the only girl in a set of triplets, and our early start is the reason I have mild spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP)—an injury to the area of my brain that controls my legs. My right leg is especially affected.
I’ve had my share of surgeries, including a big one at age 2 that enabled me to walk independently. Then, at 13, I needed emergency surgery to save the blood supply to my leg, and my surgeon said I’d never walk on my own again. It took me 3 years to prove him wrong.
At 22, I underwent a risky orthopedic surgery to fix the chronic pain I’d endured since that incident—and it worked. At 23, another blessing was in store for me: selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). And at 24, I had hamstring PERCS, which helped me even more. I’m so grateful for all of the incredible medical professionals who have walked with me on my journey, and for the beautiful CP and HSP families I have met along the way. Your strength and kindness serve as ever-present reminders that our challenges aren’t tragedies; they’re opportunities.
A bit more about me: I’m a grammar nerd and a science nerd, and in my spare time, I like to read, write, and play the piano. I’m also a big fan of sending and receiving snail mail. ? I have a degree in neuroscience, as well as a master’s in science writing from Johns Hopkins University, and I work full-time reviewing science lessons as a science curriculum editor. (I love my job!) I’ve also done some freelance writing for hospitals and universities, and I’ve written three nonfiction guidebooks for teenagers. And, of course, I spend a lot of time supporting and advocating for SDR families—so many people helped me during my SDR journey, and now it’s my turn to pay it forward.
Feel free to check out the story linked above if you’re looking for more details about my SDR experience. I published this piece to spread awareness about SDR and to help other families fundraise for treatment and rehabilitation.