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       Hey! I'm Michelle! I am 49 years old. I am from Illinois. I was born with Myelomeningocele Spina Bifida L4-5. I have 2 Kock Pouches, 1 for urine 1 for bowels. I can walk unassisted, but with a limp. I use a wheelchair for long distances. I also had to had a VP shunt put in when I was in my early 30's due to Hydrocephalus.

 

      For me, growing up wasn't too bad for the most part. I have an amazing mom and dad that always supported me. I have a brother and 2 sisters who for the most part have had my back except for the normal sibling rivalry. When I was younger before the age of 17, I was made fun of a lot, because I didn't have bowel control and had to wear an ostomy bag for urine.

 

       My advice for someone with Spina Bifeda would be, never give up! Things may be hard, but the journey we each take is so worth it! In my spare time, my hobbies are cooking, traveling and spoiling my 1 year old Pomeranian. I also now along with my fiance own my own bar and grill which has become a full-time hobby. My advice to any parent of a special needs child, is let them be as independent as possible.

They may fall, just be there to pick them up and dust them off and let them try again. I believe Independence is one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me.

 

         

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June 15, 2019

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