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Lisa Ann

My life started out “normal”. A young child playing in the yard with her brother. One day, got a high fever and rash. It was discovered that I had leukemia. While attending, St. Jude’s, I received chemotherapy and radiation treatment. However, I was not getting any better. I started walking on tiptoes almost all the time. During the night, I would bang my head against the wall because of being in pain. One night I was banging my head and against the wall and then I just stopped. I said “ I know longer hurt.” My parents took me to the doctor. It was discovered that I had a tumor on the lower lumbar of my spinal cord. The tumor was microscopic size when they found it. The tumor had partial severed the nerve. Life after was changed. A wheelchair was now what I had to use to get around. My life with a disability has been mostly good. My friends did not treat me any differently. I had moments of verbal abuse from some classmates. My strong community helped me through those times. I went to church camp with friends. I attended USM and received my bachelors and Master's degree. In college, I spent summers on mission trips. I have been to Honduras for a mission trip. I love to travel. I enjoy volunteering. In my spare time, I really enjoy participating outside activities. I enjoy kayaking, jetskiing, tubing, boating, hiking, skiing and camping. My disability has not stopped from living life. I am a teacher of special needs children. I am trying to pass that philosophy onto them. My life has challenges of course due to lack of accessibility in places and people’s attitudes and thoughts!