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I'm happy that you've come to read my story. To begin with,  I am 7 ½ yrs old (at lease I was when I wrote this story) and as you can see, I have brown eyes and blond hair and two missing teeth.  I have a big family with 13 brothers and sisters. All of us were adopted by the  greatest mom and dad in the world.  My big sister Regan is 21 yrs old, and she is my very best friend. 

You might be wondering what sorts of things I like to do. Well, I like snowmen and roller coasters. And I like to dress up. And I like to go to the beach on the Oregon Coast, since there's no beach where I live in Arizona. 

The hardest thing about being me is having to grow up with a heart problem. I have to wear oxygen at night and I donít like it but I really need it so I guess it's OK. This heart problem makes it sort of weird to go to school sometimes, since I am the only one in my classroom who has trouble like this. When I run or play I often have to stop and sit down and rest.  Sometimes the kids in the 1st grade don't understand why I have to do this. That's because on the outside you canít tell that I have anything wrong with me. I donít share secrets at school because I worry that some of my class-mates might be mean to me. When I get tired they say things like, "Becca's heart problem is coming on...go get the aide". They don't understand that it's the type of problem that doesn't come and go. It just stays there all the time. At least I donít get teased at school, and that's good.

The best thing about being me is I care about people and I am a good friend and sister. I use to think I wasnít normal but now I know I am. I am a pro when it comes to going to the hospital. I think I'm really lucky because each time I go, I get to go home, and there are so many children who have to stay in the hospital for a long time. If you need to go, you might want to take a tour first! 

I hope that you're glad you clicked onto my story. If you'd like to learn more about my heart problems and operations, my mom and dad have written about them, and you can go visit their page on Band-Aides.   Becca

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004

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