Let me introduce myself. My name is Lacey and I was a 17 yr old student at a high school in Missouri  when I wrote this story in 2002, in the 11th grade. I have had a very typical childhood. I have two siblings, 11-year-old Seth and 22-year-old Teresa, and I am very close to them. I have many friends, too, including, ta da, a boyfriend. Going to the movies with my friends and writing stories about living with a disability are the greatest fun. I also love attending summer camp, being involved in stage performances, chatting on the computer with my friends and maintaining Myspace. I used to bowl for tournaments, play basketball, and race my chair in track. 

Are you wondering about now, what chair? I forgot to mention that I was born with spina bifida. Because of this I am unable to walk and need to rely on a wheelchair to get around. That doesn't stop me though. I still go to camp with my friends and to high school with my peers. I have been really lucky that I don't have to go to the hospital that much, at least from my perspective. You may think differently, since I've had 13 operations (by 2002...check my update below for a surgical progress report...you might call me a PRO, big time!) and many other hospital stays and trips to the emergency room. 

I have had to deal with stares and bad words all of my life. One time when I was little someone came up to me and asked my step-sister who was pushing me how long I had to live!! I don't think people should ask someone like that in front of a child, do you?Actually, you should not ask someone something like that period!

My life is an open book, and I'm happy that you came over to take a look in it! It's funny that we joke at the doctor's office that my chart is like an encyclopedia it's so thick!

AHHH, several years later, and baby, look at me now! Here's an update as of June, 2007!

My dog, Chelsey, died in 2002 but I now have Skittles and Monk. I'm getting ready to have my 18th surgery in a few weeks, a urostomy because my bladder no longer holds urine like it should (don't worry, there are ways that surgeons can create a 'second best' sort of bladder).

My sister is now 29 and my brother is 18. My mom remarried and as a result I got myself two new sisters now, so now I have four! The new ones are 20 and 18. I also have a nephew who is three and a niece who is almost two. 

Tada, I live on my own now, well, almost. My mom and stepdad converted part of the basement into a private apartment for me. I love it! 

Thanks for visiting! Lacey

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

Last updated: June 20, 2007