Personal Essay

January 11, 2012
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A tingling sensation ran up my toes all the way to my ankles and then up my heel cord. In all my life I had never felt my foot before that moment. Looking down at my toes I could see the off-white carpet not just on the sides of my foot but in between my toes. This has never happened. I was speechless for five minutes just screaming in shock and emotional to tell everyone what just happened, “I can wiggle my toes for the first time in 16 years!”
When I was a baby, my mother took me to the pediatrician because my motor skills were not what they should be for my age at 9 months. The pediatrician then recommended seeing a pediatric neurologist. The pediatric neurologist examined me and made the conclusion that I had cerebral palsy.
At the age of 1 ½ years old, my parents took me to my first circus. It was then a Shriner saw the child with a brace on her foot. He had the courage to come up to me and my dad and asked what was wrong. The Shriner said that they may be able to help. That noble man explained to my dad what Shriner’s do for children. Because of that Shriner, I have been helped through the Shriners Hospitals for Children for the past sixteen years.

Seeing the amazing work done by the Shriner’s, my family oriented around the Shrine family. My dad became a Mason and Shriner in 1996. My brother followed his footsteps and joined Masonry and the Shriner’s in 2008-2009.

I have worked so hard to get to this point. It was not easy keeping up with the stretches and the post-surgery development. The amazing thing is that I have only had two surgeries to make this happen.

As soon as my toes started to wiggle and I trained my brain everything became easier. “Will I be able to wear flip-flops? Will I be the only girl that won’t be wearing high heels on prom night?” This last surgery answered both of those questions! That answer is that I CAN do this and nothing can stop me!

I still have to think hard to move those toes and they don't move separately, but with effort they will. But when I started to think about the goals I achieved, I think about who I am. “This is me!” The girl that wears a brace everyday, the girl that is self-conscious, and the girl that loves to be a Shriner's kid!

This brings me to the fact that the Shriners Association is an organization I am thankful for. They changed my life. My dad inspires me to do a lot of things but when I see him as Lucky the Clown It makes me think to myself, “I wanna stick with this and make people happy!”

Nurses have always played an important role in my life and have inspired me to pursue their career. I have always liked science and math, but mostly chemistry. Most kids dream to be a singer or a BMX rider. Not me! I have always wanted to be involved with science. I plan to earn a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree in nursing.

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