Personal Stories

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Uplifting, enlightening and inspiring true stories.

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Personal Stories

Since I attended my first SB&H meeting in Toronto as a 19 year old Brock Music major from Niagara on the Lake, my life has grown and shifted in ways that I never could have imagined. I’ve conquered some incredibly steep and slippery slopes, and have been places and seen things that most people can only read about. I truly feel blessed, and overwhelmingly grateful.

Growing up with spina bifida, a birth defect that affects the spine, I was never physically active. I believed my disability excluded me from keeping fit. My peers would ridicule me in gym class because I could not keep up. Their mocking left me self-conscious.

Jeffrey and I were married at age 25.We were told that it would be difficult or impossible to have children, but we were blessed with our first child Austin just 9 months after our honeymoon. On Austin’s first birthday, we discovered that another was on the way. Another healthy pregnancy, or so we thought, right up until the day our daughter was born.

by Robin L. (Xanders ) Holloway

I was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1961. My parents were overseas while my father was stationed with the Air Force. As the story goes, my father was the first to note the swelling of my skull’s fontanels when I was only 3 weeks old. This was a problem. According to my parents, once I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, this began a 3 year procession of surgeries and doctor appointments. They occurred in different countries and different states in the United States. Throughout the three years, my parents were cautious and wondered about my future, considering my limitations or my very survival.  I suffered from numerous secondary infections which did not make things easy to deal with for the military physicians or my family. My father did share with me that the physician who placed the first shunt was the doctor which designed the first shunting, for his own son in 1959.

At birth, Becky Attersley’s life expectancy was 13. Now 43, she has been through 63 surgeries and beat seemingly insurmountable odds to enjoy a fulfilling life, including marriage and motherhood. See how Becky has played the hand she was dealt and the nature of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.