Personal Stories

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Personal Stories

After a complicated pregnancy and a difficult birth, Emil was born. He had spina bifida, which was quite a shock for his parents. "Emil was transferred to Lund (hospital in Sweden) for immediate surgery and the whole thing was very confusing and shocking," explains Emil’s father, Tommy.

Lieke will sit on the toilet for 20 minutes every second day waiting for her bowels to empty. At the age of three she is happy to play with her Barbie dolls – and when she learns to read, a good book or magazine will fill her periods of waiting.

My name is Brock Edward Masters and I was born in Ottawa on April 8 1980. I was quite a handful for my parents right from the get go. I found just about every way to injure myself: Falling off of my bike; Jumping off of the highest part of jungle gyms; Being the neighborhood toboggan terror; and Fighting with my siblings.

Imagine sitting in the front row of a university lecture hall early one morning, surrounded by 200 fellow students. Suddenly you feel your stomach contract. You hold your breath and your body freezes. “If you don’t move, then you should be O.K.,” you say to yourself. But the bowling ball in your abdomen keeps moving ahead. The pressure grows and no matter how still you sit, you can’t prevent the inevitable.

The week of October 22, 2001 started similar to the many before but would end unlike any other.