Perseverance is key

I was diagnosed with an astrocytoma tumor when I was about four years old. It was benign and was removed on November 11, 1990, but because it was located on my brain stem near my spinal chord it left me with right facial paralysis with left side hemiparesis and a left foot drop. I lost the hearing in my right ear and the sight in my right ear due to a scratched cornea. I also have hydrocephalus and now have a Strata Valve VP shunt. I’m told that after this first operation I could only move my right thumb, but through years of coping, physical therapy, and a lot of determination, I can say that I achieved more than I ever dreamed; I graduated college with honors in political science, graduated law school, and recently was admitted as a lawyer. I still have work to do and I take nothing for granted, but my motto is it’s better to fight and fall than to live without hope.

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