Andres, born 2000
In my son's own sixteen year old words:
My name is Andres and I was born on August 30, 2000. My parents already had two healthy babies, my brother Nico who is now eighteen and my sister Mia, seventeen. Little did they expect that the newest addition to their family would start his little life struggling to survive.
A week went by before my mother was able to hold me and that was only because a kind nurse felt sorry for her and let her hold me "for just a moment" the night before my surgery. The surgery, although long, was a huge success. After a few weeks, I went home and started my life.
It's been a great life. It's true that I can't play soccer like my brother, sing like my sister, or run around like my younger sister Teia but I can do many things, and these things make me who I am.
I've had three other surgeries since that day in 2000 but as I look back and start thinking about college, I only remember the camaraderie I've built with friends, the world I've traversed with my family, the improvements I've encouraged as my school's student council vice-president, the communal feeling behind musical theater, and the nature and history books I've explored. I plan to study archeology and history and teach someday.
The future belongs to me. And my heart is coming along for the ride. Yours will, too.
Story by Andres - Connecticut