Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jeanne :: Adult with Spina Bifida

Hi! My name is Jeanne Knapp. I am 35 years old and I have a disability called Spina Bifida. I can walk with a quad cane for the most part but I use a power chair, manual wheelchair, or a walker for long distance. I walk with my knees bent so my knees started hurting in 2002 after I had worked for the Shawnee Mission School District for a year which is why I started using wheelchairs, etc. I have no braces on my legs but I do have inserts in my shoes so I have to wear shoes that are big enough for my inserts (a women's size 6).

My insides are the parts of me that have been affected by SB the most. I have nerve damage to the bladder, kidneys, and intestines. I have a shunt in the left side of my head which is a small fiberglass pump that drains excess fluid from the head (a condition called hydrocephalus) but my shunt probably isn't needed anymore. I haven't had any problems with it since I was 5 or so.

Even with all of my problems (irritable bowel, knee pain, etc.) I accepted Christ as my Savior at age 4 or 5 and God had seen me through all of them and given me joy. I still live at home with Mom and Dad and have been surrounded with loving, supportive family and friends. I was able to get through K-12 and graduated with honors from high school and college (two college degrees: associates in applied science with an emphasis in business office management and a bachelors in the area of early childhood special education).

God has seen fit to give me opportunities to date and have as much of a normal life as any single lady would have as possible. I would like to get married and raise a family (adopting kids, not having kids naturally due to the health issue I deal with). However, if God does not want me to get married then I will try to be content with whatever God allows me to experience in life.

Jeanne's blog is at Jeanne's Life with Spina Bifida

Thank you for sharing your story Jeanne! We still need more stories, click here to share yours!