Many moons ago, I hitched a ride on a packed junket flight from Las Vegas to Toronto. I was 8 months pregnant and squished in the back row of the plane. In mid flight in a haze of cigarette smoke I went into labor. At some point in the flight, a concerned captain and crew posed a question: “proceed to Toronto or land in Chicago?”
Through a capricious twist of fate, I chose Toronto and my baby was born a Canadian. He was also born with Down syndrome and thus, by virtue of his disability alone, was denied residency in the country his parents called home.
Today, I am traveling on a different kind of plane toward a new future, a future that includes the birth of a book! And the continuation of an unexpected journey that fate and a very special and beloved son planned for me.
My book will tell the story of the discrimination and misunderstanding that occurs when a child is born disabled.
It is also my story of overcoming obstacles including childhood abuse and homelessness. Of becoming a dancer and actress, and then a disability rights activist and crazy fundraiser while fighting for the rights of some of the most misunderstood people in human history.
I was kicked to the curb as a kid, and as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you strong. This past year I was kicked to the curb once again. Ironically, it turned out to be just what I needed!
Everything happens for a reason… What a journey this little guy sent me on!