I was diagnosed with cancer (neuroblastoma) when I was a baby. After chemotherapy, radiation and 2 major surgeries, I came down with two really bad ear infections that went untreated. As a result, I got a viral infection called encephalitis that damaged my brain stem and left me permanently disabled (mobility issues much like cerebral palsy), with hearing loss and a speech impairment. I also have scoliosis, which has been treated (4 surgeries). I love to read and write. I am a dreamer. And I have hope for the future.