My name is Shoshana Siegal, and I am a 15 year-old living with Spina Bifida. I don’t normally introduce myself as someone with Spina Bifida because, like many other people with this birth defect, I don’t want limits or labels put on me.
Even though I wear a brace, my Spina Bifida is practically invisible. Other kids my age are surprised when I tell them I have a disability. But I can’t lie, some days are hard. I have chronic pain, and when it becomes too much, I put on a “mask” and hide behind it.
I have a lot of dreams and I am working hard in high school to go to college and achieve them.
But in order to live independently, I need quality health care.
A concern I have, that no 15-year-old should, is health insurance. Throughout my life, I will need surgeries, medical equipment, and supplies. Protection of quality health insurance for people like me with pre-existing conditions is essential.
That’s why I went to Congress as part of SBA’s Teal on the Hill event – to share my story and advocate for people living with Spina Bifida. The experience gave me back the control I was missing in my life.
I’m so grateful to have found SBA and to be a part of such a caring, compassionate community. I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t go to Teal on the Hill. I wouldn’t be the strong independent young woman I am today.
Thank you for helping me find myself.
None of this would have been possible without the support of SBA and the advocacy programs they put on.
You’ve made such a difference in my life, and in the lives of so many. This holiday season, please donate to SBA so that this work can continue. Every dollar makes a difference!