I am 52 years old, and I have had NF-1 since birth, the result of a spontaneous mutation. My parents are deceased, and I have two older sisters, both unaffected. I have cutaneous and plexiform tumors. NF mostly affects the left side of my body, including vision, hearing, and some motor function.

I was diagnosed at 2 yrs of age by our family doctor, and have had almost as many surgeries as birthdays.

I have a Masters degree in Counseling, am a Certified Professional Coder, and just finishing up an Associate’s Degree in Health Information Technology, the result of a midlife career change. I currently work as a caregiver while I complete my degree.

I was married once; I’m now divorced and single and happy. My personal mantra is: I am a woman with NF, but my NF does NOT define me or defeat me.

Beyond Belief

Something remarkable happened for the first time in Asia. Sixteen physically challenged people went on an expedition to demand equal respect.They trekked through areas that normal people would dread to dare. What was unique was their arrival at a desolate location in the Gorumara forest in trolleys? The clanking of iron wheels on long unused iron tracks injected a challenge in the home of the Indian elephant and one-horned rhino. The four teams had prepared well for the ordeal ahead. Each team had one visually impaired person, a speech and hearing impaired person, one person without upper limbs and one person without lower limbs. They were made aware of the dangers of the expedition… and chose to ignore these with indomitable resolution. A team of 16 differently-abled persons wrote a new chapter in the history of human achievement.