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I would have needs, different from those of other babies, that my parents might not be able to solve, and these would be more serious than colic or refusing a bottle. My needs might carry me into an institution. That word: institution. It is gray and heavy. I was newly diagnosed with a birth defect that seemed to have already set the stage for my life before the curtain had even gone up. The play had just begin, and the audience was already disappointed and stressed, mulling about in their seats, complaining about the actors, the set, the plot.
– Poster Child, Emily Rapp, pg. 12

I would have needs, more so than some other kids my age, that my parents hadn’t foreseenmore than just needing a tutor in math or science. The immediate future seemed dull and constricting. It wasn’t a punishment, they said, but a place to get better. I tried to grasp at the thought that at fifteen my fate was sealed with a bang of a gavel and a fresh diagnosis. Researching was futile, what turned up just confirmed the tentative idea that I had, in essence, a life sentence. As if my own mind was filled with an infection but there were no antibiotics for me. My very DNA had been corrupted, and I flatly wondered what chances I had, when the odds seemed to have been stacked against me even before I had opened my eyes.


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