Hi, my name is Danielle Pellerine. This is my story.
I live with a condition called spina bifida, which is a birth defect where you're born with a hole in your spine. I also have hydrocephalus, a condition where too much fluid accumulates in the brain. Due to these conditions, I was required to have multiple surgeries, including repairing the hole in my spine and inserting a shunt in my brain to drain the fluid. The exposure of latex gloves from surgeries has caused me to develop a latex allergy. I also have a non-verbal learning disorder. I started wearing glasses when I was 9 months old – my George Burns glasses! I live with a dislocated hip that doctors have tried to repair twice, unsuccessfully. This requires me to use a wheelchair to get around, but I don't let that stop me from enjoying fun adventures and accomplishing big things.
I enjoy trying different wheelchair sports. I play sledge hockey and I love it! I was given the honour of being chosen as captain of my hockey team! I've also tried wheelchair basketball, bowling, as well as skiing and hiking with an all-terrain wheelchair called a Hippocampe. I even performed in a couple plays with my school's after-school drama club – Cheaper by the Dozen and being a mermaid in the Little Mermaid.
I was asked to be a Rick Hanson Ambassador for my local area one year, where there was a big walk to raise money to buy a lift for the pool at the local university. During Rick Hansen's 25th Anniversary Relay, I wheeled as a medal bearer. It was such an honour to wheel with Rick Hansen's medal!
My biggest accomplishment, however, was completing 23 courses in an online Library Information Technology program and graduating as a library technician. Wheeling across the stage at graduation was definitely my proudest moment in life, to date. I work part-time in two local public libraries, and am also a Facebook Administrator for one of those library systems.
I hope you enjoyed reading my story. "I have a Disability yes that's true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path than you." - Robert M. Hensel
I'm just a girl who experiences the world using a set of wheels. Don't "dis" my ability.