I was born in Anniston, AL on Sept. 30, 1969. Immediately, everyone knew something was wrong and I was not expected to live to see October. My parents, aunt and pastor rushed me to Children's Hospital, where it was determined that I had been born with a severe birth defect. This left me with quite a number of problems that needed to be dealt with immediately if I was to survive. Those problems included severe digestive maladies, which required immediate surgery and several subsequent operations at Children's Hospital over the next two years. The staff at Children's Hospital later discovered that my face and left eye were also affected by the birth defect, as were my bones, which influenced my teeth. That seems like a lot to deal with. And it was. But thanks to the care and expertise of the staff at Children's Hospital, I not only made it to see October 1969, but 41 years later I am a thriving, happy person.