Hi, My name is Sébastien, and I will
be 24 years old in April 2009. My bone disease is spondylo-epiphyseal
dysplasia. I live in Ste-Julie and I am currently doing a DEP (Diploma
of Vocational Studies) in Industrial Design at the Centre
Bernard-Gariépy in Sorel.
At age 8, I underwent surgery to my
legs (tibia and fibula) to straighten them. I had a cast from the waist
to the toes when my father and I went to the AQPPT for the first time.
I attended the neighbourhood's
elementary and high schools. I lived in St-Bruno until age 14. Thanks
to my great sense of humor, I have always had the ability to make
friends and my small stature has not prevented me from fitting in
socially. I must say, however, that my parents encouraged me to have
experiences like all the young people of my age. I lived a difficult
period during my adolescence when young people would call me cowboy
because of my bowed legs, but I learned not to take it seriously over
time. Once people realized that it no longer worked, they just stopped.
the ages of 16 and 17, I had other operations, this time of the femurs
(thigh bone) tibias, and fibulas. I was operated on one leg at a time,
one year apart. Because of all these operations, I had to start grade
11over because I had not accumulated enough credits. I took it hard at
the time, but it allowed me to meet other people.
After one semester in CEGEP, I decided
to stop and went to work; I needed to do something else than going to
school. So I worked for about four years before going back to school. I
worked some time in a convenience store as cashier and did data
processing for a transportation company.
I got my driver's license at 18
following a 2-month driving course. My type of dwarfism is such that I
do not need to use pedal extensions in my car.
At a younger age, I participated often
enough in the AQPPT activities such as the sugar shack or even the
summer camp. Being able to talk with people who are like us helps to
better understand and accept our fate by saying to ourselves that we
are not alone in this situation. Through the Association, I have also
kept informed of the measures taken by the government to facilitate the
adaptation of little people to society. To that effect, I would like to
thank the Association for everything it has done for me.
Once again at age 21, I had an
operation, this time in the spine, to reduce my scoliosis. They placed
surgical metal plates along my vertebrae C7 to L1. This time will be
the last time ... at least I hope so.
In my spare time I like to go camping
with my friends, go to the movies, go out late to the bars (a normal
activity for someone my age), play hockey, etc. Currently, I am
learning to skate, because I could not do it when I was younger as my
legs that were too curved greatly interfered with my balance. I am a
Habs fan, and I try to go to watch the games at the Bell Centre as
often as possible. Of course, I do not miss any Habs games on TV.
To conclude, I am a 24 year-old young
man who lives his life from day to day. I see my disability not as a
limitation but rather as a challenge to overcome. I am a person who
likes to do things without necessarily foreseeing everything, which
makes me a spontaneous person.
Sébastien T., March 2009