Hello to anyone who visits the site of
the AQPPT. My name is Véronique, I will be 17 years old in July 2009,
and I have achondroplasia. I am the only one to be of small stature in
my family: my parents, my two sisters, and my brother are of average
size. My family joined the AQPPT when I was a baby and has participated
in several activities of the Association. It has been very involved
over the years because this cause means a lot to us.
I live in Châteauguay, where I went to
elementary school and now I am eager to complete grade 11. During my
integration into these two levels, the AQPPT came to raise awareness so
that all students could better understand my condition. I found it
interesting because I no longer had to explain my condition to all my
classmates, what I was and why. Quite frankly, when someone would ask
me all these questions I had a hard time answering. So it was done
early in the year, explained and done with. Also they could better
explain why I needed all kinds of technical aids to make me feel good.
I am now in the process of choosing a
career, and I have decided to go to CEGEP next year and study remedial
education. I like helping others and also teach troubled youth what
they need to continue later on. I would also like to find a summer job,
so I have registered with an SSMO (Specialized labor services) to have
an employment counselor, specialized in assisting people with
disabilities, guide me in my efforts.
My small size does not really bother
me; I am like that. I have always thought that what mattered most was
the personality. I have always used my knowledge, my strengths, and
passions to get anywhere in life and with my friends. I have had
numerous operations. The first time, I had an operation for
hydrocephalus or water on the brain when I was about six months old.
The operation consists of placing a shunt in the brain to drain the
liquid out of the skull towards the abdomen. They had to place a kind
of straw because I had too much fluid in the head that was giving me
headaches and making me very ill. I have also had many small operations
because I was having ear infections. Not long ago, I also had an
operation in the lower spine because the nerves were tightly squeezed,
so they opened up a little to give more room to the spinal cord.
Soon, I will be taking driving
lessons,and I can't wait. After that, I will feel more independent. All
this is little complicated and somewhat lengthy. So, one must start
these things early.
I think it is really worthwhile to be
part of the AQPPT, to meet people like us. Even if I have friends
outside the AQPPT who are of average size, I also like to have friends
of small stature because it feels good. It makes me feel good because
the AQPPT is like a gathering place that we have to share our life
experiences and also just to meet.
Véronique A., June 2009