I was born in Peterborough, Ontario, in 1981. It was a difficult birth. I was five weeks premature, and breech. When I was born, I had a cleft palate, and couldn't suck. My parents had to use a lamb nipple to squirt the milk in my mouth, then wait for me to swallow it. I had to be fed every three hours. Since I was so slow eating, and kept falling asleep on them, each feeding took almost three hours! It wasn't easy for them.
Stephanie, Lynn's niece, was the inspiration behind the character Shannon, who made her FBorFW debut in October of 2004.
When I was two and a half years old, I still couldn't walk on my own, because one side of my body was weaker than the other. I was also having problems pronouncing words.
My parents took me to Five Counties Children's Centre, a special school to help me walk and talk better. It was a school with a therapist there all the time. That school was a lot of fun. We played a whole bunch of games. My favourite was a tricycle that I sat in, and pedaled. There was a small path in the playground to ride on, which I really liked, and still remember today.
That school really helped me along the way. If it hadn't been there to give me the help I needed then, I probably wouldn't be where I am now.
When I was four and a half years old I had an operation to repair my palate at
Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. It made a big difference. Afterwards I could suck properly, and talk much better than before. The problem was, I had to learn again how to say all my sounds!
I liked Peterborough. I and my brother Kevin (1 1/2 years older than me) liked to play in the park near our apartment building. He always took good care of me, and protected me from others. He would lift me up and help me climb things. When somebody came up to us, he talked for the both of us. I really love him a lot.
When I was five, I moved to Astorville, my mom's hometown near North Bay, with my mom and Kevin. At the same time my dad, who was separating from my mom, moved to North Bay where he could be near us.
Over the next few years, my dad Chuck moved in with Ralph, and my mom met and married Yves - who became "dad Yves".
I now had lots and lots and lots of relatives. Living near us in Astorville were my mother's family -- four sets of aunts and uncles, and 12 first cousins! Plus, scattered around in North Bay and elsewhere, were dad Chuck's family, dad Yves' family, and Ralph's family. Four sets of relatives!
That's how I met Aunt Lynn and Uncle Rod; Rod is Ralph's brother. Rod and Lynn live in Corbeil, where Rod was my dentist and Lynn works as a cartoonist.
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