Who I am
I was born in 1964 in Utica, New York with severe bilateral club feet.
They began casting me at 20 hours old, every week for 2 years. My feet would be manipulated at every diaper change to keep them limber, a very painful process. I wore a brace, constantly at first, to keep my feet from turning in.
At 3 years old I began having surgery every 6 months on my feet to lengthen my Achilles tendons. More surgery was required, to remove pieces of my heel bones in hope of keeping my feet straight, a process that was repeated every few years until I was 15.
Today, 50 years later, these surgical procedures, coupled with my condition, have left me with debilitating arthritis in all 33 joints of each foot, along with extreme stiffness. Although my feet may look normal, they do not work; my mobility is limited and I am in near-constant pain.
I have, through social media, met hundreds of adults with club feet and was shocked to learn that we all suffer from the same issues; chronic pain, loss of mobility, obesity (due to the fact that our feet limit our ability to exercise) and in some extreme cases, severe depression due to these problems.