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Living with Challenges: Anna-Marie's Story
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Recently, we posted an interview with IML'er Danielle, who told us what it was like to live with chronic illness. The response from you guys was huge, and we'd like to continue to tell the stories of tweens who have to face life with, or have overcome, some kind of physical or emotional challenge.

Our first Guest IML Blogger is Anna-Marie!

Anna-Marie's Story
Anna-Marie.jpgWhen I was a baby, I was born prematurely, weighing 1 pound, 15 oz. I was supposed to be born in June, but I was born in March, instead. Because of my premature birth, I had to stay at the hospital for approximately 4 and 1/2 months after I was born.

When I was born, my lungs hadn't even developed, so as a result, I had to be connected to a respirator while my tiny lungs finished developing. I was diagnosed with retinopathy at prematurity, and I had to get laser eye surgery at 2 and 1/2 months. Along with that, I had to get needles in my foot to draw blood.

When I finally came home from the hospital, I was still really tiny, and every cold or flu sent me back to the hospital, where I spent approximately 2 weeks. However, I was a very happy (and cute) baby. I liked the Teletubbies, Elmo, Barney, Dora, and Strawberry Shortcake, but I didn't like needles, or anything coming near my feet. My mom had to trim my toenails and fingernails when I was sleeping!

DSC_0345.JPGNow, I'm doing really good. I'm going into grade 7 this year, and I'm going into my 5th year of piano (I think it's my 5th year. I'm not sure). There are some things that will always remain in my life from being born early. Because of the laser eye surgery, I don't have any peripheral vision (meaning that I can't see out of the sides), so I was often a target for getting hit with balls in gym class (which sometimes caused really big injuries that I won't forget about). The song that has a really special meaning to me is "Who I Am" by the Jonas Brothers. I think that this song describes my life, because in the music video, there are people who have gone through challenges in their lives.