Elizabeth's Story
MHE and Me
          Iím Elizabeth, but you can call me Lizzie. Iím 15 and a freshie in high school. If there was one word to describe me, it would be different. Iím crazy, wacky, wild, shy at times, and passionate about everything that I do. You can call me what you want, because I honestly donít care what people think about me.
I love neon colors, especially lime green. Hehe, thatís mostly what I wear. I donít belong to a "group", but I have the greatest friends ever. Sometimes, it seems like I hang out with a lot of guys. I donít always though, I hang out with plenty girls. Iíve never met someone with MHE, other than my grandparents, but they have never really admitted it. MHE, I guess, does play a large part in my life. Iíve had fourteen surgeries, mostly on my legs. I donít usually tell people that I have MHE, only if itís absolutely necessary. I deal with the pain and fatigue by myself. It doesnít matter how sore I am, I still take the steps (my school has 3 stories). I used to be really insecure about my scars and everything, so I would always wear jackets and jeans. I felt really distant and different in middle school. I guess I was pretty awkward. Iím not anymore. You could say that I embrace being different. I donít mind so much to show my legs and arms; Iím a lot more outgoing and active.
          Iím a very busy person. Iím in Foreign Language Club, Theater, Band, and Your Choice. I love to speak French. Well, Iím a proud theater/band geek. Theater takes a lot of my time, but I love to act, sing, and dance. Sadly, I didnít have enough room in my schedule for Chorus. I also enjoy crazy and wacky parts. My best friends are in theater, so yep, they are all pretty weird. Like this one time, Scotty G. and Dan ran though a volleyball game in frilly pink dresses. It was great. Our Principal, Mr. Leonard said, "Sorry boys, but we donít do that stuff around here." They explained that they were in Theater, so it was perfectly Ďnormalí. My last period is Band. In my high school you can take band instead of P.E. Anyway, Iím a percussionist. I play any percussion instrument imaginable, seriously. Iím in marching band, but I donít march. I play the marimba in pit. I am not able to use 4 mallets, because of the bumps on my fingers (around 40). I also play the piano (one with unweighted keys), and the trombone.
            Everyday, after school I get on the bus and go to the middle school for Your Choice. Iíve been in it for about 4 years. I recently earned the rank of Sr. Peerleader. I guess I should explain what Your Choice is. Itís a program funded by the National Guard, so itís a lot like the military. We wear uniforms, run laps, do push ups, sit ups, and have fun. Iím their "poster child". When I first entered the program, I was a year out of 2 hip reconstructions (both hips), 4 knee surgeries (both knees), and 2 ankle surgeries. I was not able to walk long distances, run, you know normal kid stuff. I stayed in the program, and by the end of my 1st year, I could run the mile in 9 minutes flat, and do 86 push-ups in one minute. I even went to boot camp.  That was not very fun on my part. I am not able to do that stuff anymore, because I need shoulder surgery again, and my knees bother me a lot. Now, I call drills, teach classes, and make speeches telling people my story. I donít like it much, but it makes more people join. One of our instructors is handicapped, and has to use a cane. She gives me a lot of inspiration to do things in spite of MHE. She taught me never to say "I canít", because then, we never will.
         I love music, it seems like my IPod is always in my ears. I donít listen to rap, or country. Iím not going to lie, I listen to Broadway. My favorite musicals are Rent and Wicked. Viva La Vie Boheme! Iím very random, and I break out into song and dance when ever I feel like it. Not in class, because Iím a good student. I also love fashion. My family doesnít have a lot of money, so I canít wear the labels I want to all of the time.
              I have one sister, Jessica, and a baby brother on the way. My dad died before I was born, so now my mom, Michelle, is married to my step dad, Dustin. My mom is really cool. I spent a lot of time with her my 6th grade year, when she home schooled me because of major surgeries. I have 2 cats, Blackie and Kentin. Since Iím single, Kentin is the closest thing that I have to a boyfriend. Youíre jealous, because heís all mine!
           Jeebus, I make my life sound hectic! I guess, in a way, it is. I choose it to be this way, because it takes my mind off pain. I wonít let MHE get in the way of what I really want to do. This is the best I can explain myself. Quoting from one of my favorite lines from "Secrets":

"Who am I? Iím an artist, a musician, a dreamer, a thinker, a lover. My passion runs  deep, my emotions run deeper. Iím practical. Iím irresponsible. Iím a realist. I feel  everything with all my being. I dream with all my might. Maybe I seem incomprehensible,  and maybe you donít understand, but thatís Ďcause youíre on the outside looking in from a  world away, and Iím in here [Taps her chest]. Thatís not important though, Ďcause I  understand who am I, and what my lifeís gonna be. And Iíve learned to pretend thatís all  that matters."

              If you want to get to know me better e-mail me at lizzie_chapman11@yahoo.com or add me on myspace. My URL is...http://www.myspace.com/lizziechapman14