As a child I suffered from severe chronic asthma and was hospitalized and put on oxygen several times. I was also sent to a convalescent home for a while, where I met lots of kids with various disabilities. In high school I spent two summers volunteering at a day camp program run by the Marin Society for Crippled Children and Adults. After graduating from college I learned American Sign Language, worked in the Dormitories at California School for the Deaf for nine years, and married the interpreter who had taught me ASL. We raised three Deaf foster sons who had assorted special needs in addition to our birth daughter after I had developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (yes, it is a real disease) and chronic neck and back pain due to car accidents. I also taught in many Special Education classes as a substitute teacher and was a Sign Language interpreter in several churches.