My name is Veronica Marcus and I was born with Spina Bifida. It is the most complex birth defect involving the nervous system. The child is born with a hole in the spine exposing the spinal cord. Because of the severity of my problem, doctors did not expect me to live past the age of 12 years.
I was only enrolled in public school at age 13 which proved a very traumatic experience. I was wearing a nappy through my high school days, and while doing a learner ship at Association for people with Disabilities in Bridgetown, where I did an admin course. The social workers at APD found me job as switchboard operator at a hotel. After working at the hotel for a year, ( with my nappy ) I received a letter from Red Cross Hospital to go and see Dr Larry Gee at Groote Schuur hospital.
This was when I was introduced to the CATHETER. Emptying my bladder with the catheter at regulated intervals meant I was dry, and did not need to wear a nappy anymore. I was able to live a dignified life and go out with friends.
I am now happily married and adopted a little girl.
While the extent and severity of our condition differs, we can still fit into our communities and make a positive contribution to society.