Currently Browsing: Leigh

Leigh’s Legs- Part 4

Urine seemed to be her perfume as Leigh walked down the halls of Otwell Middle School.  Girls, with their smiles of Clinque lip gloss and designer purses made fun of Leigh when she’d come to class with a different pair of pants from the previous class period.  The girls would talk bad about her in the bathroom—one person even slipped her a note in her locker telling her to take a bath.  I was... read more

Leigh’s Legs- Part 3

“Do I have to wear my braces?”  It was almost a rhetorical question—the answer so obvious.  Of course you have to wear your braces. Leigh can walk without them, but she has very little balance and control of her body.  The braces give her support.  When she was eleven, Leigh went through a phase where she didn’t want to wear them.  She’d wear long pants and put her shoes on and think she was... read more

My Sister’s Legs- Part 2

I never understood why she loved our father so much.  Both her undying loyalty to him and his team and unconditional love was foreign to me in many ways.   Sure, I loved my Dad.  Yes, I was proud of his accomplishments.  But being the Coach’s Daughter was not how I wanted to define myself.  And I wanted my sister to have her own identity, too.  It took many years for me to realize that her... read more

My Sister’s Legs

This is the first excerpt in a five – month series about growing up with a sister who wore leg braces, the challenges we faced, and the future that we embraced. My Sister’s Legs I once tried on my sister’s leg braces. The hard plastic that stops short of her knees rose to my shins. The Velcro straps around the ankle and tops to hold her weak limbs in felt cold, too sturdy, no give as the tops of... read more


When my sister, Leigh, was born, the doctors told my parents she wouldn’t live past the age of 12 – if we were lucky.  That was in 1982.  There wasn’t a lot of research then on the causes and effects of the birth defect nor was there enough information regarding life span or quality of life, either.  My mother spent hours in the library researching the diagnosis from antiquated medical... read more