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Our very own Psychology student, Christine Ballart, was recently interviewed by Study Breaks, an independently run website and magazine written, edited and illustrated by a rotating staff of college students from across the country.

During the interview, Christine discusses how she was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly and can limit upper and lower body movements. As a result, it can cause no feeling or movements in the lower extremities. Christine has undergone over 30 surgeries including 14 shunt revisions, shunts block the flow of cerebral spinal fluid.

As a college student, Christine is faced with different challenges on a daily basis due to her diagnosis such as the inability to learn things at a fast pace and many hospital stays, which has caused her to miss a lot of class time. However with her positive mindset she doesn’t let her disability define or stop her.

Christine is a senior studying Psychology and Sociology and aspires to become a Child Life Specialist, which is someone who works in children’s hospitals teaching children and their families about the various procedures/surgeries that they will go through to make them feel less anxious.  Christine remembers going through her own experiences as a child on the way to the operation room and through her experiences would like to help others.

If there is anything that Christine would like to let others know is that people with disabilities aren’t much different from an able-bodied person.  Yes, some get around differently, some with walkers and others with wheelchairs, but people with disabilities can do the same thing any able-bodied person can do and she is living proof of that.

Read the full interview to learn more about this inspiring student.