“I should be dead. In the middle of the night, my stepmother wrapped my head in sheets and banged me against the wall. I was 12 years old and she put me in a coma for five days. I had head injuries from that. I woke up to them saying you’re not going back to your dad. You’re going to foster care.
I grew up in foster care with a good family in California. I didn’t know where my mom or my dad were. My foster grandma found my biological mom. When I got out of foster care at 17, I went to Washington to find her. She was a carny and traveled around with the carnival. She was also a drug addict. She didn’t spend time with me, so I started using drugs with her so I could connect with her. I was young and didn’t know what drugs were. I became an addict. I hate her and wish I hadn’t found her, but I am grateful she gave me life.
I worked at the carnival and became a nanny for the other carnies as we traveled around the country. I love kids, but I can’t have them because I have intestinal cancer. It’s dormant right now. I used to be down and negative, but the cancer diagnosis changed me, I decided to get out and live my life. I moved to Maine. I’m 13 years sober and manage this food truck. I also try to help the homeless and drug addicts. We feed them and help them get showers. I want to be a therapist for foster children.
I will be 38 in nine days. I have been through so much trauma, but I’m still here.”