Deformed: My Remarkable Life by Valerie Pepe
Valerie Pepe's autobiography is an inspirational story of a woman's successful struggle to overcome a crippling physical deformity and live a normal life. Born with joint contractures and abnormal fibrosis of the muscle tissue in her lower body, a rare birth defect known as Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), Valerie has fought a never-ending battle against those who would isolate her and other deformed individuals. As a child growing up in the New York City borough of Staten Island, Valerie was encouraged by her parents and older brothers to play street games with the neighborhood kids despite her dependence on crutches. After entering school, however, she was segregated into classes for disabled children-an experience which left her with the life-long determination to never again allow herself to be isolated from so-called normal people. In her strong, down-to-earth, no-nonsense voice, Valerie tells her story of a disabled person rising to the challenges of college, career, sexual relationships and marriage.