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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.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)|
About the Author
Valerie Pepe is the Chairwoman of the AMC (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita) Music Festival which raises funds and awareness about her rare congenital birth defect (one in every 3,000 births). She is featured in the documentary film, “The Sweetest Gift: Living with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita,” directed by Margaret Chaidez and released in 2013. Valerie’s essays have appeared in Woman’s World, DStripped Magazines, Snug Harbor and The Staten Island Advance. She has a BA in English and an MS in Education from St. John’s University, and a Certificate in Creative Writing from New York University. From 2010-2012, she hosted the internet radio interview program, “The Val and Betty Show.” Valerie works as an Associate Staff Analyst for the New York City Housing Authority. She commutes every day to her job in Manhattan from her Staten Island apartment, the neighborhood where she grew up in an extended Italian-American family.