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Birth defect is a challenge that can be overcome

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Have you ever wondered how it would be to have a birth defect? Do you know what a birth defect is?

My friend Lauren has a birth defect. Lauren is a fourth grader at Okte Elementary School. A birth defect is when you are born without a body part or have a difference.

About 120,000 babies each year are born with birth defects. Sometimes people with birth defects have trouble doing things. Lauren says “I have trouble with things like jump roping, holding things, cutting and hammering.”

Lauren does not want a prosthetic, but a lot of people have them. A prosthetic is a fake hand, leg or body part. A prosthetic helps people with birth defects.

Lauren was born missing a hand, and she has learned to handle it, but she still has trouble with things like people staring at her and she says “It feels like I’m excluded from everyone else, and I feel like I’m less help to people around me.”

In many cases, causes of birth defects are unknown. Lauren is not really sure why she has a birth defect. She says it might be because of something that wrapped around her hand or it could be from chemicals.

Other reasons are poor nutrition, or a birth defect can run through the family.

Even though Lauren has a birth defect, she can do a lot of things. She can ride a bike, she’s a great artist and an awesome friend. When you have a birth defect, you are special!

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