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My name is Michelle Leigh Padilla. I was born with a congenital heart defect called severe teratology of fallout. I have had three open heart surgeries, two sinus surgeries, ear surgery and mouth surgery.

At the age of 18 I had a grand seizure and was in a comma for about a week. Because of that I suffered brain damage. At the age of 34, I found that I had 22q-11.  I never know I had it!

I just recently got my AA degree from Harbor College. I transferred to Cal State Dominguez Hills where I am a D.J, on Thursdays at KDHR. I only have eight more classes to go until I get my B.A.  I hope to transfer to UCLA or USC.

I have a wonderful support system, family and friends. A couple of my best friends Mayra Haro, Rebecca Gairbay Maxi Rodriguez, and Melissa Diaz have always been there for me through my journey. But thorough it all, my mother and dad have pushed me to do better and to get my education as well. I love my mom and dad very much. They are my rock and my strength.

I have had people tell me I couldn't succeed at Cal State Dominguez or do a radio show. I am now a very active advocate for 22q-11 through Disable services, at Cal State Dominguez, and KDHR. I will be graduating and walking on stage to get my BA in human services in June 2016.

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