When I was 13, I told Henry Winkler I wanted to act. He said, Do it and don't let anyone stand in your way. His validation just made it all the more true. I haven't stopped thanking him since.
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I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and in spite of what most people might have expected from a young girl growing up deaf, life for me was like one long episode of 'The Brady Bunch.' Despite whatever barriers were in my way, I imagined myself as Marcia Brady skating down the street saying 'hi' to everyone, whether they knew me or not.