Ruth Sienkiewicz-Mercer was an amazing woman who, although severely disabled, became an inspiring disabled rights activist & published a moving book about her life.
Ruth was born in 1950 in Massachusetts. She was a healthy baby until, at just five weeks old, she became very ill. She had a temperature, was dehydrated & started to have convulsions. Her parents rushed her to the hospital where the doctors did all they could to help her. Soon she was home again and everything seemed fine. In fact for the first year of her life it looked like Ruth had recovered completely. However, just after her first birthday her parents realised that she was not developing the way other children her age were. After tests at the hospital Ruth was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which they now knew was a result of the illness she had had as a baby (encephalitis) which had affected her brain.