I grew up in a small town in Northern California where it was very much meat and potatoes. My parents owned the truck stop. I just always loved animals from the very beginning when I was little girl I just said I couldn't eat me. It always caused big crazy confusion at family gatherings. They would say what's wrong with this weirdo. It's inspired me because I’m actually honoring who I really am and it has inspired other people.
About 10 years ago I started becoming severely death. It's a genetic problem in my family and of course I was the lucky one to get it. I'm an actress, I'm a writer and I do a lot of speaking so it was very scary to lose my hearing but through it all people have been so gracious. And the thing that is great is that I'm so not alone. There are people like Brian Wilson that are so successful in a world where, that involves sound and communication. I'm not really going to let anything stop me. I just hope that I can inspire. other people that want to keep going that have hearing issues. Don't stop what you are doing, it takes all kinds in this world.
I had a teddy bear. My father is from Germany. His real name is Uwe but no one could pronounce that when he came over to Ellis Island. So the man looked at my dad and said I'm going to call you tommy but my first stuffed animal was named Uwe and it was a teddy bear. When I was about 14 I lost him. I've looked all over I keep trying to find Uwe. But, I will never forget him. That may be why i'm so connected to animals too . I'm very much able to humanize and find a lot of empathy for anything. He made me feel safe. I would talk to him you, you know, like kids do. I would tell him my secrets and he wasn't going to tell anyone. When I think about it now, it's kind of the breeding ground for having your own pet.
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