I decided to start a new blog here on my website. Here I will share stories of my past, present and hopes for the future. I’ll start by giving you a general idea of who I am and where I came from.
I was born on September 4th, 1978 in Northridge Hospital in Southern California. My parents, Daniel and Denise Sands, named me Mathew Dean Sands. “Matthew” was my fathers favorite book in the bible. Apparently my mother did not have as much knowledge of the bible, thus the reason for only one “T” in my name.
My mother was just 20 years old when I was born and my father only a year older than her. I was also greeted by a 2 1/2 year old sister, Christina Marie Sands. I am not certain that having a little brother was very exciting for her. When I was brought home from the hospital, my parents found her writing on my forehead with a pen. When asked why she did this to her new brother, her response was “I don’t like the baby”. I like to think she has warmed up to my presence since then. Actually, she has become the most important thing to me on this planet. I’ll get more into that later.
My parents were young, unmarried and had two children. To make life a bit more interesting, my father was a musician in a popular Hollywood-based rock band calledFelony. My earliest memories include all-night band practice in my living room. I’m able to pretty much sleep through anything now thanks to that. You can probably imagine what a child can be exposed to when raised amongst musicians.
When I was 13 months old, I woke up in the middle of the night to a swollen right knee. My Mom had been concerned because I had recently started walking, but began to crawl again.
I took a fall off my rocking horse and my Mother was worried that I injured myself. So, I was taken to a hospital and was told that I had an infection in my knee. But my parents were convinced that there was something else wrong. They took me to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (C.H.L.A.), where I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (J.R.A.).
The disease quickly progressed and I soon had Arthritis in all of my joints. Throughout my childhood, I spent many months in the hospital recovering from surgeries and undergoing intense physical therapy sessions. C.H.L.A. became my second home.
To be continued….