18 year old twins Courtney & Cori Bratcher were housed at Warley Park in Sanford, Florida on May 21, 2020 along with their mother. As the Bratcher twins settle into their new home, they have chosen to share their stories to inspire others.
My name is Cori Bratcher, I was born on April 30, 2002, at twenty-three weeks (five months), two weeks later my twin Courtney Bratcher was born on May 12th, 2002. I was born with no skin which resulted in me going under an incubator causing scarring on my skin. On top of that, we barely weighed a pound. The doctors had told my mom that we would not make it past a couple of days, but she did not believe them. From then on she called us her miracle babies. For about six months we had stayed in the hospital receiving surgeries after surgeries including our brains, hearts, and hernias. I was diagnosed with being legally blind, having asthma and allergies. When we finally got home we were put on oxygen tanks to help our little lungs.
Growing up I lived in a one-parent household with my six siblings and puppy. With so many mouths to feed, my mom found it harder to save money. Now in February of 2020, we are living homeless with no car. With no car, it has gotten harder for me to earn volunteer hours. In school, my disabilities cause me to become stonewalled in my work. Due to my eyesight, it causes me headaches when I look at a book or a computer screen for a very long time. My asthma de-escalated me from going to my limit in my Physical Education classes. However, I don’t let my disabilities define me. In middle school I took Algebra and Geometry, earning high school credits, and I participated in every sport that I could in my Physical Education class, even if I was the only girl. I also partook in Step for a year.
In high school, I continue to do my best in earning good grades and trying my best in participating in high school events and clubs. I have taken five Advanced Placement classes, five Physical Education classes, and a dual enrollment class. In these classes, I do ask for help when I don’t understand something or when I can’t see the board. When I do miss school for doctors’ appointments and getting easily sick when the seasons change, I do try my best in making up my work as quickly as possible, and when I don’t understand something I ask questions or I go home and look up tutorial videos. In my four years of high school, I have participated in the Men of Excellence Black History Showcase presenting a poem I wrote called “I’m sorry” despite my low voice. It was the first time I really spoke loud which shocked everyone. I have also tried out for Power Puff in my senior year of high school. However, I was not able to play due to the fact of my health. If I fell down or hit in the back of the head really hard there is a chance my eyes might pop out but it didn’t stop me from cheering on my senior class. I am determined to do everything in my power to succeed.