When you meet Swapna Kakani, you immediately know the 23 year old is a happy positive person. It's not until you hear her story, that you realize how impressive those qualities really are.
"For some reason or another I didn't get blood flow to the part of my intestine which resulted in a defect when I was born. I was born in Huntsville hospital, and within two days they rushed me to Children's in Birmingham.I spent almost a third of my first year of life at the hospital in Birmingham. In and out of the hospital, surgeries," she says.
She's had a total of 51 surgeries since birth. On the outside, the evidence of her medical struggles is a backpack she wears all the time.
"It is my life pack, this is my food, my version of food," explains Kakani.
She had to give up solid food in 2011,but again, Kakani is one of contradictions. Happy and positive in spite of major health issues, and she can't eat sold food yet she's passionate about teaching kids the importance of food and nutrition.
She volunteers with Seed to Plate, a program that helps kids understand how important it is to eat healthy.
"Know the value of that, and know the value of eating well," she says.
While there was a time Kakani could eat food, it's always been limited, and it's never been enough to be her main source of nutrition, so teaching healthy kids about what goes in their body has become important to her.
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