That's the kind of 'defining experience' story more teachers should hear and hear again at different stages of their careers. I was wondering, when I looked at your email address, what might be behind it. Thanks for sharing.
PS For others who might read Patti's story, this kind of anecdote can be a great addition to a TSP. Showing how you 'draw on personal experience to ensure all students' needs are met' is much more powerful than telling them that's what you do. The follow-up might be to share examples of how this has played out in your teaching and the insights you've gained as a result.