January 08, 2007 12:00 PM

The March of Dimes now calls them Ambassador Children and the Internet has made the old posters obsolete. But what was it like to be pictured on one? Now 32, Poster Child author Emily Rapp, who was born with a shortened leg that didn’t grow, remembers.

“The posters were a way to raise money so more people like me wouldn’t happen–it’s a little sick, if you think about it! But I felt like a star. I remember people taking my picture, and they’d invite me to ribbon cuttings at malls. I had my little spiel–‘I’m so happy even though I have an artificial leg.’ People told me I was amazing; I thought I had to keep it up. It created a drive for perfection that’s stayed with me.”

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