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Joshua Stepakoff

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Age 6 , California

On the morning of August 10, 1999, I was at the right place, at the right time. I was 6-years-old enjoying fun and games with my friends at the North Valley Jewish Community Center day camp. That morning, a man came in carrying a semi-automatic firearm which he used to spray 70 rounds in less than a minute. 1 bullet pierced through my left leg and the other lodged in my hip, narrowly missing my spine. I was overcome with adrenaline as I ran for my life. I was eventually airlifted out of the area to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. I was only in the hospital for a few days but it has been 16 years and I’m still recovering. I struggle daily with the long term effects of PTSD. I work hard every day to ensure that another family does not have to endure the pain that we did.

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