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Sandra DeVenney (née Davenport) grew up in the small, rural community of Central Blissville, New Brunswick, located about 25 miles from the city of Fredericton. At the age of nine, she was afflicted with paralysis in her right leg as a result of polio. Despite this, her mother never gave her any favouritism and made her pull her weight with chores around the home. Growing up, Sandra had plenty of energy, and having polio never slowed her down.