Clair Sanchez

Clare Sanchez is 14 years old and lives with her mother and father, Dolores and Roberto, an older brother, John and a younger brother, Marty. More than a year ago, Clare seemed to be getting sick a lot and began missing school. She was eventually diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and her doctor told Clare and her family that she would need to have a surgical procedure called an ileostomy. Because of the ileostomy, she wears a collection pouch for waste. Since the operation, she is doing very well. Clare states, "For the first time, I feel like I can do anything I want... hang out with friends, do stuff- without having to spend my time scouting out the nearest bathroom." She has always been a straightforward, to the point kind of person and is not embarrassed about her difference.

Clare is very active in both her school and community. She's on the Woodburn Junior High cheerleading team and volunteers at the youth center. She has helped with the development of her school safety plan and has even written an article for the school newspaper about a bullying situation she experienced in the fifth grade. Clare feels it's important to let people know more about bullying and how big a problem it is. Because of the research she did for the article, she has been able to offer advice to other kids about how to deal with bully situations and how to keep their school safe.

Clare has a very open and honest relationship with her good friend Joanne Spinoza. Once, Claire had to explain to Joanne that her behavior, though not intentionally so, represented stereotyping and prejudice. Joanne had made up a game that involved guessing the type of movie a person rented by who the person was and what they looked like. Clare helped Joanne understand that prejudice and stereotyping hurt people.

Clare appears in The Kids on the Block programs about ostomy, gangs, violence and prejudice and bullies and school safety.