I have to say that both Ben and Emma reminded me of myself although in completely different ways but not through so much their character but because of their physical troubles. I have to say that there hasn't been many times that I have had anything all that much in common with the hero of a story but frankly, Ben is the one I identified with the most.
With Emma and her clumsiness, I have to wonder how much of her clumsiness is truly because she is not paying enough attention and how much of it is an unconscious self-fulfillment of her belief that she is a klutz. Also her tripping over some of the simplest things like roots, uneven ground and small rocks, I wonder how much of that is because she is truly clumsy and how much it could be something else. Though Ms. Beckstrand might not realize it, but she was describing a pretty mild case of Charcot-Marie-Tooth, for I see Emma in me when I was much younger and my Charcot-Marie-Tooth was in it earlier stages. Even to this day I could trip over a pebble in the middle of the road, uneven ground gets me all the time too. The humor that Emma uses when she finds herself in the middle of something that could be embarrassing is a tool that I use myself on a regular basis. I often joke that I am the ground tester when I fall, for I test to see how hard or soft the ground is.
Ben, now here is a man who really had me wondering what was going on. I am not going to go into what is Ben's problem, for wow I sure didn't see that coming at all. Something that I will talk about is what he was experiencing as far as the numbness, tingling, and weakness in his legs, those are things I deal with on almost daily basis. My Charcot-Marie-Tooth is very similar to what Ben is dealing with. I felt so bad when Ben's truth came out that my heart broke for him, for it just didn't seem fair in the slightest. Some people might not understand the last scene with Ben being so thrilled but I relived it, well at least in the joy of the truth being out there. I don't have the same thing as Ben but the joy of knowing the truth is something that no matter how bad it might sound to some, is sweet sounding to another because the truth does set one free.
So that is how I saw myself in both characters, clumsiness and humor with Emma; numbness, tingling in limbs and weakness in legs with Ben. I have to say that I think that Ms. Beckstrand really did her research on Ben's illness for everything was there but really those same symptoms could describe so many different illnesses. She laid out those bread crumbs to where one will see that something is wrong, but not completely sure what is the problem exactly for those symptoms could describe any number of illnesses, while not being able to pinpoint anything down until the truth is revealed.
For more information on Charcot-Marie-Tooth.