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Turner Syndrome This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Anyone looking at me would see a normal 17-year-old girl with blond hair and blue eyes. Those taking a closer look would recognize that I barely reach 5'2". What my physical appearance does not reveal is that I have Turner syndrome, but then, most people don’t have the faintest idea what that is. Turner syndrome is a chromosomal condition that occurs in women and involves complete or partial absence of the second x chromosome. While I may not be one in a million, I am one in 2,000. Short stature is one of the most common characteristics associated with the syndrome, but serious heart and kidney problems and even hearing loss can occur.

When I was diagnosed at 12, my whole life began to make more sense. I never understood why when the rest of my classmates were growing like weeds, I remained a seed stuck in the ground. I had always struggled being the shortest girl in my class and was known as “Midget” or “Shorty.” After watching the classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” I became known as Oompa Loompa. Though these names hurt me deeply, I refused to let my classmates dampen my enthusiasm for school and learning. I got involved in lots of extracurricular activities, though they sometimes posed problems. Because girls with Turner syndrome tend to have poor coordination and perception, my athletic ability was nonexistent. I loved to sing, but it proved difficult to share a microphone with a group of girls seven inches taller. Despite this, I continued to drive myself to prove that heart and brains could make up for lack of height.

Once diagnosed, I was given a treatment plan that involved daily growth hormone injections. I am the type of person who worries about a doctor’s appointment for weeks in advance, so getting used to injections every day - and even worse, giving them to myself - was a true test of my character. However, I jumped this hurdle and after five years, I have grown 11 inches. This was an amazing response and I consider it my own little miracle.

I am not upset that I have Turner syndrome. It has molded my character and transformed me into the person I am today. I have learned that you need to rise above the negative in your life. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This statement has always inspired me and so I will journey on to the next stage of my life with pride and self-confidence.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 97 comments. Post your own!

NoUser said...
Dec. 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm:
i am 14, in 9th grade, and i'm 5'. You're not the only one.
 
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BelieberBlaze said...
Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm:
FANTASTIC!!!!
 
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hiddenbyhair said...
Dec. 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm:
Thanks... i may not have Turners but I have my own genetic condition. it won't allow me to play sports (though i do anyway) and causes me pain
 
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SonzaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm:
this IS the attitude everyone should have - face all odds bravely. one might fail but the satisfaction n confidence one gains is worth it. KEEP MOVING UP!!
 
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Faye Cunningham said...
Dec. 1, 2012 at 4:35 am:
I have gone all through life being short, just 4ft11, not thinking anything about it.  Just accept  how God made me. People always have said, your so short, and I sometimes reply "your so tall". There is nothing wrong with being short., and just think, you always get to be in the front row. 
 
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Coni said...
Nov. 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm:
Did you know that a very famous actress named Linda Hunt also has Turner Syndrom?  She thought she would never be successful at acting because of her short statis, so she studied directing in production.  She went on to star in Silverado, a John Wayne Western where she played the bar tender.  She is now on NCIS Los Angles. She went on to play in many movies and TV shows.  U R right!  U can do anything you want.  Google her. She is a great inspiration. 
 
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Millymollymandy said...
Apr. 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm:
I have a daughter who is beautiful, intelligent, articulate, and inspirational. Just like you. She also happens to have TS. I have never permitted anyone to label her - including the medical profession! She is strong, confident and independent. She lives in a world rich in diversity and regards TS as just one more shade of grey. She will love your article. Thank you for sharing.
 
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DaLemon said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm:
My cusin has Turners. I understand completly, or at least I'd like to think I do. :) I like the peice, it has a lot of trueth to it.
 
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girlygirl1996 said...
Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm:
I want to say I feel sorry for you. But you don't feel sorry for yourself. And even though i dont know you Im glad that you stand up for yourself(sorry for the pun unintended) Keep your head up girl because theres alot of people who would to see it down.
 
girlygirl1996 replied...
Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm :
I want to say I feel sorry for you. But you don't feel sorry for yourself. And even though i dont know you Im glad that you stand up for yourself(sorry for the pun unintended) Keep your head up girl because theres alot of people who would love to see it down. (forgot love sorry)
 
Scenechic replied...
Jan. 25, 2012 at 9:04 am :
DO NOT feel sorry for us, we are strong and independant :)
 
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GodStrongKid said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 8:32 am:
Nice writing. It's general and personal, keep it up.
 
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steffdawgg said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 8:31 am:
Interesting, because we learned about it in Biology, and I spoke to my mom about it. I'm four feet ten inches, (yet I'm done growing) and have been having serious kidney issues since I was born. Also, there's a distinct feature that is usually evident in people with Turners, earlobes that are 'stuck' to the head. I have never have heard of anyone with it, and it's interesting to hear this.
 
Scenechic replied...
Jan. 25, 2012 at 9:03 am :
Steffdawgg, you may have TS but then many other factors could be the reason for why that is.
 
steffdawgg replied...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 8:11 am :
Yes true. Just thought it'd be smart to have it checked out
 
Scenechic replied...
Jan. 31, 2012 at 8:44 am :
Smart idea! :) i was diagnosed at birth. they had a bunch of people on my case for the first whole entire day :o
 
ddwd replied...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm :
my milkshake brings all the boys
 
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chocolateheartz said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm:
i know a lot of people who are 5 feet 2. i stopped growing after 4 feet 10 =( anyway, congrats on growing so many inches =)
 
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Aaron. said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm:
Amazing story. Keep striving to be the best you can be. God has a plan for all of us, use that gift he gives us!
 
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GreyEyes said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 5:56 pm:
I have friends shorter than me. But I'm 5'9" but I never made fun of people shorter than me. Other girls were taller than me at school. They don't have Turner's syndrome but were 5'2 or shorter. But you're more concern about your health.
 
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