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

     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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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.
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
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 =)
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!
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.
rainbowbutterfly said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm
very very inspiring
rainbowbutterfly replied...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm
i also got  inspiried to stand up for my sister since she cant talk people at my school say the r-word and dont resize how it hurts her and many other people:( it makes me feel more brave to speak up for my bealifs
Celeste_N. said...
Nov. 7, 2011 at 11:23 am
INSPIRING!!! I hate how people are bullies to people like you. I hate how people are bullies to anybody. But you do got to or have someone stand up to them. And it maybe today or later, but soon they will realize how dumb and arrogant they were to you. You are a great person for looking at the bright side.
sweetxluv said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Wow!!! I heard about it at school, but didn't really understand.

Your such a brave, strong person.
Inspiring as well.

P.S.  Your also a grreat writer

mikyyyy245556 said...
Sept. 2, 2011 at 11:49 am
i am 7.4 hahahahahahahah
maizyiscrazy replied...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 10:09 am
I think that this was a very inspirational article and you shouldn't make fun.
majcross@msn.com replied...
Nov. 29, 2012 at 12:41 am
You are such a brave girl!  Thank You for posting this my daughter is 11 and just started growth hormone treatment last week and after a hard appt with Genetics today we are looking into the fact that she might have Turners.  My daughter is tiny and wants to play a tuba and be a lawyer someday and nothing will stop her from acheiving that.  Thank You for posting such a positive and encouraging message that another mom or teen might read who is as scared as I am tonight for my... (more »)
Ellimee said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm
I feel short sometimes too and after reading this my life just got better. Thanks for expressing the truth about overcoming troubles. Very motivational ;)
WeeSunshine said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm
thank you writing this! It's good to know that behind each exterior there's a real person inside with passions and interests just like everyone else. Your stamina stands out and gives encouragement to others!
MoriahMae said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm
that's normal height, cousin....
AmyMichie said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm
This was very inspiring because i am one in 20,000 as well...i was diagnosed when my mom was pregnant with me. i am 13 and over 5 foot. I dont have any symptoms besides a droopy eye.
morethanunusual said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 10:27 am
you must live in a tall neighbor hood... I'm 4'9" because of scoliosis, but i got used to it.
AiLing said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 12:15 am
I have Turner's Syndrome too! I am now 27 years old and 4 foot 7. I was diagnosed at the age of 14, and by then Growth Hormone helped very little. But I am still fighting on, I"m in my final semester of medical school :)
K.M.S.Shear said...
Jun. 6, 2011 at 8:29 am
it good that you found confidence
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