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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dianepoon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 16, 2011 at 3:28 am

Girl, I'm 15, Asian and I'm only 155cm tall.

Don't worry.

WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm
The other day, my class just learned about Turner's syndrome. I congratulate you for being so courageous and looking towards the beneficial not the bad!
Natty said...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm
Thats the way to go . 
Medina D. said...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm
to be honest, i've never had a height problem because i was always TALLER but i know how hard it is to have a disease and not let it completely loom over your enthusiasm. But it was very interesting reading this article. There IS hope.
idey said...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 8:44 am
Are you 5'2" after the growth hormone? It does not seem extremely short to me, but 4'3" could draw attention. I did not know about Turner's and appreciate the instruction. Thanks.
cathey304 said...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 12:36 am
I am 5'2" and all of my friends are too. But we are 40yo now. We never got teased. I think girls seemed to get taller thru the years. In time it won't bother you. I used to wish I was tall and thin. But you learn over the years you are what you are. And life is the same weather you are short or tall. My husband is 6' 4. I reach his arm pit. My oldest daughter is 12yo and taller than me. As time goes by it won't matter how tall you are. There are so many more important thing to come.Fam... (more »)
Rozaa said...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm
I have turnners. Its hard having it and its way more complicated then it seems. But i guess you just have to look at the bright side.
Courtney-Fields said...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 11:51 am
heyyyy. i also have turner syndrome. it was kinda a downer and the kids made fun of me too. but you have to show them your better.
Courtney-Fields replied...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 11:53 am
oh im 17 too ill be 18 in may and im only 4 6
violetsdie said...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm
Im 16 and only 5' 1/2" so every time im in a crowd i feel like im standing near giants its really uncomfortable but did you know short people live longer because they have better blood circulation but i hate shots so if i was in your situation i just wouldn't be able to deal
MarissaLaGrange said...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 7:44 am

I'm about 5'3-5'4 around there.

I don't mind being short, it's kind of cool because after awhile you end up being considered the cute lil short one. xD I find that funny. Great article and keep a smile on your face.


MarissaLaGrange replied...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 7:45 am

Oh and added to the 5'3-5'4 I'm also 17 years old, turning 18 in August. xD So I'm short for my age also.

Donttrust said...
Jan. 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm
I am 14 and have C.H.H  a dysplasia for "little people" I am 4 feet 5 inches which is really tall for a little person. but I know how you feel my displaysia keeps me from my favorite sport and many others also I took growth hormones for a long time but they stopped working so yah and this was very greatly written
Meredith M. said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm
I'm 5'1 and 17! Woot woot!
Dragonscribe said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm
i'm 14 and 5'9, which i know is not the tallest some people by age are, but i still don't like standing out that way. though we are on opposite ends of the height problem, i understand how you feel. don't let people get to you - like in Dr. Seus' Horton Hears a Hoo, "a Person's a Person no Matter how Small"
Panda500 said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm
i am only 5 2 too  i was also called oompa loompa
FreemanCloe said...
Sept. 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

this is really well written and i love that you are not afraid to tell people your life story. you are a strong girl :) 

I'm only 5'2'' and im 17 so i feel you!!! 

la traviezita linda said...
Sept. 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm
this is a good story that i had read. im at my schools reading this book. 
pianocyh said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm
Hi!  To begin with I have never had Turner Syndrome so I can not even imagine how you feel, however I can tell from this that you are very brave and strong!  I admire you for having the strength to write about this syndrome, which ironically though statistically higher than other syndromes, is still unknown.  You may be short, but you sure have more of a heart than most of the people I know of.  Good luck with the rest of your life, and I praise your strength and optimism.  
pinky said...
Aug. 12, 2010 at 9:23 am
I was born with Turners.   I am only 4'9".  It bothered me when I was young.  But I am married. Through God's miracle, we have a daughter and we have 2 beautiful granchildren.
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