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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waffjay said...
May 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm
proud of you girl, your courage is seven feet tall. doesn't matter that you're "short". my mother is barely 5'2 as well and is a neurosurgeon. she was the highest grossing surgeon at the major medical center she works at and is the only female surgeon. she owns her height, as do you. it's cute actually, she has to stand on a little stool when she operates. it's women like you, like my mother, that we should all aspire to be. you've been through hell and back, and i commend you for your resilliency
nikasmom replied...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm

fantastic post thank you!! my girl 13 just got diagnosed and feels everything you posted. you're brave and wonderful keep up the great spirit and don't let anyone steal your dreams!


Darkgi said...
May 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm
Oh, this strory really touch me. You are very strong and i admire the way you face your life.
the boss said...
May 6, 2010 at 4:52 am
i loved this story! 1 of my best friends has turner and every body makes fun of her and i just want her to know yes it fells bad but people are here for you!
niicoleee said...
Apr. 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm
I'm 15 and 5'0 and I don't get what the big deal is about being short. I've been teased all my life, and it's never "deeply hurt" me. Why does it matter so much?
BuggyGirl replied...
Apr. 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm
I personally have Turner's syndrom and the short height bothered me because my family is tall and my shortest relative is 5'9 and i just recently hit 5'0 at 16 years old. I always felt like the outcast in my family. People have always make rude comments that hurt me or make me feel like a little child which annoys be and I even feel sad when I look in the mirror and see someone that looks like a little girl but the part that hurt the most was not fitting into my family. Everyone has a different ... (more »)
Pinkypetite replied...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 5:34 am
well, having turners is more than just being short. You struggle with knowing you're different, that you will likely be infertile, you have to be closely monitored for heart and kidney problems, and many, like myself, have trouble socially, because of a learning disorder that makes it hard to "read" people, and the simple knowledge that you are "different". i am 33 years old, and still remember my mom having to give me a pep talk, and pretty much force me to go to school when i was a kid. i am b... (more »)
lady_S said...
Apr. 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm
i'm not sure if i have turner syndrome, but as someone who has been the short girl all her life, it's hard sometimes. I've been 4'11 as long as i can remember and while all my friends grew...i never did. it used to bother me when i was in middle school because everyday someone would make some kind of comment of me bein short....but when i got into high school, i just learned to love being short and gained a lot of confidence in my height...and also on the bright side...u dont have to worry about... (more »)
kaykay said...
Apr. 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm
very inspirational...my sister's got turner...i'll have her read this...nice!
Raineigh said...
Apr. 24, 2010 at 4:09 am

I understand people making fun of you because you're different. I'm not one of the shorter ones, but I was by far the tallest for most of my life, even taller than my husband now! I nearly reached 6 ft by the time I was done growing, and I sprouted most of that when I was in elementary.

It is hard, kids do make fun. The girl I was best friends with from infancy had people calling me "frog legs" because I had such long legs and a shorter torso.

Just realize that what makes you di... (more »)

Maggs said...
Apr. 23, 2010 at 11:46 am
im 13 and I'm shorter then my 10 yr. old friend... i dont think i have Turner, but im still short. sad? yeh sometimes, but i just shake it off. i mean, my friends still say i have a great personality :] so i dont worry about it. by the way great writing, keep it up!   :]   ~[rawr]~
soletmar said...
Mar. 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm
I like this so much because it really helps me understand what this is like. I myself am in no means short, i've always been the tallest in my class as 5 foot 7 at 14 years old. It really did move me though, though at the same time tall people have probelms at the same time.
FunXsize3 said...
Mar. 23, 2010 at 7:24 am
I’m 16 and I’m only 4’10. My nicknames are “midget”, “Shorty” and “Oompa Loompa”. I don’t think I have Turner Syndrome but I feel the same way. Thanks for writing this it makes me want to research Turner Syndrome.
francinejar said...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm
i am 17 years old and barely 4'11 i am the oldest in my class and the shortest, i've learned that good things come in small packages
xAllegria said...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 7:05 am
Wow, I love your spirit. Nice stuff.
notebookgirl said...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 9:38 am
i don't have turner syndrome but i have had many other medical things and as a result have had many injections/blood draws/IV's and can totally sympothize with the needle/doc phobia. im thirteen and have finally reached the point where they just don't bother me as much anymore
Charlotte This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm
Hi, great article! I'm 18 and was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome when I was an infant. I had growth hormone injections also. If you're interested, I have an article sort of relating to Turners also called "The 46th Chromosome." Thanks for writing this. :)
pinkpolkadots95 said...
Aug. 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm
Hi! I also want to thank you for writing this piece! I'm 13 years old with Turner's Syndrome...diagnosed at age 3. You are so right about how some would have no idea about TS. I think people need to be more aware. Your piece here should do just that! Great job! :) -Colleen
sam said...
Jul. 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm
Thank you for writing this informative yet straight forward account of your life with Turners Syndrome. My niece was diagnosed at 14 - she is now 28. She also has Brain damage from birth. We have recently found out about the serious heart problems from our doctor and are very worried. We have never heard about the heart problems before this. Thank you again and its nice to know that you are leading a full and purposeful life.
Everett replied...
Sept. 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm
That's a really great story and way to look at it. I am 19 and i have turner syndrome. I was diagnosed at 17 so i couldnt recieve growth shots or anything but i do take medicationa and have always been very short and it is really difficult because i have a taller younger sister and people make innocent jokes about it but, it still hurts. and the fact that alot of people dont know about it also makes it harder, But like you i also use it as motivation to do something with my life i... (more »)
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