I No Longer Want Turner Syndrome to Be Something I Hide

February 17, 2018

 

My name is Katie and I am a 22 year-old first year masters student in Special Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, though I am originally from Chapel Hill North Carolina.

 

Especially in recent years, my Turner syndrome has not been something I've given much thought to. When I was younger, I went to camp every summer (still best place on earth), took my growth hormone shots proudly, and even presented to my fifth grade class on Turner syndrome.

 

However, lately, something has changed. It took me months to share my Turner syndrome with roommates in college and most of my friends still don't know I have it. I guess I'm "lucky" in that regard since just by looking at me, you wouldn't necessarily be able to tell. Sure, I'm short and have some awkward facial hair, but because I don't have many of the outward symptoms, my Turners is something that I've been able to ignore for lack of a better word.

 

I've been able to graduate from one of the best college's in the south cum laude, live abroad, and have so many amazing experiences that I am so grateful for with no one being the wiser. Recently though, I was doing some homework for one of my classes for my masters in special education and came across "Turner syndrome" and various resources, like the Turner Syndrome Society of the United States website, and decided to visit.

 

I've never thought of my Turner syndrome as a disability, but seeing it considered by others as such, or thinking back to last year when I volunteered in a special education classroom and one of the students who received services had Turners, I was overcome with both a sense feeling lucky that that's not me, but also an overwhelming realization that that could have just as easily been me.

 

Because of this, I decided to share my story. I no longer want my Turner syndrome to be something I hide because of what I think people might think. I often wonder if subconsciously that's part of the reason why I want to go into special education. That had things gone differently, that could have easily been me.

 

Here's the important thing though, I'm not, and that's what I want anyone who reads this to get. Those with Turner syndrome are intelligent, driven, and beautiful women like any other, and I am proud to be one of them.

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