Attitude Can Really Make or Break You in Life - by Nicole "Nikki" Gregor
Hi! I’m Nikki and I was diagnosed with Turner syndrome (TS) at birth in December of 1983 (yes, this means I am turning 40 this year – yikes!) Before I get into my story, let me start by sharing a favorite quote, “Butterflies are nature's angels. They remind us what a gift it is to be alive.” - Robyn Nola.
I will be the first to admit that, sometimes, life with TS can feel like anything BUT a gift. I only need to turn to this amazing community, however, to be reminded of the truth. It may not always be easy, but every day truly is a blessing! Especially when you are part of that 2%.
Firstly, I consider my early diagnosis a gift because I was able to get the proper care I required at an early age. When I was born, they noticed my puffy hands and feet, and they also found that I have a bicuspid aortic valve. I took growth hormone injections every day from the ages of 5 to 13 and grew to 4’11”.
While TS has undoubtedly impacted my life, I consider my journey “normal” in so many ways. It is mandatory that I credit my parents with this, and their unconditional love and persistence to keep me happy and healthy. I am very lucky that I have not had many health-related issues to this point, but I do make sure to see my cardiologist annually.
Except for math, I did very well in school and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. I went on to get a M.S. in Public Communications, and now have a career as a marketing automation specialist. Socially, I was never very outgoing, but I made friends in school through participating in activities such as band, chorus, and Model U.N. By the time I went to college, I was much more confident in myself.
I started dating my husband (who I met through a mutual friend) in 2005, we were married in 2011, and we adopted our son at birth in 2018 with the help of an agency. I can honestly say that being a mom has been my life’s greatest gift, especially since there was a time when I wasn’t sure if it would happen for me. We had considered going through IVF, but after many prayers and a heart-to-heart with my dear friend who also has TS and adopted her son, we decided to pursue becoming parents through adoption. I was so lucky to have her guide me through the process. My son is four now, and he is the joy of my life.
Overall, I think attitude can really make or break you in life. Staying positive was never easy for me. I have always struggled with anxiety and feeling like I was enough. With the love and support of my family and friends, I somehow pushed through every obstacle, remained strong, and am now excited to see what the next decade of my life brings.