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Find Your Fire! - by Katie Cooper

I was diagnosed with Turner syndrome (TS) when I was nine, and I can say without a doubt it's been a health journey ever since. As a person with TS, I'm only 5'1", I don't drive as a result of impaired coordination and processing speed, will likely not be able have children, and have mild hearing loss as well as osteoporosis.

In 2013, I had a cardiac ablation to correct supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). I started on growth hormone shortly after being diagnosed, then switched to estrogen pills and patches before finally beginning the birth control I'm currently on. For me, sessions of mental health counseling, occupational therapy, and social coaching have been an absolutely key piece of a journey towards wellness through anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness.

Being diagnosed definitely made me feel like I'm an odd one out with a problem to solve, and the fact of the matter is I will have health issues and concerns that set me apart for the rest of my life. But when you are able to practice strength, positivity, patience with yourself, groundedness, and mindfulness – when you are able to find it within yourself to not be defined by the world around you and any limits placed on you, to struggle towards goals, and to find healthy ways to cope, deal, and make sense of situations and emotions - I can all but promise you will find yourself and achieve wellness along the way.

Your vision of life and the future, and even yourself, will change. It will be difficult even when you have answers and solutions, and you will find yourself prioritizing health more than the average person and more than you have previously. But each new day is a blessing and a new opportunity to find your fire. If you can wake-up in the morning, there is a light at the end tunnel. It has also helped me greatly to work on embracing TS as a part of me and my life that affects a laundry list of things. But at the end of the day, it’s just one factor neither, positive nor negative - among many - right up there with the college I go to, my hobbies of journaling, exercising, and listening to music, my favorite topics and subjects to study, my beloved showtunes playlists and decorative playbills, and my love of Disney-Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.

I am beyond grateful for my supportive circle of friends and family, as well as the healthcare providers who have allowed me to live a much happier, and healthier life. It is thanks to them that I was able to graduate high school with honors, having completed the rigorous International Baccalaureate program and begin college, pursuing my passions as a political science major interning with our state legislature. Thank you all!


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