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Giving a Voice to the Voiceless - by Tia Inglefield

I was diagnosed with Turner syndrome (TS) at 6 weeks old. I had puffy hands and feet and a webbed neck at birth, and doctors immediately suspected TS.

I have had 10 surgeries (3 neck, 3 spine, arm, heart, and ear surgery). I had a congenital heart condition called Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venus Return meaning that half my blood circulated between my heart and lungs and never went out to my body. I wasn’t diagnosed with this until I was 18 years old, even though I had been to the cardiologist numerous times and had echocardiograms done. I eventually had heart surgery in 2009 and have felt great ever since!

During my school years, I was bullied relentlessly and had one true friend during that time. When I was 16, I went to a camp for girls with TS and that changed my life. For once I was “NORMAL” and I made lifelong friendships during that one week. I struggled with math and visual spatial activities growing up and had a lot of occupational therapy to help me with that.

I graduated high school as valedictorian and graduated college with two bachelor’s degrees with distinction. I am currently a paralegal at a law firm and love what I do. My passion is helping others. Having been dismissed and voiceless throughout my life, I have become super empathetic and try my hardest to listen to others and let them have a voice as much as possible. All my experiences help me to build rapport with people from a wide range of backgrounds and that is invaluable in my line of work.

I want others to know that we TS warriors are strong, capable, compassionate, and fierce. There is no reason you can’t do anything you want to do. It may take you longer and you may have to go about it a different way than others, but you CAN do it!


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