My name is Terra I am 26 year old woman with Turner Syndrome. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where I spent my summers camping, boating, whitewater rafting, and traveling with my family. I graduated from Idaho State University with an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology. I have worked at the Veterans Home in Boise, ID for over 2 years and feel blessed to absolutely loave what I do and I adore my coworkers!
I was diagnoised with Turner Syndrome when I was just a week old. They were able to give me a diagnosis at such a young age in large part because I was born with lymphemdema in my right foot. As you can imagine this was an extremely scary moment for my parents - unsure about what this mean for me, for our family. They rose to the occasion and were proactive about getting me the best care possible. I was started on growth hormone at the age of five, had hormone estrogen replacement therapy starting when I was 16 and have managed to stay relatively healthly throughout my life.
It wasn’t until I was older that I started to understand that having Turner Syndrome made me "different"-mostly because I didn't look like the other girls in school. Once junior high rolled around I became extremely aware of the physical differences between myself and my friends. There was a day I had worn my hair in a ponytail to school and I started to hear people make comments like I wasn't even there. "What is wrong with her? Why would she wear her hair like that? She needs to cover that up." I still hear the comments and feel the stares every time I wear my hair up. Talk about insecurity. So lame…I am working on feeling more secure in my skin everyday…even my “extra skin”. ;)
My Turner syndrome means I have (along with the lymphedema and webbed neck) a low hairline, short stature, bicuspid aortic valve, low thyroid, and (along with every female who has TS) I am not sure if I will be able to have children. But it also means when I see people who have physical or mental handicaps, I see more than that. I see a person…a human who needs love, friendship and kindness. My big sister always says I have the biggest heart of anyone she knows. I’d like to think it’s because I can really SEE people…and part of that comes from the perspective of a girl with TS.
I feel beyond grateful to have a family and friends that have been a huge support system for me. In a lot of ways having Turner Syndrome has made me a stronger person, and I wouldn't change that for anything. I hope sharing my story can get people to SEE beyond the physical…or mental challenges others may have.