Hi my name is Paula Harris, I am 17 years old. I was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome when I was 15 years old. Before this I had heard stories of me being sick as a baby, having ear problems and wondering why I was heaps shorter than my friends.
In year 9 I got a hearing aid in my right ear and have worn one ever since. I felt finding out about having Turners helped my family and I understand about all my health issues because at the same time I found out I had Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance). So that has meant a change to the food I eat. This has not always been easy because I come from a family with 5 kids, and having to suddenly alter my diet has caused difficulties with missing the foods I previously ate, in addition to getting used to the different textures of gluten free foods.
I am more at ease with myself now I know about having Turners because I can tell people why I am short and different to them. I know of only one girl who used to live in Wanganui where I live that has Turners. Going to the 2009 Camp for girls was a huge and fun new experience, for which I thank Karen Pratt & the other parents so much for arranging, and I can’t wait till next years camp. It was great to meet other girls who have Turners. I am not very good friends with all of them yet but we are texting, writing and emailing all the time as teenage girls do.
I do have some advice for girls who have Turners and have only known for a short time as I have: don’t let it become an excuse to not do anything with yourself. Remember you are a special and unique individual; dare to challenge yourself daily and don’t let school become a drag; try your hardest and get the extra help you need. I am in year 13 (7th form) this year and have become a Prefect at my school. So if I can do it I believe each one of you can too, so get out there and just shoot for your dreams!
I leave you with this saying:
“Shoot for the sky because if you miss you will hit a star”
Paula Harris – age 17. Wanganui