Updated: 01/28/2014 12:06 PM
Created: 01/28/2014 11:58 AM WDIO.com
Rebecca Nygaard is a 20-year-old college student making the best out of being young. You wouldn't guess from meeting her that she's effected by a genetic abnormality effecting one in every 2,5000 female births, turner syndrome (T.S.).
February is turner syndrome awareness month so Nygaard is sharing her story to spread the word and foster understanding.
T.S., as it's commonly known, is a random genetic abnormality in which girls are missing part or all of one of their X chromosomes. Symptoms vary from patient and can be both physically apparent and internally damaging.
Short stature is a very common trait for girls and women with T.S. It has a major effect on growth because one of the missing genes is one that tells puberty to kick in and is supposed to tell the body to grow. T.S. also effects causes health issues ranging from hearing to heart problems.
Nygaard says many girls growing up with T.S. feel like outcasts because of their physical differences and bullying can be a big problem. That is why she's sharing her story, to help raise awareness and let others with T.S. Know they're not alone.
Nygaard also wants to spread awareness because she says not very many people are aware of the syndrome. She says many women aren't diagnosed until later in life.
"I just met a 65 year old woman who was just diagnosed," Nygaard said. "Can you believe that?"
That becomes an issue because early diagnosis is the best way to treat T.S. and help these young women grow. "It's really important that we get girls diagnosed at a very young age so that they can begin the growth hormone treatments," Nygaard said. "So that they can lead a normal life."
The Turner Syndrome Society of the United States is a great resources for women and girls facing T.S. Nygaard says its also been a great support system for both she and her family. For more about T.S. and for more resources CLICK HERE.
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