Early on in my life, I began to experience several complications characteristic of my form of dwarfism. At eleven years old, surgery was in my immediate future whether I liked it or not. So, at the age of twelve, after my options had been weighed, I made the decision to undergo a series of surgeries known as extended limb lengthening.
Back then, we found Dr. Dror Paley at the Maryland Center for Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction in Baltimore, MD through a family friend. He was a pioneer and expert in limb lengthening for skeletal dysplasias. In a way, it was a bit of a shot in the dark. I didn’t personally know anyone who had ever gone through any form of extended limb lengthening AND my heart told me that it was the right decision for me.
So, on June 3, 1998, a date that will forever be engraved on my heart, I underwent my first procedure on my tibias (lower legs). None of the surgeries were easy. It took tears, dedication, hours upon hours of rehabilitation and love; love for myself, my care team and from my support circle. As I sit here typing this, I can say with 100% confidence that I have ZERO regrets. I would do it all over again if I had the choice.
Want to know more about my journey? In January 2019 I published my memoir “Little Legs Big Heart” which chronicles my life in the face of adversity and limb lengthening journey.
You can buy it here. Have you read it? I would LOVE to hear from you!
Since I completed the procedures back in 2001, I have been an advocate for those who choose to undergo limb lengthening. Height is just a measurement. Scars are proof of my past. In speaking from experience, I speak from my heart.
Here’s the thing, I do understand what it’s like to have souls in your life who know and who get it; living in the face of adversity, surgery, setbacks, triumph, pain. It’s undeniably priceless. And it is why I am transparent with my journey. Real disability stems from our perceptions and attitudes. If my honesty can be a means of support for others — count me in. I’m not afraid to show my scars or my heart. Stories are proof of stability and success; stepping stones for others on their journey to healing.
Questions, comments, concerns?
I’m here for you.
Please reach out.