Updated: Sep 18
My name is Nicole Cleveland and I am thirty five years old and a proud small town Iowan born and raised. My childhood was pretty much idyllic Growing up with an older brother and too many cousins to count. A big back yard and growing up next to my Grandparents for most of my childhood. Not to mention growing up with life long friends that have become more like family. As I stated, pretty idyllic right?
That was certainly true but I also grew up with several challenges to. You see I was born with a rare genetic disorder called Turner Syndrome . Turner Syndrome effects 1 in 2000 females and only 1 percent of those diagnosed before birth make it to full term. Turner Syndrome is rare and has a number of symptoms and no two cases are exactly the same. It impacts the heart, kidneys and reproductive organs. It also causes hearing loss, vision loss and nonverbal learning disabilities. In almost all cases It causes infertility and below normal height.
I was lucky enough to be diagnosed at birth and was able to have the treatments needed to live a mostly normal life. I struggle with vision and hearing loss to this day. Growing up though I did struggle with a nonverbal learning disability but still managed to graduate top half of my class in high school and earn a double degree in Political Science and Journalism from Morningside College . It was not easy but I was blessed to have the resources and medical care I needed to achieve a normal life.
In many cases those diagnosed are not diagnosed until they are in their teen or even adult years and it is often too late for treatment to be effective. that is why I started the Butterfly Chronicles to share my experiences and hope to spread awareness of living with this rare genetic disorder . I hope you will come back each week as I share my story.