My wife and I are part of the local Turner Syndrome Society and this last Saturday was the annual Christmas party and we had a great time. It was at Casa Mexico in Boise. There was a wacky gift exchange, gifts for the kids and dancing (including a hilarious rendition of the Macarena).
You don’t know what Turner Syndrome is? Well you should. TS affects about 1 in every 2500 females born. It is almost as common as Downs Syndrome, just the general public knows so little about it. With modern screenings, TS is now being diagnosed before birth. Although this is great, there is a very terrible down side as more and more doctors are recommending parents to abort these children. I take great offense at this. Not because of the issue of abortion, but for much more personal reasons. Before I explain my reasons, let me tell you a little bit about the TS women at this party. Although there were a couple of kids there with TS (whom you could not tell from the other children there), the majority where adults. One is finishing up her masters in speech therapy. One is a school teacher. One works for a local hospital. One is a social worker. One works as a human resources specialist. And one has even given birth twice. These women all live very full, happy lives. I cannot understand how any doctor can justify recommending terminating such potential just because they have TS. Yes, some TS children has health issues but is that a reason to terminate them? My nephew was near death a few times as a baby because of health and allergies, but no one thought they should just terminate his life. In fact we all (including the doctors) worked hard and prayed hard to save his life. TS is anything but a terrible life. I am very sure the women I met at the TS party would all agree with me. These are all very amazing women.
Why do doctors that recommend aborting babies with TS bother me so much? Well my wife of 25 years has Turner Syndrome. Had someone did that when my wife was conceived, then I would have been robbed of meeting the love of my life, my soul mate. Recommending aborting a baby just because it has TS is like saying my wife should be killed because she has it, and I take that VERY personal.
So what is the solution? Since it is illegal to take every doctor that recommends aborting babies because of TS and buggy whip them, the solution has to be education of parents. Parents need to be made aware of all of the aspects of TS. A doctor is going to list all of the possible health issues, but those are only possible. My wife found out she had TS at age 17. All her health issues where just written down as normal childhood issues. If you found this blog because you are searching for information on Turner Syndrome, I highly recommend checking out the Turner Syndrome Society of the US, the Turner Syndrome Foundation, or even contact me and I’ll put you in touch with my wife. The TS community is friendly, warm and very open to support and education.
I am a 45 year old man who is affected by Turner Syndrome only through marriage, but I can tell you that a life with TS is a life worth living.