printed in the Republican October 2019

This past summer, my mother came in contact
with a family whose daughter has the same hand
deformity as she does, called symbrachydactly. It is a
congenital abnormality characterized by missing
limbs, hands or feet. In many cases bones are
missing along with fingers or toes. The hand may
have small stumps of soft tissue where fingers would
be. The cause is unknown, but could be caused by a
loss of blood supply in the development of the arm or
foot during pregnancy. Generally, children born with
symbrachydactly are able to adapt to their physical limitations and experience a full life. The limb
differences occur in 30,000 to 40,000 births.

In Michigan, a family formed a nonprofit
organization to raise awareness and celebrate
children born with symbrachydactly. The Lucky Fin is
dedicated to being a parent support network, and
provides medical resources and education on limb
differences. It also holds events and provides
financial support for children to attend specialized
camps and provide prosthetics.

My mother has always taught me to be
independent and not let my disabilities get in the way
of what I want in life. She has always not let her own
deformity stop her from being successful in her own

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