Russell County
Feature Story
I was around the age of five when I was diagnosed with Cruzons Syndrome. Being so young those were words I didn’t understand. I mean I knew when I was little that I had to be careful with my eyes or they would slip out, so even blow drying my hair was a caution. I dealt with the stares, the teasing and not having many friends. I didn’t like taking pictures either. After my first surgery things sort of got worse. I had a hard time accepting things and was always quiet and shy. I had friends but even they had their "lets pick on Shiketheia" moments. I blamed myself, I felt like it was my fault that I looked the way I did. As I reached the later years of my life I accepted myself, I figured there wasn’t anything anyone could do. That was until I met Dr. Waite and got to know Dr. Grant III even more. I took regular trips to the Children’s Hospital and I still do. I just finished my second facial surgery a little over a year ago. The process was long and I broke down a couple of times. As I look back over the past eleven years I have made even more friends and I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel like a whole new person. I went to prom and everyone thought I was beautiful. Even though I put myself down so much I couldn’t help but feel some sort of confidence. I love taking pictures now! Nobody will fully understand what patients at the hospital will go through, only we can. However, when you have doctors who are trying their best to put a smile on your face you can’t help but smile in return. That my story and it’s only the beginning.