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by: Nicole D.

My name is Nicole and I have a rare type of Dwarfism called Diastrophic Dysplasia. I was born to average height parents and have two half siblings that are also average height.

When I was born the doctors knew immediately there was something different about me, I had clubfeet and it looked as though I didn’t have any toes. They later diagnosed me with Diastrophic Dysplasia at Shriners Hospital in San Francisco. I was lucky to have been treated at the same hospital that Matt (Little People Big World) and Sam Roloff were treated previously because we all share the same type of dwarfism. To that I am thankful they paved the way for me.

My early childhood was spent in and out of hospitals and my parents were often faced with many difficult decisions as to whether or not I should have an operation to correct one or more of my many orthopedic problems. I never really walked well, always using something like a walker, wheelchair or crutches.

At the age of 12 I had major surgery to straighten my legs by Dr. Steven Kopits in Baltimore Maryland who specialized in dwarfism. I spent in total over a year in the hospital, 3000 miles away from my family and had over 15 surgeries. Six months of that was in a body cast that went up to my chest. It was worth it in the end; I had straight legs and could finally stand up straight.

I was always an honor student, in gifted classes and loved to learn. I was accepted into Mercy High School, a private catholic school for girls and I did very well. At this point my life started to really change. All my friends were dating and playing sports-and I wasn’t. I would make do and my friends were good about trying to include me in as much as they could.

In my early teens I started to get involved in Little People of America. It was so awesome to meet all kinds of other people that were like me. I eventually even started dating a few cute ones!

After High School while attending college I was so blessed to land an internship at the Internal Revenue Service and worked as a secretary to the Exam Branch Chief. I loved this job! I then started working at a distributor of biomedical supplies and after a few years had moved into a buyer position. Within a year I was able to purchase my own home and a new car!! I was the first one in my family to buy a brand new car. I was so proud of that.

I am now married to a little person, he has Pseudoachondroplasia and after having IVF (I had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome not related to my dwarfism) we now have a 6 year old daughter whom also has Pseudoachondroplasia. I now have the best job in the world - I am home with my daughter.

My husband and I have talked to schools about what it means to be a little person and we like to teach the students that everyone is different and if we could change the fact that we are little we wouldn’t. We celebrate each day and are happy that God has given us a special path in life.