Growing up

Before I was diagnosed with Cowden Syndrome, I started swimming at a young age. My parents put me in competitive swimming when I was about 5 or 6-years-old, little did I know my life would change forever down the road.

Near the end of elementary school and beginning of middle school, the bump on my arm began to form. It started out very small at first… so small that my family didn’t know what it was at first. As the bump started to grow, my parents started taking me to more doctors to see what was going on. We finally learned that it was a hamartoma, which is no big deal!

Throughout all of the doctor appointments and procedures, I continued to swim. I wasn’t going to let a syndrome slow me down.

As I got older I started being more active. My dad, brother and I did kenpo karate for about a year and that really helped me gain strength, not only physically but mentally! I stopped doing karate do continue swimming and pursue music.

Middle school was a weird time because I was going through all of the doctor appointments, learning how to play saxophone and just growing and changing. I had my thyroid removed in the seventh grade, snack dab in the middle of puberty. That was super weird. Having the gland that regulates your hormones in the middle of the time when you need it most was pretty difficult.

When I was in high school I fell deeper in love with band and swimming and I also gave water polo a shot! I played goalie in water polo because of the bump on my leg but I also played other positions if I was needed. I played for two years in high school and a semester in college. My bumps hurt like nobody’s business afterwards but it was so worth it because water polo is so exhilarating.

I played saxophone in my high school’s marching band my junior year and I joined the drum-line my senior year. Learning how to be part of a marching band was so cool because it was something that I had wanted to do from the time I was a little girl! I marched for two years in high school and two years in college.  Even during marching band my bumps hurt and sometimes I wanted to quit because I was in so much pain, but I pushed through and did it!

“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.”– Susan Gale

Until next time,

Leah.

 

4 thoughts on “Growing up

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