Jeanine’s ABS Story

Hello, my name is Jeanine and I was born in 1983 with Amniotic Band Syndrome. ABS affected four fingers on my left hand, my left arm above the elbow and my right leg was about an inch shorter and clubbed.

I had my first surgery in June of 1986. By the age of 2 after 13 surgeries my parents started to loose count, and I have had many more since then. The fingers on my left hand were webbed but I had surgery to separate them. My last surgery was in the winter of 1997. Growing up I experienced a lot of teasing but the incident I remember the most was when the babysitter’s son would say that I stuck my fingers in the toaster.

The doctors told my parents that I was never to dance or do gymnastics. But I proved them wrong. I started gymnastics when I was in second grade and continued to do it until my senior year of high school. I would get asked a lot if it was hard to hold the bars with my fingers shorter on my left hand, I told everyone that I didn’t think so but that I knew nothing different.

I now attend the University of South Dakota. I hope to one day make a difference in the world.