Women with Turner Syndrome tell their stories

Alyssa Botelho – Boston Globe – 14 April 2014 (originally published 07 Apr)

Miriam Beit-Aharon and her mother Claudette Beit-Aharon
Miriam Beit-Aharon, who has Turner syndrome, with her mother, Claudette Beit-Aharon. Claudette is the editor of a collection of coming-of-age stories by women, including her daughter, who have the syndrome, titled “Standing Tall With Turner Syndrome.” Image: Jo Anne Rathe

Most kids are thrown into puberty whether they like it or not. But Miriam Beit-Aharon, who has a rare genetic disorder, made a choice to enter womanhood.

Beit-Aharon has Turner syndrome, a disorder that stunts sexual development and causes infertility in about one in every 2,500 female births. She didn’t start puberty until she began taking estrogen therapy in high school, a transition that the now 22-year-old wrote about in her application to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she received her diploma last May.

Her application essay is now part of a collection of coming-of-age stories written by 18 women with the syndrome. Talking about Turner, Beit-Aharon says, means talking frankly about womanhood, sex, relationships, and raising kids — topics not all doctors discuss enough. The voices in the book “Standing Tall With Turner Syndrome” are meant to fill that silence . . .

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