A show of hands how many people in this room have I reached out to on Facebook? Private
messaged you an introduction about myself because I didn’t want anyone else to be alone. I
have reached out to more than 800 people on Facebook alone and I have made some
amazing lifelong friends. You are never alone. This is my story
There is something extremely special about me. I have Cri Du Chat but I am a mosaic.
What is a mosaic you ask? A mosaic only has some of their cells affected. I have about
The ways in which my Cri Du Chat makes me different are if you saw me walking down the
street, you would notice that I walk with a slight limp because I have hip dysplasia which
means my hips turn inwards when I walk. You would also notice that I have headphones on.
Sometimes I run my fingertips against walls, fences, shop windows because I like to feel the
different textures as I walk along.
I was born by c –section on 12 December 1984. I was 2 weeks early; I had jet black hair and
a cry that sounded like a cat. My nana was the only one who noticed I was different. My
Mum says that I was a shocker as a baby. I got banned from the hospital nursery because
of my crying. I kept my Mum up at night waking every two hours. I think I improved with
By the age of one and a half I had a little brother called David. By two and a half I wasn’t
starting to talk and the plunket nurse noticed that I had a smaller head than most children my
age. Tests showed that I had 5P- or Cry of the Cat syndrome but I was a mosaic. My
deletion is large. I can do most things that I set my mind too and achieve them to the ability
that I am able to do. I started speech therapy but only learned to talk properly when I learnt
how to read.
When I was four I stayed in an assessment unit out of the hospital for a few weeks. When I
turned five I began school I was in a special class but it was part of a mainstream school.
Also when I was five my little sister Rebecca was born and then when I was six I moved to
Edinburgh for a year because my Dad was training to be an orthopaedic surgeon. All that I
can remember about Edinburgh is the castles that we visited and coming back to New
Zealand, missing Christmas Day because we crossed over the international dateline and
eating my Nana’s big chocolate buttons off her birthday cake.
When we came back to New Zealand, my Dad got offered a job in Wanganui and so we
moved to Wanganui which is in the North Island on the West Coast. We moved into a
hospital house and Mum enrolled both David and I at one of the local primary schools but I
only lasted a term because the classes were big and I couldn’t concentrate so eventually I
moved to St Georges which is a private school. During my first year at St Georges I got held
back because I could learn at my own level with my schooling. During that time at St
Georges my parents split up when I was ten and both of them met new partners Dad met
Andrea who eventually moved in with us and Mum met Rob.
When I got to the end of my primary school years my parents had to choose a high school
suited to my needs while my brother got sent off to the biggest high school in town. Mum
house so I could either chose to ride my bike or walk for the first couple of years I choose to
ride my bike and in fifth form I decided to walk because biking wasn’t cool anymore.
When I was fifteen I met my first ever Cri Du Chat person her name was Hanne. Hanne has
been in my life for almost thirteen years. Hanne and I have had adventures over the years
like trying to walk home after the zoo and getting lost in downtown Sydney or getting soaked
on a jet boat in the Sydney Harbour the last time I was there for Hanne’s 21st and that was
two years ago. The first time I met Hanne and her Mum was at planet Hollywood for dinner.
Hanne and I shared a cheese pizza because that was the only thing that we could agree on
that we could eat off the menu.
When I left school I went and did a teacher aide’s course. It usually takes 1 year but I took
two years because when I learn something new I like to repeat things over and over again
until it gets stuck in my head and then I got a part time job for two years at my old high
school in the learning centre through mainstream funding employment scheme which means
that the government pays 100% of your wages for the first year while in the second year the
government pays 80% and your employer pays 20% of your wages and at the end of the
two years you are meant to come out with a job but I didn’t because my funding ran out so I
lost my job at Cullinane College.
In September of that year, love came looking for me. In the form of a wonderful man called
Bryan. We met at his work on the first Friday morning that I started going there. I walked in
and noticed a man standing looking at me and I thought to myself he is quite hot. Over the
next several months we flirted until the Christmas party when I gave him my cellphone
number. We have broken up four times in the last five years because we weren’t allowed to
date because he was a staff member and I was a client. I quit his work last year because an
opportunity came up to volunteer at the YMCA for two mornings a week.
I left home when I was 23/24 and lived in a transition house. Kayla has been one of my best
friends since high school and my other best friend Blue lives out the back of Kayla’s in a self
contained unit where she does her own cooking and cleaning. Kayla has cerebral palsy and
so there were plenty of adults around to help and guide us. I left after two in a half years in
the transition house because there were personality clashes and I had out grown the house.
In the time of the transition house I went and did work experience at the local Trade Aid shop
which sells products from third world countries like India, Kenya, South Africa and Peru and
many more countries. Over the last almost three years that I have been working at Trade
Aid my confidence has improved in myself and the work that I do. I am proud to say now I
can confidently can say how can I help you to the customer? And December of last year I
did my ever first sale by myself without any help from my boss or the other volunteer that
works with me. As well as doing that I dust, and do my bosses banking, I take her banking
down to the bank and I am the only volunteer who is allowed to do this because I wanted
Buddies for two to five year olds. I help set up the gym equipment to make an exercise
circuit and if it is a really fine day we take them outside. I mainly supervise them exercise.
We put on some quiet music to help them cool down and then the bus driver takes them
back to their kindy.
In July of last year Dad brought me a house. I love my house because it is close to town and
close to Bryan’s house which is only down the road from me and Mum’s work is about a five
minute walk away as well.
In the future I want to get married, to be happy and knowing that I am helping the Cri Du
I am a daughter, sister, person living with a disability, an aunt, a
friend, a granddaughter, a niece, a girlfriend, an inspiration, a role model, an adult, I
am a cook and a member of society, a cousin, a fur mama to Crede and a light in this
world, I am all of these things and so much more. I have CRI DU CHAT