I Say Yes to Being Me
By Iris, Seattle, Washington
I’m 17 years old and Seattle Children’s has been part of my life since I was 6. I became sick and started having headaches after a family trip to Puerto Rico — and the next thing I knew, I was being treated for brain and spinal tumors at Seattle Children’s.
The team took great care of me. They saved my life, but there was a cost to my treatment. After months of radiation and chemotherapy, I had permanent hair loss and my hearing was also affected. I even had to relearn how to walk. With hard work and lots of physical and occupational therapy, I started to get my life back on track.
Because I have so many providers that I trust at Seattle Children’s, it felt like the right place go when I started thinking about my gender in 9th grade. I was feeling uncomfortable in my body and began to question the gender that was listed on my birth certificate.
I came to Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic. It’s an amazing place where I can ask questions without feeling abnormal. Since my medical situation is complicated because of my earlier cancer treatment, I needed my providers to think creatively to support my transition.
The cancer and gender teams worked together, and everyone made me feel like I could make my own decisions about my gender and sexuality. It means everything that I have a safe place to get whatever type of medical care I need.
“I don’t want to be defined by my diagnosis, my gender or my sexuality. I am, above all else, a person.”
The most important thing to know about me is that I’m more than the sum of my parts. I don’t want to be defined by my diagnosis, my gender or my sexuality.
I am, above all else, a person.
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It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s is a bold initiative – $1 billion bold – to partner with our community and deliver on our shared vision to transform children’s health for generations to come. With your generous support, we can envision a day when we can say yes to hope, care and cure for every child. See what your yes can do donate today.