Cynthia Renee Pope

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Updated 10/25/21:
Hello my name's Cynthia. I was born with 22q Micro deletion digeorge syndrome. I am 26 years old living with truncus arteriosus. I've had 4 open heart surgeries and multiple procedures, most recent open heart surgery was on August 6th 2019 for a Mechanical valve replacement.

I've had multiple challenges in my life... school was a huge challenge for me. I didn't finish high school. I had difficulty in elementary school as well with learning. I had a EA teacher that followed me during high school and was also in special ed. I also had a very hard time making friends in school. A lot of kids would make fun of me growing up. Despite my disabilities, I always push myself.

I would consider myself mildly affected with 22q, but I still have my struggles in life. I started working at age 16 and been living alone on and off since 18. I just recently moved Provences alone with my boyfriend. I worked in culinary industry for 9 years, but I am deciding to go to Cosmetology school soon. I started driving at age 22 and my first car was a Nissan Versa. Unfortuantely, I was diagnosed with epilepsy and had to stop driving and got my license taken away.

I was adopted as a kid at 4 years old and was adopted at least 3 times before I met my forever family. I have a cultural family, who has been my family for 23 years. My family is Guyanese and we have a lot of people! I recently met my nono in 2018 and got in contact with my biological cousin to learn more about my biological side. My biological mother passed away in 2009 and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia but thankfully I have skipped that genetic concern. My father is unknown.

I have a few things associated with 22q: Hypoglycemia, Epilepsy, Kyphoscoliosis, Manic depression and Bipolar, I also have PTSD, Anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I am also in the process in getting tested for movement disorder.

I video game to help with everything I have and it has helped with social anxiety it has also given me a great friend named Dayna who I met on Xbox. I have also met my boyfriend while gaming, and a few other friends who have been my friends for years.

I did a lot of things as a child: horseback riding, girl guides from sparks to rangers., camping. I also use to jump and compete in horseback riding and earned a few ribbons.

Despite having 22q, I have accomplished a lot of things. Even though I didn't finish school, but I am hoping to go back to school soon. I'm a very social person and I am very liked by numerous of people. My advice to others is "please live life the way you want to live it and never give up. You have no idea what holds for you in the future. "

My name is Cynthia Pope and I was born with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, otherwise known as DiGeorge Syndrome and was born with Type 2 Truncus Arteriosus. I've had 4 open heart surgeries and multiple procedures. The first heart surgery was when I was 2 days old. I do have a conduit, stent and had my valves replaced, my most recent was August 6th 2019. I had a mechanical valve replacement done. I was adopted as a child at the age of 4. My adopted parents didn't know anything about DiGeorge Syndrome at the time or did my family, so they had to go to seminars to learn about the Syndrome. It was a very tough time for my parents and my family. I didn't know how to speak, they ended up taking me to speech therapy and it took me a year to learn how to talk , A year and a bit after they adopted me and I needed to have an open heart surgery. I had some complications during my surgery, But I ended up being just fine. My parents didn't really have a fun time with me as a child the first few years of adopting me. I was a very difficult child, I would scream, throw things. I made it very hard for them up until my late teen years.

My elementary years was very hard for me. I had troubles in school with Math and English. I would sit there in class and hate every second of that class. Kids would pick on me during recess because I was different. I was always that kid who would get into trouble for everything I did. Between making friend's and my disabilities Elementary school was very challenging for me. In my High school year's I opened up a bit more and made some friends. I ended up being a social butterfly. I dropped out of school at 18 and I regret dropping out. My depression and anxiety got to the point where I couldn't leave my house, I saw several doctors and have tried a lot of medication. My depression finally broke at the age of 23 and I am living my life as positive as I can!

I did end up getting a job in my late teens. I started working as a cashier then I got a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant. I know it wasn't the best job but to me that job was everything. I have always wanted to work in a kitchen since I was a little girl. I did have some issues keeping some jobs, but I ended up working my way from the bottom to the top and after 8 years of working in the hospitality industry. I became a Chef! Wasn't the easiest job. I worked long and late hours. I am right now working at a bar/club and hopefully work towards my Red Seal Certificate.

As you know I was adopted, I ended up getting in contact with my biological aunt. Meet her and my uncle at the age 16. Years later my Biological Cousin found me on Facebook. Got in contact with me. We meet. I meet her and my Nono. I've learned a lot about my biological side. I sadly couldn't meet my mother. She passed away in 2009. My biological mother at the time was the only one in the family who had DiGeorge Syndrome before I came along, she was also diagnosed with schizophrenia and had a similar heart defect as me. After my diagnosis everyone in my biological family got tested and they were all negative. So my Biological mother and I were the only ones in the family who had 22q.11.

I was the only child as a kid, and I was a very draining child for my parents with all my energy. They put me in a group called Girl Guides. Girl Guides had helped a lot with my social anxiety as a child and teen years. I would go on trips, camping, I even made some friends who are still my friends to this day as well. It was a very fun thing for me to do as a child. I learned so many things. It was a place where I can be as creative as I can.

I also did horseback riding as a child. I use to compete in horse shows as an equestrian. My parents use to take me to this thing called Horse Friends, where I would learn how to behave. Horse Friends ended up starting a riding program so my parents signed me up. I miss horse back riding ALOT. As far as I know I did a lot as a child and was always busy up until my teen years.

I did not go to college but I do wanna go to Australia to Le Cordon Blue for Culinary Management. I have always dreamed of being a chef. I remember I use to have a kitchen set as a child and an Easy Bake Oven. I would cook for my parents and make them eat it.

I have two tattoos and I plan on getting a few more down the road. I have one tattoo that is an infinity sign that's for my depression. It means that no matter how hard life gets to never give up. I also have a second tattoo that is a heartbeat for my cardiac challenges. This shows that I am a strong fighter. I enjoy gaming, SciFi and Horror. I enjoy playing guitar and I am self taught. I listen to Heavy Metal, Old Folk and classic rock music. My favorite bands are, Asking Alexandria, Of Mice & Men, Slipknot, RUSH, Tragically Hip, Metallica.

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