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Sunshine Rose - Camden, New York

A good picture of my "little hand" before my first surgery. Pointer and middle finger webbed all the way up.
My name is Sunshine Rose. I come from a small town in Upstate New York. When I was born I was missing my right pectoral major and my right hand was much smaller and the fingers were webbed together. The doctor had never seen this and after calling on doctors more experienced in the field my mother was told the name for what I had was Poland's Syndrome.

A little before I turned two I had my first hand surgery. My second was right before I turned five. I don't remember the first one at all and actually only have a vague memory of the second. What I do remember is the cute pj's my Mom got me and the attention from my big brother. Both of these surgeries were to separate my fingers.

After first surgery at University of California at San Francisco Children's Hospital in 1976.
My third hand surgery was at the Shriner's Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts. This one happened when I was 17 and my memory of this one is very clear. This surgery made the space between my thumb and forefinger deeper and revised the scar that had not grown with my on my forefinger. This had caused the finger to sit at almost a 90 degree angle. At this hospital I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself about being born with Poland's. I saw children much younger than I with physical impairments much worse than mine, but they were still happy! I still have my down days, but they are fewer and further between. I can do most anything with my good hand using my little one as a "helper". If that and the fact that sometimes clothes don't fit quite right are my worst problems, who am I to complain?

Actually recently I found out what the hardest part can be. I was always told that the chances of me passing along this birth defect were slim to none. Then in September my younger daughter, Emmalee, was diagnosed with Poland's by an orthopedist. It wasn't caught sooner because her hand is not involved and she is not missing her entire pectoral. She is missing the sternal head of her pectoral major. I struggled with feelings of guilt about that. I'm sure a lot of the parents of the special kids here did. Then I realized I did nothing to cause this. Also, I'm pretty sure even if I'd known that passing it along was a possibility I'd still have had her. Both of my girls bring me such joy!

Along with Emmalee, who is now 5, I have a 7-year old daughter, Cecilea. Besides being a single Mom, I'm a full-time college student. I returned to college two years ago at the age of 29! I've also managed a website for women with Polands Syndrome. If anyone would like information about it, please feel free to contact me.

Never shy ... after my last surgery in 1992 I went ahead and performed in our school's annual Cabaret show even with my cast.

In my free time I quilt, read, and volunteer at the girls' school. One of Cecilea's classmates recently noticed my little hand for the first time. I explained to him that it was like Nemo. I have one big hand and one little hand like Nemo's fins. Two of the little boys decided that they were going to call me "Miss Nemo" instead of "Miss Rose" until Cecilea told them she thinks I'm more like Dory because, "She has short term memory loss like her."

My favorite thing on this entire site was Haley's poem about her little hand that would "always stay". We're all lucky Steve has Haley to inspire him to create this beautiful, inspirational site! Keep up the great work, Steve. And Haley -- you're going to accomplish great things! I've had a few young ladies contact me from this site and it means so much to me.

Emmalee, me and Cecilea, 2006

If you would like to communicate with me, just send an email.

If you want to be a SuperHands Kid or Hero, or know any inspiring stories that would be a benefit to this site's viewers, please send me an email. Thank You!

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