Thursday, October 10, 2013
ELMER: OCTOBER IS NATIONAL DWARFISM AWARENESS MONTH
Thought you might be interested in knowing something about myself. I was born with Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome. I am a dwarf. That is why I titled this post as a reminder that October is National Dwarfism Awareness Month.
People are considered dwarf if they are between the heights of 2 feet 8 inches to 4 feet 10 inches. I am just an inch shorter than 4 feet, with my boots off. When I have my boots on, I stand 4 feet tall. The chance is 1 in 150,000 that a child may be born with dwarfism. The chance is higher (1 in 5,000) in Old Order Amish because of intermarriage (someone marrying a distant cousin).
They believe this dwarfism can probably be traced to one Sameul King and his wife (who were Amish) who immigrated to the United States in 1744. In tracing my genealogy, we found that we are distantly related to Sameul King who had brought Ellis-van Creveld into our country. In tracing genealogy of both my parents, it was found that both sides of the family were distantly related to Sameul King.
People come up to me and ask if I would like to be called dwarf, small person or midget. I tell them, I would prefer to be called Elmer. If describing me, I prefer to be called small person or dwarf. Dwarf people do not like to be called midget.
Both of my parents are average height. In our family of 10 children, I am the only living child that's a dwarf. As I got older, my parents told me that before I was born, they had another son that was born a dwarf, but died a few days after his birth. When I was born, I had an extra pinky finger and toe, which were removed as a baby. I had a great deal of problems with my teeth which ended when I had them removed and got dentures. Fortunately, as yet, I do not have heart problems which is in about 60% of the children born with Ellis-van Creveld. In obtaining the death certificate of my dwarf brother, I found the cause of death was heart. My parents were afraid that I, too, would die of the same thing at a young age. So far, thanks to the Lord, they have been proven wrong.
Regarding Anna and our children, we do not have any dwarf's among our children - they are all average height. Anna is also average height. All of them and our grandchildren, so far, there are no dwarf children.
This leads to the question I was asked what does one of my son's do. He has a furniture store, but he also has a store where he makes and sells items for dwarf people, as myself. I remember when he and I went to a Dwarfism Convention and saw this little dwarf boy in this big wheel chair. They make wheel chairs for average people and big people, but what about small people. So my son got these people's name and after a lot of measuring the boy and figuring back home, came up with a wheel chair for the small person. Word spread. Small people wanted chairs, dining tables and chairs, bedroom sets and more. Now, with the new box springs and mattresses beds being really high for us small people so he built me stairs to get into the bed.
Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome is not the only one. There are other syndromes that cause dwarfism. Also, I want you to know that dwarf's, depending on what their church allows, are: farmers, accountants, doctors, teachers, actors and more.
Hope you have found this interesting and understanding of dwarfism or small people. Have you ever met a dwarf and wanted to ask questions, but were afraid to ask? This is the place to ask the questions, I will answer them in another post.
Trust God's Wisdom,
THERE ARE NEW POSTS FOR FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.
KEEP QUESTIONS FOR ELMER COMING. ELMER WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ON OCTOBER 28th POST.