(posted January 14, 2021)

When Christine was diagnosed with 22q11.2 deletion at the age of 30, she finally had the answers to why her childhood had been so difficult. She and her newborn son were both diagnosed with 22q at the same time. If it had not been for her son’s diagnosis, Christine would not have known she had 22q. Although the diagnosis was upsetting, Christine says it’s been a blessing to walk through this journey with him as they learn how to face and overcome challenges while appreciating every moment they have together. It’s also helped her to understand certain events in her life and to accept herself the way she is.

Christine was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She recently moved to Canterbury in Christ Church City, the South Island of New Zealand. This is Christine’s first time away from Auckland and it was her first time on a plane. Growing up, Christine enjoyed playing sports. She played netball with goal shoot being her favorite position.

As a child, Christine struggled with learning difficulties in school. She wasn’t interested in the things she was taught in school, so she searched for and found things she enjoyed like music and dance. Even today, Christine still loves music as she finds it very motivating and uplifting – it helps her make it through anything she faces including her most challenging days. Even though Christine labored in school, she was able to teach herself important reading and writing skills.

Although she struggled as a child in school, Christine has achieved success as an adult by earning two graduation certificates in business administration and hair dressing. Recently, she has become interested in personal training and hopes to complete her studies in this area in the near future. As an adult, Christine has learned how to handle her learning disabilities and to pursue a path that best suits her. She is always looking to enhance her learning and to focus more on the things that she can do.

Christine says her biggest accomplishment, as an adult is her spiritual journey. Becoming a Christian has healed her spiritually and helped her to achieve great things within the last few years. Christine’s faith has given her hope to know that she can do anything she puts her mind to. “Seeing the rewards with learning about myself and doing it on my own have been the biggest rewards in my life,” Christine says. “This has given me the ability to chase after my dreams and to make them come true.” One of her biggest dreams came true when she had her son. Because Christine has 22q, she can use her firsthand knowledge to help her son and to instill confidence in him. Within this past year, Christine obtained her driver’s license and bought a car. She is proud to have the ability to do this for herself and her son.

Christine has learned a lot growing up and living with 22q. “Listen to yourself and your inner voice and instincts,” she tells other people with 22q. “Use the tools you have learned over the years to succeed and to make a better future for yourself.” Christine also suggests surrounding yourself with people who accept you for who you are. And, to all of the single ladies out there, Christine has a special message. “Don’t settle for just anything,” she says. “Keep believing in what you want and deserve. This is a great time to pursue yourself and to chase after your dreams. You can do anything that you put your mind to.”

As she looks forward to the future, Christine wants to be the best person she can be for herself and her son. She hopes to provide her son with a good life.