Posted November 2, 2021

Dayna Is a young lady who was diagnosed 22q deletion as a baby.  Her first open-heart surgery was soon after being born and she has now had 6 open-heart surgeries and a pacemaker.

Dayna like most 22qties struggled through school.  She had many IEP’s and struggled with maintaining what she was taught.  Many times she needed 1 on 1 with teachers for quizzes and tests, they would read the questions and she would verbally give the answers.  Since she is part deaf, Dayna has hearing aids, which have helped tremendously.  Growing up she was active, loved riding her bike, and going to the park across the street from her house.  She says, “I did have a wonderful childhood even with all the stuff I went through!  I even have wonderful memories in the hospital!”  Once out of High School, Dayna attended a 2-year trade school for business and computer technology.  “I loved it, it was so much easier than regular school because I was only learning one thing, and so was everyone else, this made it so much easier!”

Today Dayna’s favorite hobby is playing Xbox with her friends.  She even plays Xbox with a fellow 22qer Cynthia.  Cynthia also had heart surgery and has many of the same friends as Dayna,  “we all get along well, it’s amazing to have someone who actually relates and has been through the same thing,” says Dayna.

But Xbox is not the only thing that keeps her busy, Dayna loves going on adventures with friends, going downtown to the arcade and getting tea or cookies, and basically just having a good time. Music is another favorite thing for her and her favorite band is BTS, “I Love them!”  And believe it or not, Dayna loves horror movies or anything scary.

Another love of Dayna’s is to drive, “I love driving it’s fun, it’s my way of freedom and it’s amazing,” she says.  Yes, she has a car and she is so proud to say it is in her name and she makes the payments every month as she says, “like a regular person.”  And of course, since she loves music, she plays music in her car, when she does, she plays it super loud!

What is Dayna’s advice to others with 22q?  “I would say don’t give up, it’s hard, some days will be good other days will be hard.  Just try and be around people that love you and you can get through it.”  Dayna has goals of going to college and eventually doing something with houses like fixing them up.  She is so proud of herself for getting where she is especially after surviving 6 open heart surgeries and she is thankful for the pacemaker that has helped her!