It’s National Volunteer Month! Today we are highlighting Leisa Jenkins, mother of a girl who has Turner Syndrome, coach, author of 10x Your Inner Rockstar, and a TSF volunteer. As a volunteer, Leisa is a member of our Engaged Volunteer Committee and serves as the Star Sisters Group Mentor. She is there to offer support, lending a listening ear and offering advice wherever needed.
In her personal and professional life, Leisa has one goal: to help others. We are grateful for Leisa’s commitment to volunteering as she supports women and girls who have Turner Syndrome. Below is her story, where she talks about volunteering, her life journey, and her book.
Our Turner Syndrome Story
My daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome in September 2018. She was 16 years old. We had fought for her health her whole life, starting when she had surgery on her kidneys at just 5 months. We have been to every doctor you could imagine, knowing something was not right. Fifteen years later, we finally had a diagnosis. I have a special place in my heart for this community of girls. We didn’t really know about Turner Syndrome until Emma was diagnosed, and there are a lot of girls out there who are unsupported–that’s why I volunteer. I know that Emma needs it, and there are other girls that need the support, too.
Forming Community – Star Sisters
Being involved with Star Sisters, it’s great to know that there are other people out there, dealing with the same stuff. To have that community and be able to share the things you go through, knowing that there are other people experiencing some of those same things, is huge. We have had some massive engagement just by starting conversations. It has given people a chance to open up. They just need somebody who understands what they’re going through.
Accepting My Story, and Growing From It
People don’t choose the family that they live in or where they grow up. I am passionate that these girls certainly did not have a choice to have Turner Sydrome. They’re born with it, and they can’t change it. It’s just like my story in the book. My life was hell-breaking growing up. Before I went through my own journey, I tried to fight it, ignore it, and not let people know about it. But there comes a point where you have to accept it so you can move on. The things that kept me going through all the craziness and chaos growing up, were God and knowing that I had a need inside to help people.
Helping Others 10x Their Inner Rockstar
I want girls and women with Turner Syndrome, and anybody who has been through a medical issue, to know that no matter what, they have the chance to 10x their inner rockstar and be who they truly are. We can pull the gifts and skills out of them and help them turn their story into something that’s powerful. We can help them accept where they’re at and what needs to happen in their lives. That’s the point of my story going in that book, and that’s the book overall.
Turning Passion into Action
I volunteer because everybody needs support. I have to be involved in something to which I am able to give my gifts, instead of worrying about making money. It just so happens that Turner Syndrome is what we are passionate about because we experience that within our family. I wake up every day thinking: how many people can we help with Turner Syndrome and other health issues: How can we support them?
Some of these girls and women are not going to get help any other way. Some don’t have insurance or the means to feed themselves, or can barely get to the doctor. The last thing we want to do is be turning them away. If we help them manage their mental health and emotions and learn who they truly are, that will be the stepping point for them to step out successfully into the world.
You can find Leisa’s book on Amazon, in paperback, or Kindle e-book. Leisa has used her book to not only help others, but also raise awareness of Turner Syndrome. You can also join the Star Sisters mentorship group to join the conversation of women, girls, and caregivers of those who have Turner Syndrome!
We appreciate every volunteer who dedicates their time and talent to support others and to champion the Turner Syndrome Foundation mission. Everyone can help make a difference in this community! Apply to volunteer, and be a part of the change today!