A 14 year-old teenager from Australia is hoping to help her mother through crowd-funding platform GoFundMe for gender affirmation surgery.
Leah Ewart’s mum Saoirse was born with a rare form of a genetic condition called Mosaic Chromosomal Disorder *(MCD) that has impacted her life.
On the GoFundMe page, Leah describes how MCD has impacted her mum’s life:
“She has had to endure a lot [of] ridicule by others and several medical complications over the years including extensive and dehumanising surgeries.”
The 14 year-old goes on to explain what intersex means and lovingly tells her Northern Irish mum’s story.
“When she was born the doctors did not understand her condition and so she was raised as a boy despite have XX chromosomes.
“However, she knew something was not right as everyone else around her developed differently and she did not look or feel like the other kids.”
It was not until many years later that Saoirse was diagnosed which helped her develop physically by Leah says her mum still felt “deeply wrong inside” and was unsure of her place in society which took a sever toll on Saoirse’s mental health.
Leah says her mum’s family emigrated to Australia to escape the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, for which she now suffers PTSD.
Saoirse decided to have children, Leah and her brother. As a single parent, Saoirse raised her children while also studying to become a social worker and children’s psychotherapist.
She graduated and began helping young children and adolescents hat had been abused or facing medical issues of their own.
Leah says her mother started experiencing blackouts and problems with her vision.
“In 2017 she was diagnosed with cancer in her throat and neck. It turned out she had cancer and in Australia, she could not get the help she needed so she was forced to go overseas. This meant getting bank loans and using all our savings to pay for the treatments. I am not sure how much it all cost but I think it was more than 100 thousand.
“In that very same month was fired from her job as a Social worker and Children’s Psychotherapist, all due to her boss illegally finding out that she was intersex and deciding that this made her somehow unnatural and, in his eyes, a bad person.”
This resulted in Leah’s family having to flee their home in the middle of the night for their safety. They returned to a small town to be close to Saoirse’s mother for support but her extended family were not supportive of Saoirse’s wish to have gender confirmation surgery.
“This sucked as she cried a lot and lost everyone she loved- accept me as I love her heaps. Around the same time, people in our small town found out my mum was intersex and transitioning after someone stole her birth certificate and ID.
“A few days later our car was vandalised and our home too. They did $10,000 in damage to our family car and spray painted the walls and windows with death threats.
“This has continued almost every day since then including being assaulted and having graffiti on the walls say they will kill her for being different.
“Right now, I am living in my granny’s house as it is not safe there and my mum is living there alone facing all the abuse.”
Having been raised as a boy and prescribed medication to be more masculine-presenting, Saoirse developed gender dysphoria.
Saoirse now requires surgery to undo the damage of these medical complications.
“There is a specialist in America, one of two people in the whole world who can do the operation to help her. He is trained to help both intersex and transgender people with a surgery called sex reassignment surgery (SRS).
“But it is expensive and something my mum could never afford in her lifetime, not with all the debts for her cancer treatment, a loan to fix our car and raising us as a single mum”
Leah says to get this operation, they will need to raise $120,000 Austrailian dollars in total but through the GoFundMe she hopes to reach $20,000 “would allow her to have past issues corrected and help her to begin to heal.”
If you would like to help Leah and Saoirse you can donate on GoFundMe here.
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