I Have A Hand Difference
Hello, my name is Ayelet and I am 20 years old. I grew up in Sydney but now live in Newcastle and attend the University of Newcastle where I’m studying for my Bachelor of Education.
I was born with symbrachydactyly in my left hand, which means I have no fingers, but I do have little balls of skin called nubbins. (I call the middle one squishy because it looks squashed).
My friends would describe me as adventurous, sincere and considerate. I have always been a positive person and have never really let my hand difference affect my attitude.
I have specific memories from my adult life of things which I did not experience in younger years. Once an older man came up to me and asked me if he “was going to catch polio from me”. Another woman yelled at me in the street in Panama and asked me who let me out of the house. This just shows me that we need more education about limb difference – and not just for children.
As far as I can remember, I have had very supportive friends and family who treated me as an equal. Of course, there have always been times when I felt self-conscious or people have made rude comments. But as long as you never dwell the comments of ignorant people and do your best to educate them, the hurt never lasts too long.
At the age of 14, I was lucky enough to be invited to ‘’Amp Camp’’, a weekend camp for teenagers from across Australia with some form of limb difference or amputation to come together and just be teenagers. I have now attended seven camps and have become a youth leader. I’ve been so lucky to have this opportunity because Amp Camp has made me the person I am today.
I am most proud of backpacking across Europe and Central America by myself. It was a really eye-opening experience and loads of fun!
I also run an Instagram page called Nubbin Life which documents my travels. It was originally designed as an experiment in self-esteem but has now evolved into a fun way to show the world my life.
I’m a part of Aussie Hands because I strongly believe in helping others and I hope to be a role model to show people that nothing is impossible – even if others tell you so!