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Achondroplasia Limb Lengthening

A Boost of Confidence

Chandler Crews with her surgeon, Shawn Standard.

I shared a similar comparison on my Facebook page recently, but this one is taken at the same event – nine years apart ~ so not quite the infamous decade challenge.

In the first image, I’m in a wheelchair and Dr. Standard is kneeling down. The second image, we’re both standing and my head meets his shoulder. The point is, in both images, our faces are pretty much in the same spot/distance from one another.

Had we both been standing in the first image, the top of my head would have been at his waist. I would’ve felt awkward and uncomfortable and would not have wanted a photo.

You already feel pretty awkward at 17-years-old. There’s not much you can do about it. It happens. It’s natural. But when you’re 17 and only 3’10”, you’re feeling of awkwardness can feel bigger than your height – especially when you’re talking to someone and your face is at the level of their groin. Going into it, it never occurred to me that limb lengthening would give me the ability to communicate better and with more confidence. (yeah, I said it.) The thing is, I never knew the life experiences and confidence I was lacking because I never felt as if I lacked confidence – I was always (still am) the loudest. In dance class, I wanted to be the best. I’ve always been pretty competitive and pretty much do whatever the hell I want. It wasn’t until after my lengthening(s) that I realized I gained so much more confidence – the confidence I didn’t know I was lacking. I wholeheartedly believe this confidence came from my ability to have face-to-face communication with my peers. It’s important to me that I share this information because when people ask me, “why?” I say, “I now live a life with no physical limitations. It’s the way I’m actually able to see the world and how the world now sees me that made it all worthwhile.”Yeah, I’m still short. I may not be face-to-face with everyone, but I can see eye-to-eye…because I stand corrected 🤣

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1 COMMENT

  • Janie Calhoun

    I am in AWE of you, Chandler. What an AMAZING person you are. I wish I knew you better. 😊

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