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The Woman With The Unusual DNA.

Jeanne Nollman fails to hit puberty and is being told that she is just a late bloomer. Her doctor tells her that her ovaries are underdeveloped and can become cancerous. But actually, it is revealed that he has been hiding the fact that her gonads haven't developed at all into ovaries. After more tests, Jeanne finds out she has a rare genetic disorder called Swyer syndrome, which gives her XY chromosomes, but renders her body unable to produce hormones essential for puberty. Swyer syndrome  is a rare disorder characterized by the failure of the sex glands (i.e., testicles or ovaries) to develop. It is classified as a disorder of sex development (DSD), which encompasses any disorder in which chromosomal, gonadal or anatomic sex development is abnormal. This disorder is predominant in females but rare in males.

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Jeanne is an intersex artist, with a concentration on pottery and and sculpture. "Growing up intersex as a teen and adult, comes with confusion, anger, violations, secrecy, and lies. I try to incorporate my masks with these emotions", she says.

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Jeanne Nollman has 19 years of experience as a Probation Officer in California, two years of graduate education in counseling, and experience as a Counseling Intern in the California State University system. Happily married for 15 years, Jeanne is the mother of two wonderful adopted children. 

The story of Jeanne's journey living with Swyer's Syndrome has been featured on television shows, and was published in an online magazine.

Photo credit: Documentary forest

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DSD Jeanne Nollman Swyer


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