This Girl Went to the Doctor and Discovered Something Shocking
The saying “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle” couldn’t be more fitting for the case of Kaylee Moats. Though things on the surface seemed picture perfect, underneath she was struggling with some significant differences. Her life changed when she visited a doctor and learned some incredibly shocking news. In fact, for 18 years, she was almost completely unaware of it. Read this story to discover an unexpected story of struggle and the hope to overcome it.
Bright Future Ahead
Looking at Kaylee Moats, she is the perfect image of a lovely young woman with a charmed life ahead of her. The 22 year old from Gilbert, Arizona recently graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and her bright smile seems to reflect her cheery demeanor.
On the outside, it might seem like Moats has it all, including a supportive family and lots of friends. But it turns out that she has been harboring a unique condition, one that she did not even discover until the age of 18.
The Moats family never suspected that anything was out of the ordinary with their lovely daughter. The only strange thing was that by the age of 18, she still hadn’t gotten her period. Her family brushed it off as being a late bloomer.
Moats also didn’t want to overthink things herself. Sometimes she would think about the day her menstrual cycle would eventually kick in, but she tried not to obsess over it. Then something happened that left Moats and her family totally flabbergasted.
A Disturbing Revelation
Amanda, Moats’s younger sister, got her period when she turned 12 years old. That was when alarm bells starting ringing in Moats’s head. “What is wrong with me?” she thought. She couldn’t quite wrap her mind around the thought of her younger sister being more developed than her.
There didn’t seem to be any logical answer to this phenomenon, so her mother took the girls to the doctor for answers. What they would discover at the doctor turned out to be a shock for the young woman as well as her entire family.
Alarming News for a Girl
The doctor did an ultrasound. The first thing that was discovered was a big blow: it turned out that Moats would not be able to ever bear children. When he broke the news, she was understandably devastated.
Like many people, she imagined that she would have a family one day and the news brought that dream crashing down. But, this wasn’t it. The doctor decided to run a few more routine checks and found out the real reason why this was the case.
The doctor figured out why Moats still hadn’t gotten her period: she had a condition called Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser syndrome, otherwise known as MRKH. In her case, it meant that she lacked a vaginal opening. Women with MRKH sometimes don’t have reproductive or sexual organs, namely: a uterus, cervix, and vaginal opening. It is a rare condition that affects one in every 5,000 to 10,000 women worldwide.
The reason why the doctor didn’t notice that she lacked a vaginal opening at first was because he only performed an ultrasound. The new realization made her feel even worse. Moats worried whether she would ever find a partner in life and be able to have a normal relationship. What did this all mean?
A Pillar of Strength
During times of distress and struggles, people turn to family to lessen the load and the pain. Moats had the full support of her family when she was diagnosed, but this didn’t mean her parents weren’t affected by the difficult news.
What hurt Moats the most was seeing her mother’s reaction at the doctor when she learned her daughter wouldn’t be able to bear her grandchildren one day. Her father said he felt “awful and helpless” that he cannot control the situation.
Ignorance is Bliss
Moats told the doctor that she occasionally felt sharp pains shooting through her ovaries, so she couldn’t understand why she hadn’t received her period. The doctor confirmed that these were not phantom pains, and people with MRKH ovulate but everything gets dissolved in the ovaries. He said that her ovaries were functioning and that’s why she experienced puberty, with the exception of a monthly cycle.
Her whole life, Moats didn’t notice that her vaginal opening was sealed. She explained that her vagina appeared to be normal. However, in the place where there is usually an opening is instead dimply-textured skin. Still, this did make her feel different from the other girls growing up for one reason.
Something to Hide
Throughout school, Moats felt like she had something to hide. Perhaps it was the fact that she still hadn’t received her period. She pretended that it didn’t bother her, except when the girls spoke about girl stuff, including periods, pregnancy, and babies.
She had no idea how to use certain female products, unlike her friends, but she figured she’d cross that bridge when the time came. Things did get awkward at times, especially when she was confronted with certain situations.
Emergencies happen, but unfortunately Moats couldn’t be of assistance when her friends needed feminine products. The most she could do was tell her friends she had nothing on her or remain silent so that no one suspected anything.
She was always shy and worried about finding a boyfriend, and now that she knew what was wrong with her, she was extremely worried about the future. She believed that no man would chose her if he could find someone else without her condition. She was terrified of being rejected for not being “normal.” She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Fears and Trepidation
With the diagnosis came many fears and worries: “It makes me feel like less of a woman because I can’t do what woman are supposed to do: to be able to carry children, create a family, and have an intimate relationship,” Moats lamented.
Moats felt like she was living in fear because she didn’t want anyone to know about her condition besides for her family and very close friends in case she’d be mocked. Then along came someone who changed her whole outlook.
A Chance at Love
In her senior year of college, Moats met her boyfriend Robbie Limmer while she was working at a front desk job. He took a liking to her and decided to approach her, but little did he know about the secret she was hiding from the world.
Moats was trying to accept herself and not dwell on her condition, but meeting Limmer brought up all the old feelings of fear and sadness. It took a lot out of her to muster up the courage to break the news to him. She convinced herself that he’d reject her without even thinking twice. Were her fears legitimate?
Revealing the Secret
After a month of chatting and getting to know one another, Moats told Limmer about her MRKH. At first he was confused, but it didn’t take him long to offer her his full support. He emphasized that there was so much more to their relationship than sex.
Limmer expressed his feelings on the matter as follows: “When she told me, I already had grown to love this person, so it’s not going to make me love her any less.” He says that he’ll be there for her through everything, and that it blows his mind how Moats hasn’t let it get the better of her. “She inspires me every day,” he proudly stated.
Moats and Limmer have been together for four months. Though they do not focus on the sexual aspect of their relationship, it doesn’t mean that they don’t consider a future together and what her condition would mean for both of them.
Despite not letting her sexuality define her, Moats realized that she wanted to be able to have an intimate relationship. After some extensive research, she found out there might be a solution of sorts to fix the situation.
It turned out that the next step for Moats would be reconstructive surgery called vaginoplasty. She feels like this is the next important step in her life so that she can enjoy an intimate relationship in the future, like most other people enjoy.
In short, the procedure would involve creating an opening with plastic tubes specifically designed for the operation. Moats had finally heard some good news, but this didn’t come without a catch; a catch that would deeply hurt her.
Not ‘Life Threatening’
The health insurance company dropped a bomb on Moats: the surgery she needed was classified as cosmetic surgery and gender reassignment, which meant they refused to pay for the procedure. In other words, the insurance company doesn’t deem Moats’s condition “life-threatening” and therefore won’t assist.
The news devastated Moats. She felt betrayed by her own body and angry at the insurance company. “I have all the correct chromosomes of a woman so it’s not a gender or cosmetic thing,” she emphasized. This wasn’t the only thing that broke her heart, though.
The Price of Normalcy
The cosmetic surgery costs $15,000, a very high price tag, but it would secure her a normal life. What saddens her the most is that she just finished college, so she can’t afford the surgery because of the student loans she has accumulated.
Moats insists that she’s been wronged because she has all the right body parts as other women. All hope seemed lost and the chance of her having this life-changing surgery seemed out of reach. That is, until someone came up with an idea and stepped in to make a difference.
Fight for What’s Right
Moats felt that this surgery is a matter of life and death to her. She knows that the insurance companies don’t understand how it feels to go through life having to hide a part of oneself and not being able to experience a basic human need.
Although she firmly believed that the procedure would make her feel normal, she at first refused to share her condition with anyone except very close family and friends. For a long time, it remained a private matter. That’s when her sister Amanda stepped in.
The Power of Campaigning
After experiencing all the hurt and turmoil her sister had endured over the years, Kaylee’s sister, Amanda Moats, decided to take initiative and launch a GoFundMe page to raise the money for her sister’s surgery.
The reaction to the campaign achieved surprising results as soon as it launched, and the people that stood by her from day one have continued to act as pillars of support in every way possible. Moat’s boyfriend has been no exception.
Through Thick and Thin
Limmer contributed to the fundraiser and donated $50 of his salary to the fund every month so that Moats could get the surgery she deserves. He knows that if she can’t have the surgery, it will have a negative impact on her for the rest of her life, and he doesn’t want to witness her in pain.
The fundraiser slowly started to raise money as she looked forward to having the procedure in Atlanta. There were nonetheless a number of issues she had to consider before deciding whether or not she would go through with the procedure.
Concerns and Wishes
Once Moats undergoes the surgery and it’s successful, she isn’t quite sure how she’ll take it all in. She is excited about being able to engage in an intimate relationship, but she thinks she might want to wait until marriage. The privilege of having the option is what excites her the most.
She is also a little bit scared about how things will be when she experiences intimacy for the first time, but she had decided to focus on one thing at a time before she gets too carried away with her emotions. There is also something else that has come up countless times, but for which she has a solution.
Starting a Family
Not only was her sister been instrumental in helping Moats raise money for her surgery, she also promised to act as her sister’s surrogate so that Moats can create a family with her own DNA one day. She believes that her sister deserves a chance at being a mother just like everyone else.
Moats has expressed her appreciation at the immeasurable sacrifice her sister is willing to make to ensure her happiness. Still, she has also thought of other options to start a family in the future. What other options are out there for someone with her condition?
Moats said that she would be happy to adopt children if surrogacy wouldn’t work. She knows how many babies are in need of a loving home, and it would make her the happiest woman in the world to know that she could change someone’s life for the better.
“I’ve already accepted the fact that I can’t carry my own children…it would be nice not to have to worry about it anymore,” she said. So what is the next step for her?
A Dream About to Come True
In the span of three months, Amanda Moats’s GoFundMe page proved a huge success, raising a whopping $21, 288 for her sister Kaylee. The goal was $15,000, but her story touched the hearts of over 400 people who then decided to support Moats in her crusade to feel like a normal woman.
Her story was so meaningful that one of the donors commented “The most important thing in this world is family. I hope this helps you in having the most happy and loving family you possibly can have.” So, all that’s left is for Moats to undergo the procedure. What does the future hold for her? There are a few other women who have gone through this who might provide a clue.
Devan Merck, 23, from Fort Benning, Georgia also has MRKH and recently underwent the life-changing surgery, allowing her to engage in sexual activity and start a family with her husband. She was diagnosed with the condition at 12-years-old, and was also devastated to learn that she too had no vaginal canal and cervix as well as a malformed uterus.
Merck wasn’t as lucky as Moats because her classmates knew, and therefore the bullying ensued with name calling such as “freak” and “boy.” Today, things are looking up for Merck because she and her husband, Trent, hope to have a baby using IVF and a surrogate. Her surgery was successful and the surgeons created a man-made vagina using skin grafts. She hasn’t been the only one to successfully go through the operation.
Jen Irwin was concerned when she didn’t receive her period by the age of 15. She went to the doctor when she was 16, but only after an MRI did doctors confirm that Irwin had MRKH. She learned that women with the condition are either born without a uterus and vagina, or have malformed ones.
Growing up, Irwin was jealous and sad that she wasn’t like her friends. All she wanted was to experience period pains and all that comes with it. When she was 20-years-old, she met her husband Jason and they’ve been together for five years. In Irwin’s case, she was born with a shortened vagina so she can use plastic dilators to stretch it over time, but she doesn’t feel the need to since she’s been married. She explained that sexual intercourse can be somewhat uncomfortable, but it doesn’t hurt. Seeing that insurance doesn’t cover IVF, the couple decided to adopt a child.
The Cleveland Clinic announced in November 2015 that research has been developed to transplant a uterus into a woman born with MRKH. This means these women with the condition will be able to become pregnant.
This is truly a revolutionary medial advancement and just proves that medical technology can improve the lives of so many people with conditions they never thought they’d be able to overcome. Hopefully the revolutionary surgery will be able to help other women with MRKH and change their lives for the better. In the meantime, Moats has an important lesson for other women with her condition.
Life Goes On
Living with MRKH isn’t easy, and Moats wants to tell other woman with the condition that they’re not alone. Furthermore, she wants to show that raising awareness about the condition is easier than she thought it would be. In fact, people have shown the utmost support and don’t look at her differently.
Her advice to these woman is to not let the condition get them down. The most important thing is for them to feel like normal people and not let the condition define who they really are. They can find love, just like she did and live a happy, fulfilling life. The future seems quite bright for this young woman.
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