GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Looking at Alsae and Renner Hersman they act like normal little girls with smiles on their faces and joy for life but there is something a bit different hidden in their genetics.
At 19 weeks pregnant, Mallory Hersman went in for a typical ultra sound when she found out that her daughter Alsae was a little bit different.
"We were going, for us we were really excited to find out the sex of our baby and of course hoping we saw the four chambers of the heart and a healthy baby and the ultra sound technician left and we got a call I had to go into the doctors office the next day," Mallory Hersman said. "They told me that they found out she had different arms and hands and that it was often associated with a syndrome so we went to a maternal fetal medicine office and from there at first it was just hands and arms and then we started noticing further things like kidney differences and things as each appointment we went to we found something new."
After Alsae was born, the Hersman's went to many appointments to try to figure out what exactly was wrong with their daughter, later they found out Alsae had Mircogastria Limb Reduction.
"I first met Alsae after she was born," said Dr. Caleb Bupp, a medical geneticist at Spectrum Health. "She has a particular condition called Microgastria Limb Reduction Syndrome which is genetic condition and we aren't exactly sure what causes it. But it causes a unique mixture of health concerns."
Years later when Mallory was pregnant again, with her daughter Renner, she decided to get a non-invasive genetic test.
"I wanted to do it with our youngest just because I like to prepare myself," Mallory said.
"I honestly was expecting to get a call a little early about you are having a girl or you are having a boy and it looks great and I got that we had a positive result for they called Trisomy X or Triple X Syndrome so I was shocked but I researched it and was able to talk to Dr. Bupp and his assistant at the time and with everything she's been through it was kind of 'okay this little one is going to be okay.'"
Triple X Syndrome is when a female instead of having two X Chromosomes has three.
"Females usually have two X chromosomes and she actually has three and that happens in about one in a thousand individuals so it is more common then we would maybe think but we aren't always sure what that means as far as what health concerns people have," Dr. Bupp said.
"The general picture has always been kids who have some developmental delays, some lower muscle tone, but we are now finding doing more genetic testing that lots of people have this condition and you never would have guessed it and that is kind of where Renner is at right now. She appears to be a completely healthy and normal child that if we hadn't had done this test and found that she had Triple X I don't think we would know and I don't think we would have ever have known in her entire life that she had it."
Even though they stray from the culture's perception of 'normal' Alsae, Renner and the Hersman family are blessed and living their best lives according to Mallory.
"I almost think you know these kids are amazing, they go through so much and they smile, they are happy, not always but most the time" Mallory said. "I am blessed with two very happy children."