My name is Nele Gabriels and I am 17 years old.
I have known all my life that I have 22q11 which makes this “normal” for me. I have never known another life and I don't think I would want it either. 22q11 is and always will be a part of my life.
When I was born, my parents told me that I had to go through several surgeries as I had an open palate which made it impossible for me to swallow. Because of that, I also had to go to the speech therapist. At school I am in a BSO program where I study Horeca, because I would like to have a restaurant of my own someday.
I also really like to read because when I read I feel like I'm in another world. I like to be on my own, so I tend not to be very social. If I could choose I would have my nose in my books the whole day! I am also trying to write a book myself because one of my dreams is also to publish a book someday. How cool would that be, someone with 22q11 publishing a book?
I may not be that social towards « strangers » but as soon as you get to know me I really am a talkative person and then I only talk about Harry Potter. Through social media I like to know new people who have the same interests as me. I would also love to meet someone who has the same condition as me and who is the same age. My mom also has 22q11, and I find it nice not to be the only one who has it in our home. I also think it's great that Mom and Dad are both very supportive with me and support me with 22q11. For example, we have already gone to many 22q11 events. My sister is also great with the fact that I have 22q11. I wouldn't have it any other way!