My parents adopted me from South Korea when I was a baby and had been born missing my left arm at the elbow. The adoption agency stated that I would not be accepted into Korean society because of a missing limb, so adoption was the best option for me. Growing up the youngest of six kids, my parents wanted me to grow up to become self-sufficient to do things by myself, rather than others helping me with even simple tasks.
One way that my parents thought would help me to do things by myself was to go to Shriner’s Hospital to be fitted with a prosthesis. I do not remember a time when I did not have a prosthesis, I would even stay home from school if my arm needed to be shipped for repairs. It was a body-powered arm, with silver cables, hard outer shell, and a moveable hand in a claw-like shape. At the elementary school that I attended, I can honestly say that I was never bullied and never felt self-conscious about how my arm looked. Looking back, I will always be thankful for the kindness of those classmates.
I never have/will be athletic, one arm or two arms. In high school, I played the trumpet in marching band, acted in the theater plays, and even did an entertainment speech for speech team about the different uses of my arm. Throughout life, my arms always got the stares and questions in public but it never bothered me too much.
When I went to college, I became greatly aware of how I looked and did everything to avoid showing others my arm. I wanted a more realistic looking arm as I began to work jobs and think about future careers. When I turned 21, I received a “final” arm from Shriners that was custom painted to match my skin tone. However after five years of wear and tear, that arm was in tough shape with a socket that had become too big.
I first heard about Lauren right after her accident in 2013, but then again a few years later because I followed Bethany Hamilton on Instagram and saw that she was her friend. I was struck by both of their confidence and beauty, but mostly by how much they loved God. One day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw Lauren post about her new LSK Foundation that would provide custom prosthesis covers to women. I applied immediately because I had been worrying about replacing my arm and saving the money for the cover because insurance would not cover it. It could not have been a bigger answer to my prayers. A few months later, I received an email that I had been selected, and I was able to meet Lisa, Ashley, and Lauren (and Bethany) at the Beautifully Flawed Retreat in 2017. Throughout the entire process, they were so understanding and amazing.
Kendra Scott jewelry sponsored my arm cover and actually flew me to Los Angeles to attend the grand opening of one of their stores. I felt like a VIP and will be forever grateful for their generosity and kindness of all of the KS family.
Overall, I love my new covering. When I first wore it around people I knew, some had to ask which arm was my prosthesis and which was my actual arm. I have no second thoughts wearing a short sleeve top. I love when strangers are amazed at how perfectly it matches my skin tone and how long it took them to realize that it was not real. I cannot properly put into words the sense of peace this arm has given me and all I can say is thank you LSK Foundation!