Shauna Rae has a unique story
Shauna Rae is the subject of the new TLC show I Am Shauna Rae. Shauna has a disability that affected her growth. She is in her 20s, but a medical condition called malignant glioma, a rare cancerous brain tumor, stunted her growth. Shauna describes herself as an adult who “looks like an 8-year-old child.” After her cancer diagnosis, Shauna had surgery and roughly three years of chemotherapy. Despite taking growth hormones (she says she started and stopped the treatment a few times), her height didn’t increase.
How tall is Shauna Rae?
Shauna Rae is 3 feet, 10 inches tall. She mentions on the show that her height presents her with daily challenges. For example, Shauna’s height came up when she applied for a job at a dog boarding facility. Her new boss was concerned she wouldn’t be able to manage large dogs, but she passed his test.
Shauna Rae on the emotional impact of her disability
Shauna says having a disability has taken a toll. When she goes out, people often stare at her, and she finds this uncomfortable. During season 1, there was a scene where Shauna participated in a bachelorette celebration for her sister. They were at a bar, so a lot of people were staring. Shauna says she thought she saw a group of women trying to take pictures of her.
Shauna Rae wants to be independent
Shauna broke down crying during dinner with her family when she discussed her feelings about where her life is going and why she wants more independence. She says she depends too much on her family and she feels like she has no worth.
“I’m co-dependent, I’m rejected all the time for who I am, and I feel worthless every single day of my life,” Shauna tells her stepfather, Mark. He responds by thanking her for her honesty and telling her that she’s not worthless. However, Shauna says, “You have to say that.”
“It’s hard to look at it from my parents’ perspective because I have to go back to this weak kind of mentality in a sense and realize my vulnerabilities and that puts me in a really bad place mentally,” says Shauna during season 1. “It’s hard to get that across to my parents, so I think I handed it the best way I could. But at the same time, I think my parents need to understand on an emotional level a little more where I was coming from.”
Shauna’s sister, Rylee, says she understands her desire to become independent. According to her, most of Shauna’s life people have told her what she can’t do because of her height. When Shauna’s parents discouraged her from moving out, she was frustrated because she felt like it was another situation where someone was telling her what she couldn’t do.
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