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The letter arrived like a slap in the face. She was being informed, in so many words, that she needed to choose another major or find another university. Her chosen course of study – nursing – was done for her at Cal State San Bernardino. “I was in tears,” said Kimberly Reichardt, now 25, of the 2015 letter that could have derailed her career. “I was upset and angry. That was my dream, my goal. I felt like nursing was my calling.”. No was a word she heard too often as she tried to make it as a nurse.

Reichardt was born with Cenani-Lenz syndrome, a genetic disorder that compromised the bones in her extremities, leaving her malformed hands and feet, She is one of fewer than 30 people in the world who have the disorder, She had 12 surgeries during her childhood that helped give her gripping ability in her hands, A nurse with malformed hands? How would she insert an IV? How would she put on sterile gloves? How would dance shoes near me she draw blood?, She said she applied to the CSUSB nursing program five times, and was rejected every time, Then she said she was told to change her major or leave the school..

If you think she gave up, you don’t know Kimberly Reichardt. She may be the only person in America with Cenani-Lenz syndrome, which is carried only through recessive genes of parents and is usually found in Germany. Her parents, Jan and Steve Reichardt, fit the first part and, as Jan said, “He’s a lot German, and I’m a little German.”. “What are the odds of me carrying that recessive gene and then marrying someone carrying that recessive gene?” Jan said. “It is crazy rare.”. On Oct. 2, 1993, Kimberly Reichardt was born with a 250 million-to-1 disorder.

“You grieve for her future,” Jan said, Her doctor did her a favor by cutting a slot between her small webbed fingers, If she could pinch, she dance shoes near me could carry thin items in her hands, “I remember running through the house with a piece of paper laughing and screaming,” she said, She grew up in San Jacinto, She played basketball and dodgeball, She could dance on her toes in ballet, She played piano, Her parents constantly reinforced a message to her: “You need to do it,” she remembers them saying, “You’re independent.”..

The biggest obstacle: Tying her shoes. She begged her mother for help. “No,” her mother told her, “you can do it.”. And she did. She endured some teasing, as you might expect. “I came home from school crying, but it wasn’t that often,” she said. A very consistent and comforting place in her life was the hospital. She was there for some time almost every summer of her young life. In seventh grade, she had surgery on her foot and it was particularly painful. She remembers being almost inconsolable.

“My mom couldn’t comfort me,” she said, Then a nurse came into the room and sat by her bed, “She told me a story and prayed for me,” Reichardt said, “She sang songs to me, Nurses connect with patients.”, From that point forward, she wanted to be a nurse, As early as 8 years old, she was volunteering at Hemet Valley Hospital, handing out candy to people dance shoes near me who had given blood, She held babies, She played with toddlers, “I was amazed by her character and her drive,” said Annette Greenwood, nursing officer at the hospital, and now chief nursing officer at Riverside Community Hospital, “You could never put an obstacle in front of her that she couldn’t find her way around.”..

College nursing became an obstacle. She remembers walking into the Cal State San Bernardino nursing office for the first time. Her appearance prompted an immediate reaction. “They told me, ‘You’re not going to make it in this nursing program,’” Reichardt said. CSUSB Nursing Department chair Terese Burch said she doesn’t know Reichardt and was not the chair when she was applying. “But we have not said no to anybody for a physical condition,” Burch said. “There are stringent academic requirements, and there are certain functions that someone must be able to perform.”.

Reichardt took pre-nursing courses and got good grades, But she applied five times, unsuccessfully, to the CSUSB program, “Those were inappropriate denials based on her disability,” said Greenwood, who advised her to leave that school for Riverside Community College, RCC is where Reichardt’s nursing career took off, “Life threw her a curve,” said Jan Reichardt, “What a blessing, watching what God has done in her life, Kimberly will keep fighting through.”, Still, she had to master three skills that proved to be difficult for someone with malformed hands: inserting IVs, drawing dance shoes near me blood and sterile gloving, Registered nurse Tammy Lowe began working with her to develop those skills..

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