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I am Nikki Nemo: My Story of Being Born with a "Lucky Fin"

Lucky Fin and Proud of it

My name is Nikki. I am 26 years old and I was born as a congenital amputee. It's something that has completely shaped me to be a caring, kind, confident, and ambitious woman. I am so lucky to have grown up with a supportive family that led me to believe I can kick butt at life just like everyone else. There is nothing I can’t do! I drive, play sports, and I love to cook.

I haven’t always been this secure woman that I portray myself as today. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life. As a child I was teased and bullied because of my limb difference. Even as an adult I still get stares and insensitive comments thrown my way. I don’t let others opinions of me harm the way that I view myself though. Even so, words can hurt your soul and make you feel less human.

A few years ago I discovered that there was an entire online community dedicated to limb loss awareness. I had no idea that there are so many men and women who are dealing with the same struggles that I am. Connecting with others across the globe has given me the courage and strength to share my story. I created a blog called I Am Nemo. I love to refer to my arm as my “lucky fin”. The phrase comes from the movie Finding Nemo. For those who have not seen the movie, the character nemo was born with one fin shorter than the other. I find that precious and humbling and very relatable. So, I always call my arm my lucky fin.

My lucky fin and have been through so much. But through all the pain, the sometimes-suicidal thoughts (when I was a teen) and the insecurity there lies hope. I hope that one person reads this message and realizes that no matter their difference, they are worthy and they are beautiful. Life is a journey not a destination. What shapes us grounds us. Keep going and don’t ever for one second think you should hide what makes you, you.

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