Born without arms, mother, son live independently

January 20, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Born with a rare genetic condition, Linda Bannon and her 5-year-old son Timmy are independent and great problem solvers.

Cooking for her family. Helping Timmy write. Playing video games. These are typical activities for the mother and son.

"I think a lot of people, when they first see me, they don't realize how independent I am and how capable I am of doing everything that I do," Linda said. "And I always say because I've been without arms my entire life."

In addition to being a mother and wife, Linda is also a kindergarten teacher.

"People think that it's such an easy job to teach kindergarten," Linda said. "They're so little, but there's so much to do for them, tying their shoes, zipping their coats. Teaching them how to hold a pencil, which I always think is funny because I'm trying to figure out how to show them how to hold their pencil with their hands using my feet."

Using their feet to complete different tasks came natural for mother and son.

At one time Linda wore prosthetics.

"When I wore prosthetics I had to figure out a way to move my arm outta the way so I could use my legs," said Linda.

Linda and Timmy have a genetic condition called Holt-Oram syndrome.

'It pretty much said that it's a 50/50 chance that any children that I have will also be born without arms," Linda said.

Her husband Richard says people something pity him for having a child and wife without arms.

"I think a lot of people judge other people based on appearance without giving them the chance to prove what they can and cannot do," Richard said.

People born with this genetic condition also have heart issues.

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