Me at 3 with my brother Andrew, 2 years old.

Letter from Kristina expressed by her Mother, Dawn Hahn.

Hi!  My name is Kristina Faith Hahn and I live in Humboldt, South Dakota.  I was born on November 20, 1985, at just 5 pounds 9 ounces. The doctor noticed right away that I had broad thumbs and great toes and my right thumb was angulated.  My mom and dad noticed my beautiful long black hair that went down to the middle of my back.  I had my first haircut in the hospital when I was just two days old! My left leg was severely twisted as well and I got my first cast when I was four days old and have had many, many more since then.

I saw the geneticist when I was six weeks old and she told my parents that I had Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.  My mom and dad had a hard time believing that at first, but after a lot of reading on RTS and time watching me grow, they understood that the geneticist was correct.  I had a lot of problems my first year with feeding difficulties, vomiting, pneumonias and other respiratory illnesses, sinus infections, ear infections, tear duct difficulties, and all the cast changes to my leg.  I spent a lot of time in hospitals and clinics the first few years of my life.  My mom said I had a contagious smile and laugh that made all the nurses and other patients feel better.

I have had a lot of surgeries and will tell you about some of them without getting into any gory details: right thumb correction, craniotomy with removal of benign occipital hamartoma, tear duct probings with silicone tube placement, tubes in my ears, left hamstring release, left knee surgery, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, surgery on left foot, and tethered spinal cord surgery.  Of course, that doesn't include a broken foot, dislocated kneecaps, and dislocated elbow.  None of these things really bothered me very much.  I guess I have a high tolerance to pain.  Most of my medical care is done at Shriner's Hospital in Minneapolis.  I have spent a lot of time in a van with my books and headphones!

I have a brother named Andrew.  He is just 13 months younger than me, and he nicknamed me 'Nina' and that seemed to stick.  That's OK with me, though, because I like that name.  One of my strengths is that I have good verbal abilities.  I didn't talk much until I was about 5, and now I rarely stop talking!  I talk a lot when I am in bed getting ready to go to sleep.  I talk nonstop about things that happened during the day and things that I heard.  Sometimes my mom and dad have to tell me to be quiet and go to sleep. 

I am in the 8th grade and attend West Central Middle School.  I am in a special education classroom most of the time but join my classmates for music, PE, art, lunch, and other activities.  This year I am learning about money, how to tell time, and what certain signs mean (like caution, stop, enter, exit, etc).  My teacher calls me the class 'clown' because I like to tell knock-knock jokes and try to make people laugh.  I love to give hugs!  I do have some hearing loss and wear hearing aids in both ears, which help me at school.

I love to watch movies, especially VeggieTales!! I have 12 VeggieTale movies so far! I like to watch movies over and over and over.  Then I can say out loud what will be coming up before it comes.  I know that drives my family crazy, but I think it is fun.  I like to listen to my books on tapes and 'read' along in the book.  I also collect Barbie dolls.  I have a big dollhouse and at least a dozen Barbie's that I play with along with their cars and other equipment.  I keep my bedroom neat and tidy but love to mess up my brother's room!  We live right across from a park which is so nice for me because I love to swing.  Of course, my most favorite thing to do is go to my grandma Darlene's house!

If you want to know more about me, you can email my mom at  She loves to brag about me!     

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A picture of me when I was 18 months old.

8th grade picture, 15 years old.