One Hand Wonder: A Podcast About Celebrating Differences

By Katie Moloney, UConn Journalism
Decem­ber 14, 2019

Every­one is dif­fer­ent. Every­one has things about them that make them unique and see the world dif­fer­ent­ly. My dif­fer­ence is a lit­tle more obvi­ous. I was born with­out my left hand. To this day, doc­tors still aren’t quite sure why. Grow­ing up, I was very self-con­scious about my hand. I wore long sleeves often and I was so afraid of what oth­er peo­ple would think of me. Now, that could­n’t be far­ther from the truth.

This is a pho­to of me after play­ing in the UConn Pep Band for the wom­en’s bas­ket­ball team.

I am con­fi­dent in who I am and I think it is impor­tant to spread aware­ness about dif­fer­ences and dis­abil­i­ties. It is impor­tant for peo­ple to under­stand that every­one with a limb dif­fer­ence is dif­fer­ent and car­ries them­selves dif­fer­ent­ly. I pre­fer peo­ple to ask hon­est ques­tions and want peo­ple to under­stand how I do things. I tend to joke about my hand often and encour­age peo­ple laugh­ing along with me. My dif­fer­ence does not define who I am, but it is def­i­nite­ly an impor­tant part of who I am.

About 1 in every 1,900 babies are born with a limb dif­fer­ence in the Unit­ed States, accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol. There are many dif­fer­ent types of con­gen­i­tal limb dif­fer­ences, which are limb dif­fer­ences that some­one is born with. While chil­dren with limb dif­fer­ences have chal­lenges they over­come on a dai­ly basis, a study by Boston Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal has shown that chil­dren with limb dif­fer­ences tend to have very pos­i­tive emo­tion­al health.

Nicole Kel­ly, a dis­abil­i­ty speak­er and advo­cate. (Pho­to from

This episode of the pod­cast fea­tures Nicole Kel­ly, for­mer Miss Iowa and dis­abil­i­ty speak­er and advo­cate. She has spo­ken at schools and events all over the coun­try to spread aware­ness about dis­abil­i­ties. In this episode, Nicole and I talk about how she got to where she is today and how we should talk about dis­abil­i­ties. Check out Nicole’s pod­cast with her friend Sarah Tuber­ty called Dis­arm­ing Dis­abil­i­ty.

Nicole and I met at the Help­ing Hands Foun­da­tion win­ter out­ing when she spoke at it a few years back. Help­ing Hands is a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that aims to con­nect fam­i­lies with chil­dren with upper limb differences.

In this episode of the pod­cast I also talk to my mom, Sue, about how she found out I was going to have a limb dif­fer­ence. My par­ents found the Help­ing Hands Foun­da­tion very short­ly after I was born and I attend­ed my first out­ing as a baby. I have been going to the win­ter and sum­mer out­ings ever since and this group has been a won­der­ful sup­port sys­tem for my fam­i­ly and I.

TOP PHOTO: A group pho­to of some of the peo­ple with limb dif­fer­ences at a Help­ing Hands Win­ter Out­ing (Pho­to from the Help­ing Hands Face­book group).