Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Amazing facts-Man finds unusual mother after 33 years

Long-lost son finds out, after 33 years apart, his mother is a bearded hermaphrodite who used to be a hit at the circus...thanks to George the Giant

For a 33-year-old man who was looking for his biological mother, it was the last thing he expected to find. Following a series of back problems Kansas-based Richard Lorenc decided to find out more about his family tree. And six weeks after asking the authorities in Kansas, he had his answer: His mother was a 62-year-old bearded hermaphrodite who performed at circuses.

Vivian Wheeler and Richard's maternal grandmother, he was informed, both suffered from hypertrichosis, or werewolf syndrome - meaning they had facial hair, even as children.

This intrigued Richard, and he was determined to find out more - and meet his long-lost mother.
And, having searched on the Internet, discovered pictures of a woman with the same name working at sideshows and circuses.
'I knew it was her as soon as I saw the picture online,' he said. 'We have a resemblance.'

He had no way to contact her, though, and he pestered a number of people who knew her in the trade, including George 'The Giant' McArthur, who at 7ft 3ins is the world's tallest sword-swallower.

Only a few weeks later Vivian happened to attend an event George was performing in, and the giant was able to tell her about her boy wanting to contact her.
A Seventh-Day Adventist, she was overjoyed and thought it a miracle.

'The Holy Spirit told me to go,' she said. 'He told me George had something to tell me that was very important. 'I hollered at him from behind, and he turned around and told me my son was looking for me. I told God I wanted to know if I had grandchildren and if my son was alive. Then, like snapping your fingers, his wife called me.'


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They met for three days in Bakersfield, California, in June and now wheelchair-bound Vivian told her son about her life.

As she was born with both male and female reproductive organs, her mother, who wanted a girl, instructed the doctors to remove the masculine parts.
Her father, however, was humiliated by his hairy daughter and made her work at sideshows from an early age, forcing her to send back money she earned.
When she embarked on relationships with men, she would often shave back her fluff so as not to embarrass - or undermine - them.

'Without my beard, I'm not me. I'm pretending to be someone I'm not.'

Meanwhile Richard moved into an orphanage before his father, Richard James Chambers Snr. regained custody of him and took him to Kansas. When teachers at his school began to notice abuse marks on his body, he was moved to a foster home. Aged seven he was adopted and became Richard Kevin Ryan, and when he married, he took his wife's surname, Lorenc.
'I am lucky,' he said. 'Having this life story attached to it, it's cool. It's something I would've never imagined in a million years.

'But for this story to bring attention to Vivian is something else. It's a dream come true, I know, for her.

'Whatever happens, I want to be there with her. It's a great adventure. It's an unbelievable story, and I just want to be there for the ride with her and spend time with her.'

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