By all accounts, Chloe Jennings-White looks like a relatively healthy and normal person based on her appearance. A research scientist with a Ph.D. in chemistry and multiple degrees from Cambridge and Stanford, Jennings-White, 63, seems to live a normal life in West Bountiful, Utah, where she spends time hiking and exploring nature with her husband. However, looks can be deceiving.
Although she has full use of the lower half of her body, Jennings-White wants to undergo surgery that would take away her ability to ski, hike, and even walk simply because she identifies as "transabled," meaning she identifies as a disabled person.
But why? Why would someone willingly demobilize themselves? About that...
Jennings-White suffers from body integrity identity disorder (BIID), which, according to the Public Library of Science, is a condition in which there is a mismatch between the mental body image and the physical body. Those suffering from the disorder have a desire to amputate a limb or sever the spinal cord in order to become paralyzed, which is something Chloe-Jennings first announced she wanted to do back in 2013.
In an interview with ABC4.com (via Huffington Post), Jennings-White said that she has suffered from BIID ever since she was a child when she became jealous of disabled children who required the assistance of wheelchairs and braces to get around.
"When I'm in the wheelchair I'm not even thinking about the wheelchair. It's just normal for me, but anytime I'm walking it's always in my mind, sometimes dominating my mind, that this is not the way it's supposed to be," Jennings-White told ABC4.com.
Throughout most of her life, Jennings-White has taken extreme steps in order to feel like a paraplegic, including aggressively skiing down the toughest slopes and even riding a bicycle off of a stage when she was 9-years-old.
"Doing any activity that brings a chance of me becoming paraplegic gives me a sense of relief from the anxiety caused by the BIID," she told Huffington Post.
But neither of those compare to what Jennings-White has been planning for over the past decade. In 2013, Jennings-White announced that she had found a doctor overseas who could perform a revolutionary $25,000 procedure that would sever several nerves in her lower body that would prevent her from ever walking again.
"I'll never be able to afford it, but I know I won't regret it if I ever can, and I don't know why it upsets people," Jennings-White told News.com.au (via Huffington Post) "It's the same as a transsexual man having his penis cut off. It's never coming back, but they know it's what they want."
It's unknown whether or not Jennings-White was ever able to scrounge up enough money to undergo the risky procedure, as there are no new mentions of the "transabled" person since 2014.
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