BYU student at 3-foot-9 lives a large life

Published: Friday, May 11 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

"Usually dwarfs tend not to be proportionate in their body. They may have larger heads … and shorter fingers," he said. At times it isn't immediately known whether dwarfism is present at birth.

"But they can live a full life," Viskochil said. "They have their challenges, of course, most of which are orthopedic, but they can go on to be very successful. Successful social adaptation plays an important role in their ultimate success and happiness."

Doctors noticed a difference in Morasco's bone growth during a sonogram before she was born. It was years before the family would know what type of dwarfism she had, as it was always thought the two girls had the same.

"We didn't treat them any different than our other kids," said Pam Morasco. "And knowing what we did about our genes, we wouldn't have not had children. That's just not what we believe."

And she said neither of the other two kids have been genetically tested because it wouldn't likely preclude them from having families as well.

Morasco's mother said she has always worried about her frail daughter, adding, "I just think the angels watch over her."

"It was a challenge to watch her go through all those surgeries, but she handled them so well," Pam Morasco said. "She remembers the dates and scars from each of them, but I tend to put them out of my head. She says those scars give her character."

As a mother, she only wants the best for her children. She wants others to see what she sees in them. 

"I will always look out for the underdog because I know what it feels like," Pam Morasco said.

And just as Morasco was the only little person on campus after her sister graduated a couple of years ago, she knows she'll face additional challenges in life, including possible difficulties with her joints and in pregnancy. She may never be able to bear children.

"We believe in the scripture that says she is going to have that perfect body someday, and she believes it, too," Pam Morasco said.

Growing up, Morasco developed an "I'm normal, I'm normal, I'm normal" attitude, and she feels that has made all the difference in her life so far.

"I'm a person. I'm just normal. Everybody is always understanding and they see I am special and that I'm also normal," she said. "I'm just like everybody else. I'm just mini-sized."

And she basks in the various rarities of her identity. For example, Morasco is able to shop in the girls' section at most stores. She picked up a new bathing suit for just $16 last month, well below what it would cost a full-grown woman. She has even found a few pairs of fancy, high-heeled shoes in a youth size 13.

The dainty-looking, brown-eyed gal is rarely ever reserved. She loves sports and scrambles to get a student pass for access to games before lining up her class schedule each semester. But she can call herself a "girly-girl."

"I'm not afraid to take somebody down if they mess with me, but I do love getting dressed up and being all girly," Morasco said. "I may be little, but I got some fire."

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com

Twitter: wendyleonards

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