Hermaphrodite Education and Listening Post

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Not currently active. It was active between 1997, perhaps until 2007 - date of the last archived copy of the website.

Hermaphrodite Education and Listening Post - HELP - was a support group for parents, family, friends and persons affected by Sex Differentiation Disorders. It was a source of medical information, literature and personal experiences. The goal was to connect persons affected by these disorders, to educate the public and medical profession, and to offer emotional support and understanding to those facing the decisions involved with these disorders.

HELP was founded by Helena Smith of Jacksonville, a mother frustrated with the isolation and lack of information available about intersex conditions. Concerned for the future for her son she decided to collect all medical information, literature and resources. Not content just to better her son's life she decided to search out other family's, friends and person's affected by these disorders. Wanting to share experiences and resources, reach out and help those facing decisions in their lives that no one ever expected to have to make. Wanting to give all information available to parents and help them escape the isolation she founded HELP in 1997.

Patrick

Mrs. Smith's own child, Patrick, had been admitted to Baptist Wolfson Hospital in Jacksonville to have a single undescended testicle removed. While the infant was there, the attending pediatric urologist asked to test the remaining gonad for cancer.

But, according to the Ms. Smith, the doctor instead tested the gonad to ascertain if it was an ovo-teste - an organ containing both ovarian and testicular tissue. When he found that it was, he cut it off without her authorization or consent.

When she confronted the doctor, he told her the organ was malignant and had to be removed. However after months of struggling with the hospital and the doctor, Mrs. Smith finally obtained the pathology report on her child which confirmed what she had suspected all along: there was nothing wrong with her healthy child except that it was intersexed.

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