My name is Ben Popp, I’m 24 years old and from Sugar Grove, IL. Being born with Poland Syndrome, I felt later on in my life I realized that PS would be my success blueprint. Though my Poland Syndrome isn’t as severe as most, I still have noticeable differences; especially on my left side. Up to recently, I always concealed my Poland syndrome out of fear of what people might think. But, I finally realized that being myself and accepting myself is what is truly important. It sounds cheesy, but I decided wait a minute.. If certain people cant accept me, the heck with them! I feel raising awareness of PS is necessary; seeing as to why people are affected and perhaps further scientific explanations can surface later on the more other affected persons come forward. But I never allowed my PS to get into the way of my goals and accomplishments.
I authored multiple books on Amazon.com , currently launching two apps for the appstore, perform celebrity impressions at open mics with hopes Saturday Night Live will take interest and currently am aspiring to be a model. It’s sad in a way because I have sent multiple sample shots to Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Hanes, GQ and other celebrities who have modeled in the past etc but no bites so far.. I still give these companies and others out there the benefit of the doubt, but all in all I plan to change that mindset of only taking on perfect human beings. Personally, other than my affected PS difference, I believe I have what it takes; so I will and must persist to be the first Poland Syndrome male model.
My advice to others with Poland Syndrome is to be true to yourself. Avoid cosmetic surgery just to blend in with the masses. Unless you’re PS is painful and prevents you from daily activities; by all means go through with it. Poland Syndrome is so rare that you should look at it as a gift, and not a drawback. It is what separates you from the masses. I say to you, how boring would life be if we all were perfect? Hopefully after taking in what I had to say, you’ll learn to accept your Poland Syndrome, dare to take entrepreneurial risks, trust yourself and don’t listen to the naysayers.