Lexington elementary teacher, two of her students share something unique in common

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington elementary school teacher recently realized that she and two of her students have something in common.

Raising your hand is a must in Kaye Cambron’s third grade class. There’s something unique on some of the little hands.

Izaac Kihoza and Sharmante Ndegeya were born with extra digits, two extra pinky fingers to be exact, one on each hand. Izaac had them removed as a baby. Sharmante’s extra right pinky was removed but the left one is still intact.

Sometimes, when other kids see something different the teasing kicks in.

“I once thought everybody had it,” Sharmante said. “People started saying that I’m weird and I realized that I’m different because I have an extra finger.”

Polydactylism is when you have extra digits. It occurs in one out of 1,000 births.

Cambron can relate she was born with the same condition, with both extra fingers removed at birth.

“So, they were on both of my pinkys, they grew off to the side of both of them,” Cambron said.

Cambron remembers being teased in third grade as well for her extra digits.

“It would make me feel bad and not great about myself,” Cambron said.

It’s rare that a teacher and her students would share this same life experience, but, for these kids, their differences became more uplifting when Cambron heard that JJ Weaver, a linebacker on the UK football team, has the same condition.

Cambron invited Weaver to speak to the class earlier this week. Showing everyone his right hand with a fully developed sixth finger.

“She [Sharmante] saw him and said JJ’s finger was cooler than her’s right,” Cambron said.

A life lesson for these kids and all of us to not hide what makes you different.

“I learned that everybody is unique and special in their own way,” said Sharmante.

Sharmante says she does not plan on removing her extra finger and says she doesn’t even notice it there.

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