Anorak News | When The Sideshow Bearded Lady Met Her Missing Son

When The Sideshow Bearded Lady Met Her Missing Son

by | 26th, September 2010

RICHARD Lorenc tracked down his real mother – he’d been adopted. He discovered her to be Vivian Wheeler, a bearded woman living in Bakersfield, California.

That’s her in the sideshow.

The Story

Lorenc, a 33-year-old father of two living in Kansas wanted to find out more of his medical history. And six weeks after starting a search he met Vivian Wheeler, 62.

Lorenc learnt that his maternal mother and grandmother had hypertrichosis, commonly known as werewolf syndrome. Mrs Wheeler was born with facial hair. Also, Mrs Wheeler was mother was born a hermaphrodite. Her mother chose of her to be a daughter.

Dad put her in the sideshow. She shaved between shows:

“My dad said to shave because people wouldn’t understand why I had facial hair, saying, ‘This is what you’ll have to do to fit into society.'”

She no longer shaves. Her beard is 11 inches long.

The Search

To track her down Lorenc did some research. He knew her name and looked her up on the internet. He made contacts with the sideshow community. He got talking with George “The Giant” McArthur, who at 7 feet 3 inches is “the world’s tallest sword swallower”.

The Abandoned Child

Lorenc was taken by his father, Richard William Chambers Senior, who worked at the same sideshow as Wheeler. Say Lorenc.

I was found in a motel in Atlanta, that’s all I knew of my life. I think I was maybe 3.”

He moved into an orphanage before his father regained custody of him and headed to Kansas. Teachers noticed abuse marks on his body, and young Richard was placed in foster care. At 7, he was adopted and became Richard Kevin Ryan. When he married, he took his wife’s surname, Lorenc.

The Reunion

In June 2010, Lorenc met his mother. Says he:

“She was not given opportunities we take for granted. She wasn’t given an education or a healthy environment, and it shows. I feel for her, and I want her to know that there’s a place for her here near us where we can give her the things she was never given…

“My whole life growing up, I thought my mom was Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane, but that was just my fantasy. This is kind of better.”

“Whatever happens, I want to be there with her. It’s a great adventure. It’s an unbelievable story, and I just want to be there for the ride with her and spend time with her…”

Humanity wins… in the end…

Posted: 26th, September 2010 | In: Strange But True Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink