Sudbury

Jessica Gray, a Sudbury woman with different-sized feet, has met her shoe match

A Sudbury woman with two different-sized feet has met her “foot twin” in Calgary, following an interview on CBC News.

Sudbury woman meets Calgary shoe twin after telling her story to CBC

Jessica Gray has spina bifidia, a condition which has caused her left foot to stop growing when she was 9 years old. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

A Sudbury woman with two different-sized feet has met her foot twin in Calgary, following an interview on CBC Radio this week.

Jessica Gray was born with spina bifida, and her left foot stopped growing around Grade 7.

For years, Gray has been frustrated at having to purchase two sets of shoes, one size 7 and one size 9.  She even put together a Facebook Group called Flip Flop Feet, hoping to connect with others who have similar issues.

A few people signed up for the group, but after being profiled on CBC's Morning North in Sudbury, her story went viral.

Calgary's Genene Maynard has one size 7 foot and one size 9. She recently found her foot twin in Sudbury, Ont. (Tricia Lo/CBC)

Gray's story caught the attention of Calgary's Genene Myanard, who was born with cerebral palsy. Her right foot stopped growing when she was in Grade 7. She now wears one size 7 and one size 9. 

Maynard contacted friends, who put her in touch with CBC's Eyeopener.  Gray and Maynard met— first via email and then via live interview— and found they have mirror-image feet. 

Gray said hearing of someone with similar sizing was "music to my ears."

"I'm so excited to be able to talk to someone with not only the same issue, but the exact same issue," Gray said. 

Genene Maynard, like her shoe twin in Sudbury, has decorated feet. (Tricia Lo/CBC)
Gray also has tattoos on her feet, a lion on her right foot, and on her left a quote that reads 'the most massive characters are seared with scars.' (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Maynard said finding her shoe twin comes as a relief.

"I've always begged managers for discounts, saying 'listen, here's what I need, can you help?'"

Maynard added she is looking forward to seeing what styles Gray has collected.

"I'm a mom, so I'm all Birkenstock sandals and a lot of running shoes. I have definitely been told I have mom style," she said.

Gray said her own style, which she describes as "diverse," is compatible with her shoe twin, and she has a bag of shoes waiting to send to Calgary. 

"Currently, I have a pair of basic black Birkenstocks waiting to go to Genene, some different running shoes, but I'll often find the trendier pairs...to keep the trends up to date."

Since the story, Gray said she has been in contact with other people who have similar challenges. 

"I've seen comments online from diverse backgrounds. Men, women children, who say they've got the exact same issue," Gray said. 

"It's opening up a huge conversation, ...not everyone is symmetrical."

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