Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teenager who was born with hundreds of birthmarks over her entire body embraces it

This is a story about courage and loving yourself no matter what. We should all be thankful for who we are at all times. A teenage girl who has been verbally abused for years by other children has revealed how she has come to love the hundreds of birthmarks covering her face and body.
Ciera Swaringen, 19, of Rockwell, North Carolina, was diagnosed with Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus after being born with the oversized mole-like marks.
They cover more than two-thirds of her body, with the largest one stretching from her navel to her lower thighs. 
Since she was a small child, she has had to endure cruel taunts from other children - and adults - but she has developed a positive attitude towards her rare skin condition, which affects around one in every 500,000 people.
'Teenage boys are usually the first ones to comment when they see me,' she said. 'They say things like, "You look like you're dirty, take a wash."
'But I'm so proud to be different and, at the end of the day, we all have something about us that's unusual, whether it's on the inside or the outside.
'Everyone is born to look different, and we should all feel beautiful in our own skin.' 
The shoe-store clerk, who recently graduated from high school, admitted she used to struggle to overcome the negative comments she received.
She said: 'One day I remember being on the school bus and hearing a young boy laugh at me and call me a spotty dog.
'That really knocked my confidence, I was only young and it made me feel different to the other kids, like something was wrong with me.
'Over time I've learnt to brush off negative comments and remember that most people stare and say cruel things because they're not used to seeing someone with my condition.
'People in my town don't bat an eye when they see me now, as they know me. But if I go somewhere new, it's not so easy.'
Ciera's body was dotted with dark brown birthmarks as a baby, which shocked medical staff at Stanley Memorial Hospital in Albermarle, North Carolina, where she was born - as well as her parents.
Her father David, 55, a self-employed construction worker, and her Mum Julie Swaringen, 41, a shoe shop supervisor, took baby Ciera to Carolinas Medical Centre in Charlotte, North Carolina, where her birthmarks were analysed.
Her parents were told that her birthmarks posed no health risk and she was taken home, where she lives with older sisters, Randi, 26, Hannah, 24, and Anna, 20.

Ciera's mother Julie said: 'There have been times when people's ignorance has gotten to her, with their comments or stares, but all and all she has stood strong.
'Ciera is a beautiful young lady with a great personality, and I couldn't be more proud of her - she is one of the strongest people I know.'
'I feel lucky to have grown up in a small town, because most of the people around me know about my birthmarks, so I felt quite normal,' she said.
'I remember when I started school my mom told me that my birthmarks were angel kisses - and that really stuck with me.
'And my dad is the first person to stand up to defend me if anyone says anything horrible to me'.
For Ciera, removing her birthmarks has never been option.
She has been told by doctors that operating is not possible, as there are too many - and the number will increase throughout her life.
'My birthmarks are constantly growing and I often get new ones, but I'm hoping that will slow down as I leave my teenage years behind,' she said.
With the high number of birthmarks on her body, she also has to take more care in the sun as she has higher chance of developing skin cancer.
'Suncream is like my best friend,' she said. 'I have to be extremely careful to make sure I'm protected on hot days. I use high-factor cream and don't spend too much time in the sun.
'I still wear shorts and T-shirts when it's warm, but I just have to make sure I'm being safe.'
Earlier this year, Ciera chose her skin condition as the subject for a high-school project.
Her research into Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus led her to discover online groups run by Nevus Outreach, an association that provides support for people affected by the skin condition.
'Discovering groups on Facebook has helped me realise that I'm not alone,' she said.
'I'm hoping I will be able to attend a Nevus Outreach conference, so I can meet other people with my condition.'

Mail Online

No comments:

Post a Comment

Always send your relationship issues to


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...