This photo gallery shows pictures of people with CMN. If you have a picture that shows other people the beauty of CMN and you wish to share it, please contact Naevus Global.
Having a child with a condition that is one in a half-million is pretty rare. Having a child with a giant brown birthmark and dots all over his body is even more so. I’ve sometimes wondered how he’ll feel when the questions start getting directed to him, but my reply as of now is simply “he’s a chocolate chip cookie”. When I found out about a Doll Like Me I was over the moon with happiness. Finally, someone who looks like him and can be his buddy in a world that can often be cruel. However, much to my dismay, as a single parent of 3 medically fragile kids, I simply could not afford one and was heartbroken. A few months later I was contacted by Amy, who had found a sponsor for Keagan’s doll. When Keagan’s buddy “chip” (for chocolate chip) arrived, I was stunned at how much it matched him; wow! Keagan loved him from the start and Chip has been to every procedure and surgery with us. He’s also become a great source of smiles and wonderful teaching too for children, adults, and those in the medical field. I’m thrilled beyond measure and eternally grateful for this wonderful organization that puts smiles in the hearts of kids who need it.
What if we win the war in the mirror?
We are so incredibly unique and diverse that the best idea we had is to force us to look like others and to have what the other has. Then the mirror – and what we see in him – becomes our worst enemy, we are our own enemies. The key is to win the war in the mirror, understand that we are a unique creation and we can’t walk each other’s way, nor have what the other has, nor can we see each other as the other looks and what we see in the mirror is like I always say: a masterpiece. Of course, we can always be better, but we are already better the day we decided to walk our way, treasure our struggles and achievements, without yearning for the other. On the contrary, helping each other, learning and fighting not for being better than the other, but for achieving the purpose for which we were made.
The Mirror was my enemy for many years and I don’t deny it, sometimes it still is, but my goal is to win war one day at a time.
Photography: Nicolas Correa Laguna
I would like to tell you about how I actually physically feel and give you some more information about birthmarks. To start with the hair. They are a very big and annoying topic for anyone who has many CMN, especially a giant one. My back is actually fluffy. I can’t do anything about it, and even more annoyingly, the hairs on the birthmarks all over my body are thicker and denser than around the normal skin. I can’t wax or shave them, I could only cut them! For those who are interested: I do wax around the birthmark and that is my own personal risk. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to follow my example. Next, the itching is so bad that it just drives me crazy! Sometimes I literally want to scratch my skin off, waking up at night because I can’t control myself. Scratching causes the birthmark to swell and forces me to get up and put a cold compress on it. There is no solution besides growing up and learning how to control myself. It’s a part of our “difference” and we should learn to live with this. Then there is the risk of melanoma. Skin cancer. Anyone could develop skin cancer because of one birthmark. But we have hundreds of them!
I get a lot of questions like how I learned to love myself, how I’m not afraid to show myself, or why didn’t I have surgery. When I was already 8 years old my mother searched for possibilities of operations. More than 12 operations would be needed for my back, something we were not finance. However, I’m not upset about it. I have accepted myself the way I am. What would you do in a situation where you cannot influence or change it in any way? It was not my choice or desire to be born with CMN. But I have a choice how to react to it and how to live my life: in fear, hiding and feeling sorry for myself, or living and enjoying life, loving my body, travels, enjoying the sun, etc. I believe in karma and this is my lesson in this life. If you are unsure of yourself and do not like yourself, then others feel it and then they start to scoff at you. Love yourself, take care of yourself. Smile and the world will smile back to you!