Even though I have been lucky with having a minor case of NF, it has impacted my life. Being that girl who has "spots" all over her body and thinking she's "different" is not something a 6 year old should think about at all. Going to camp every year, I would hide my stomach every time I would get out of the pool so I would not get questioned. I would get questioned quite often and it was to the point where I was getting upset over it. I remember one year I met a guy who continually asked me about what I had. Thinking he would be mature about it, I told him. Instead of being mature, he wasn't. He bullied me. He called me names over text and he laughed at me for days. Sometimes, I would cry myself to sleep thinking I would never get a boyfriend that would understand me. I would cry because I was different.
As I grew up, I had to realize that I wasn't different. I may have NF1 but it doesn't mean I can't go for my dreams. I have only had one neurofibroma in my 18 years of life. I am very fortunate to be in this position. Getting older, I have realized that I could get more neurofibromas in the future but I am not going to let that stand in the way.
My parents have been the most supportive out of my 18 years of having NF. They have supported me through it all giving me advice when I'm feeling down, or just in general telling me that I'm beautiful. I have made a couple of NF friends over Instagram that I am very grateful for. They are the ones who know the struggle. I am very self-conscious of my body because of all the cafe-au lait spots on my stomach, but every year I try to not let that put me down in any way. Since the age of 15, I have gone to support myself and all the other NF fighters at the NF Walk. With the help of my friends supporting me, it motivates me to keep on going.
Along with my friends, my dog has also been a huge supporter. She has been coming to the NF Walks for two years now and she is one to keep me moving and keep me smiling no matter what. When I have an off day, the one thing I say to myself is, ‘It'll be ok.’ Having NF has made me realize that no matter what, I am me and I'm proud of being me.
Living with NF sure has made me feel sad in the past, it does now still but no matter what, I have kept strong and I continue to be strong for the rest of my life. My friends and family don't let my NF stand in the way of doing anything fun. We enjoy our lives and that's what makes me smile! Shopping also makes me happy. After working 20+ hours, it's worth it to go on a little shopping spree! I am very excited going into my second semester of college and I really do look forward to meeting new friends and raising my GPA even higher!
Favorite motto If you don't get the perfect ending today, it'll come some day. Don't give up.
Favorite Food Chicken parm and fries