Neurofibromatosis is something I've lived with my whole life. While people may have teased or stared at me, it's because they don't know [about NF]. I wish I knew more about NF as a kid, so I could have educated people. Now, knowing there is a whole community of others out there, just like me, makes me want to share my story.
As much as I enjoyed summer as a child, I dreaded going to the beach, to the pool, playing "shirts" vs "skins," I was so self-conscious about my body, mainly because I had a fairly large neurofibroma on my back. I would often wear shirts at the pool, in the ocean, or not take part in sporting events if I had to take off my shirt.
It was tough, kids didn't understand it, hell I didn't understand it fully. Though I went to doctors and knew what it was, it was hard to vocalize. Plus kids can be mean. Finally, after I had my neurofibroma removed, I felt comfortable in my body, maybe too comfortable. I wish I could be more positive, but it was tough.
Growing up, I had a lot of dreams, as most kids do. While my dreams of being a millionaire athlete and celebrity never came true, I still like to think younger me would be proud of where I am in life.
Dan Price, 34 years old, lives with neurofibromatosis type 1. He is a Creative Director and resides in New York, NY.