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Stories of NF: Kaetlynn N

I was diagnosed at birth with NF1. My mom has it, her dad has it, and his mom had it. NF is in my family bloodline. I am not certain how far back it goes!

When I was younger, living with NF was a challenge emotionally. I was bullied in junior high. People would call me a “giraffe” because of all of my birthmarks I had. I would also overhear comments made at the pool from kids or adults asking why I had “so many spots.” I have had two surgeries due to my NF. I had a tumor the size of a large apple removed from the sciatic nerve in my leg. I also had two tumors removed from my mouth, inside my jaw.

Woman smiling outdoors at sunset.

NF does not, and will not, impact my future. NF is a blessing in disguise. I have met SO many people who have NF. I met most at Camp K in Utah. I have run into random people at the grocery store who have it! I have met people online through social platforms. It is not a lonely disease, yet it is complex at the same time. Everyone deals with it differently, and is affected differently. But we all share that same struggle of being “born different.” NF is an amazing, sad, beautiful, scary, and rewarding journey…and my journey isn’t over yet.

I work as a special needs paraprofessional at a junior high! It is a rewarding job, and being born “different,” it feels good to connect and build bonds with kids who have special needs. It is important for them to know that we are alike in a way, and they are not alone in being “different.”

Favorite Song
Thinkin’ Bout Me by Morgan Wallen

Dream Superpower
I would want to have the super power of time traveling so I can go back in the future and see major events in history unfold

Favorite Food
Anything spicy, especially Mexican food

Fun Fact
I have named all of my tumors I have had removed. Jack and Jill are the jaw tumors, and Tammy the leg tumor! Haha. It helps make the situations of tumors less stressful for me, and brings a little light to an unfortunate place.