Growing up I experienced first-hand the trials and self-esteem issues associated with bullying I received because of my visible scars. Healing phycially was the easy part, learning how to heal from the emotional scars left by bullying, was the hard part.
I had my first stitches, resulting in a scar, at age 4. It was above my lip and I wouldn’t smile for pictures and was embarrassed going to preschool. When I was 6, I had my first surgical procedure to remove a lipoma growth in my thigh, leaving me with a 9” scar. Then later opting for a revision surgery to minimize the site, hoping to make it disappear. At the age of 11, I had surgery to remove a large birth mark on my lower back as a preventative measure which left me with a large 5 inch scar.
Enduring another surgery and healing with yet another large scar was one of the worst experiences for my budding self-esteem. The stigmas and bullying I had to overcome have made me a stronger person. We all have a story, and no matter if your scar is big or if it is small, it is a part of what makes you unique! I have continued to require surgery due to recurring tumors. While I hope for the day that I will no longer need surgery, I choose to embrace each scar that comes my way.
It is my hope that Shining S.C.A.R.S will help other children and teens heal both inside and out from their visible scars. I hope you will join me in my quest to encourage and embrace our imperfections.