Mom of baby with giant facial birthmark hits back at trolls for cruel comments
A woman whose baby was born with a black birthmark on her face has responded to cruel bullies who have dubbed her child a "monster".
Carol Fenner and her partner Thiago Tavares were disturbed when their four-month-old daughter Luna Fenner was born an ink-spot-shaped birthmark on her face, due to a rare genetic condition known as giant congenital melanocytic nevus (GCMN), which affects just one in 20,000 newborns worldwide.
Despite the fact that their child has been subject to trolling on social media, Carol and Thiago are adamant that their child is beautiful in her own way. They've even set up an Instagram page to help raise awareness, and now Carol's 70,000 followers have dubbed Luna a "little butterfly."
When baby Luna was born back in March, doctors were concerned by the child's strange birthmark, with some even wondering if it was a symptom of a far more serious dermatological malady. Staff at the hospital where Luna was delivered performed a number of medical examinations on her. Luna was subjected to an MRI scan on her neck, face, and brain when she was just six days old.
Thankfully, three days later, the results of the scans confirmed that the mark wasn't cancerous. A visiting dermatologist then diagnosed little Luna with GCMN - a phenomenon caused genetic changes which occur while the baby is in the womb, which has a two percent chance of developing into a malignant melanoma over the newborn’s lifetime.
However, the mark isn't completely harmless. It will grow proportionally as she gets older, sprouts hairs, and can get very itchy: which means it needs to be moisturised regularly. Carol Fenner and Thiago have considered fixing the mark with cosmetics, but Luna could require five or six surgeries over the next three years, and the ops could cost $500,000 (£400,000).
Commenting on Luna's condition in a recent interview, and discussing the abuse she receives, Carol stated:
"We get some horrible comments. The worst we had was a man who said, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if we killed her than lived so close to a monster like Luna?’ I think people are shocked when they see her, and I would be too, but I just want people to think about their reaction."
She added: "I’m so worried about her getting bullied and what it would do to her self-esteem. We receive hundreds of messages a day through our Instagram. About 80 percent of those are from people saying that they have the same condition and have suffered from years of bullying. I don’t want my daughter to have to go through that."
"When we go out, people will stare and point, or bring people over to look at her. It’s so horrible. In the past, we’ve been asked if she is contagious, and strangers have even called her disgusting. I just can’t face Luna having to deal with that kind of thing at school ... I want to show Luna that a lot of people were sending her good vibes, and to show other people difference and what beauty looks like. To us, Luna will always be beautiful and we tell her all the time."
Carol continued: "She is such a calm baby, she never cries and she’s really happy. She smiles all the time. She is like any other baby but we do need to avoid the sun. It’s really important to protect the mark using lots of sun-block and avoiding being directly in the sun. We’re in this situation now where we really don’t know if we’re going to get the surgery."
Carol and Thiago are currently fundraising for Luna's surgery. If you'd like to help her out, then please consider making a donation to their GoFundMe page.