-Sophie Walker suffers from a genetic disorder known as Neurofibromatosis
-This incurable condition results in tumors to growing along a person's nerves
-Growing up constantly bullied, Sophie now has the last laugh as she is currently happily dating and in love
Twenty-two year old Sophie Walker spent her life being constantly ridiculed. Growing up, she was always the odd one out, often bullied in school, and called “tumor girl” by her peers.
Sophia insists she's really just like any other girl her age - besides the fact that she was born with Neurofibromatosis, which causes benign tumors to develop on her nerves.
KAMI came across this awe-inspiring story from the Daily Mail UK.
Neurofibromatosis is the name for a number of genetic conditions that cause swellings or lumps. Despite their alarming appearance, the growths and swellings - called neurofibromas and caused by a growth of cells - are not cancerous or contagious.
The agriculture student from Harper Adams University inherited her condition from her mother Helen, who also has Neurofibromatosis Type I.
'My mum has soft little lumps all over her body, whilst (brother) Oli has cafe au lait spots, which are small brown patches.'
'I have a much rarer form. My facial tumour is a benign tumour, which has grown steadily since birth.’
'People always asked why I couldn't just get it removed, but because it is attached to nerve endings, completely removing it would actually paralyse my face.'
Receiving heartless comments for nearly two decades, Sophie admits her self-esteem is at its lowest. Men would take selfies with her only to post on their social media accounts for others to laugh at.
Sophie met-up with Christian Dibden, a high school classmate and friend, and the two exchanged pleasantries over dinner. They instantly hit it off, and the connection was rather strong even after years of not seeing each other.
'We were supposed to be catching up as friends, but there was a lot of flirting and I realised I felt something more.'
'Then the next time we met up, we shared our first kiss. At the time, I really liked him, but was cautious of revealing my feelings as I'd been badly hurt in the past.'
She feared she'd never have a relationship, but is now dating Christian. The young pair have been steadily dating for nearly six months and spend every weekend together.
Twenty-two-year-old Christian wasn't like the other guys. He wasn't ashamed of being seen with Sophie. The two of them started dating last September. Sophie felt her self-confidence coming back, and she could see a bright, happy future ahead of her.
She will have to undergo several painful operations in the future, but for now she is focusing on her new relationship and degree.
“I've finally found someone who makes me feel beautiful and loves me for who I am.”
KAMI embraces uniqueness in every way. It is not easy living with benign, yet incurable disorders, as people struggle to live with the symptoms and the stigma that come with it -- the least we can do is to try to give these people a fair chance at life, making them feel they are not alone, and that they are no different than the rest of us.
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