We can all recall being bullied or teased at some point in our lives; kids can be cruel and seem to capitalize on the the smallest things when it comes to torment. For people like Libby Huffer, however, bullying isn’t confined to childhood alone; she knows what it’s like to be mocked constantly.
The 45-year-old mom has been battling a condition which means her body is covered in thousands of non-cancerous tumors at any one time. There was a point when she had 6,000 tumors on her body, and was in so much pain her daughter couldn’t even hug her.
Libby suffers from a genetic neurological disorder known as neurofibromatosis. Having thousands of these tumors on her body made her childhood extremely difficult.
“I have been bullied and victimized my whole life because of the bumps all over my skin, they cover me from head to toe,” she told Caters News.
“In school kids would pick on me all the time, they called me lizard breath and toad. I had to change my name from Elizabeth to Libby, because whenever I heard my name it reminded me of being called lizard breath.”
“I am a human being too, all I want is to be adored and cared for like anyone else,” she said. “Instead of making comments, I wish people would talk to me rather than stare like I’m a circus freak, it just makes me feel really uncomfortable.
“I’m not contagious I have a neurological genetic disorder that cause tumors to form on the both inside and outside of the body wherever there are nerves present.”
The photographer, from Fort Wayne in Indiana, posted pictures of herself to highlight her condition online and through “The Doctors“ TV show she was offered treatment to reduce the appearance of her bumps.
She had two rounds of surgery to kill off 1,000 bumps on her face and the tissues that cause the growths. She then had a CO2 laser surgery to reduce scarring.
After the surgery, she noticed a “huge difference” in her appearance. She went on to surprise her daughter on The Doctors show, with the 23-year-old left in such a state of shock by her mom’s new beautiful appearance that she cried with joy.
To raise awareness and provide support to those suffering from the condition, Libby has created a Facebook page “Faces of Neurofibromatosis”, and now has more than 6,000 members from all over the world.
Watch the miracle surgery being performed below:
It’s so sad that our society had to make this wonderful soul feel like she didn’t belong simply because of what’s on the outside. Please share this story so we can raise awareness of treating others with compassion, no matter their appearance.