“I was born with Moebius Syndrome which is an extremely rare neurological disorder that affects my 6th and 7th cranial nerves. This basically means I have facial paralysis; my eyebrows don’t move, my eyes can’t track from left to right and my upper lip doesn’t move which means I can’t smile. Moebius syndrome is so rare that it only affects one individual in every 3 to 4 million.
The syndrome meant I was also born with bilateral talipes (club feet) which means I have little to no ankle movement and no calf muscles. When I was three and a half years old I was also diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and am currently an insulin pump and Dexcom G6 user!
At age 11, I had a major operation which lasted eight hours. Extremely invasive, it was supposed to be able to help me smile but was unsuccessful. About six months later, I took the first of what would end up being six attempts at taking my life. I am now super grateful that the operation was unsuccessful (I wasn’t at the time) because it has given me the ability to use my uniqueness to help others which I LOVE!!!
Because of my syndrome and the fact that I couldn’t smile and looked a bit different to my peers, I was bullied all throughout my schooling life. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t bullied in school. It started out as just your average name calling, and then as I got older, probably around the age of 12, it became a lot more intense. It happened almost daily in some instances and went on for years.