The teen and young adult years can be difficult, but having a facial difference can provide additional challenges. We understand how these challenges and have put together a series of videos to help. We want you to know that you are not alone.
If you are parent, caregiver, or teen/young adult looking to connect with another teen/young adult, let us know. You may just want to hang out, or you may have questions about bullying or surgeries. Either way let us know. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with someone today.
Stories for Teens by Teens and Young Adults
I was thrilled that my dream was going to come true. To have a dream come true after going through a big operation was truly the best part to end a painful procedure. I have never experienced a vacation that could beat this one. It was the best “Dream” ever.
I was born with a birth defect which made everyone think that I would be weak and dying. But they were wrong; except one thing, I do have a birth defect. It makes me a very special and gifted child.
As someone who was born with hemifacial microsomia, I certainly had my fair share of surgeries and doctors appointments growing up. By the time I was fifteen, I had been through thirteen surgeries, or roughly one per summer. As I’m sure almost everyone reading this can relate to, surgeries are never pleasant or fun.
In Your Own Words My name is Emily. My older brother was born with a cleft lip and palate. If you asked me if that makes him different than any other teenage boy, I’d tell you no.
“A facial deformity, or any deformity, does not prevent success,” says Mike. “The challenges associated with being different cultivate many positive characteristics, including endurance, courage, and leadership.” Mike, who has had 14 corrective procedures at Children’s Hospital Boston, believes the challenges associated with having cleft lip and palate have helped him develop valuable skills that have benefited him at MIT and throughout his life.
Born with Hemifacial Microsomia with Microtia, Lauren Dausch from Sharon, Mass., was a 2012 recipient of FFC’s Jane C. McDaid Scholarship Award. This summer she will be working at Camp Starfish in New Hampshire, a sleep-away camp in for kids with emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues and disorders. Her dream career is to counsel children and teens as a social worker.
While in some ways it is difficult to quantify the effect that this has had on my life, upon reflection, it has shaped me in subtle but important ways. The most profound impact has probably been in developing empathy for others. Often times I would sit in a waiting room at Boston Children’s Hospital and look around to see other children with conditions far more severe than mine. After my own experience, it is difficult not to have a deep appreciation for the hardships they have had to endure.As a result, I have tried to be more compassionate of those around me and to understand the path that they have traveled.
She does not cry to get attention, complain when in pain, or show any signs of discomfort until it is unbearable. I have seen her remain calm in a situation where I would have been unsettled and tough it out when I would have fled. I am fortunate enough to live with the person who has inspired me the most and who has had the most influence on my life.This strong, yet shy and funny person is my 22-year-old sister, Kara.