Born Different

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We are all born different. We have most of the same features but what those features look like can vary in size, color, and formation. A 14 year old, named Valerie, from West Africa underwent a life-changing surgery on board Africa Mercy. This hospital ship is full of nurses and doctors that help provide care where healthcare is scarce. Valerie was born with bowlegs. They were so bad that she could not walk very well on her own. Valerie’s mother had explained that when Valerie was four years old she begged not to go to school because she didn’t want people making fun of her. This truth is sad that the world we live in can be so cruel. 

Valerie’s story, along with many other people who have deformities, have changed the mindset of some people today. The world should be a judgement free zone because you can not decide to be ‘normal’ or not. There are multiple news stories about stereotyped people around the world. Snapchat created a story on the explore page called “Born Different”. This shows the breakthrough and the positivity of the people who have deformities. It does change your mindset to watch the struggles they go through and how your small problems do not compare. 

Another deformity that I have seen on “Born Different” that has inspired me to be more open hearted are two siblings from Belgium who have been diagnosed with Progeria. Progeria is a disease that creates premature aging and affects bone, teeth, and hair growth. The snapchat story brought their personal story to life by mentioning “there are only 155 known cases all around the world”. Around age 8, the siblings were told they were not able to have children and this broke Amber’s (the younger sister)heart. However, they don’t let this disease get the best of them. 

The world is a cruel place but knowing more about the people and positivity around us can change the way you look at the world. After Valerie’s surgery she is going back to school because she is more confident than before. She is not scared to be seen out in public anymore. The siblings with Progeria also do not let their disease affect them because just like any other teen they hang out with their friends in their free time, go shopping and eat the same food as you and I. 

Judging someone for the way they look is not the right thing to do. You are not perfect. I am not perfect. No one is perfect; in fact, being imperfect should be the social norm in our world today.