Childhood is often hard, but one little girl with a facial tumor deals with obstacles beyond the norm and handles them like a champion.
Autumn lives in a Lawrence, Kansas home with her mom, dad, and sister. 10-year-old Autumn attends school, enjoys riding her bike and coloring, and would like to be a veterinarian one day.
However, because of a facial tumor, this little girl experiences health and social challenges every single day.
Girl With Facial Tumor Embraces Life
Autumn was born with neurofibromatosis type 1. NF1 is a genetic condition that results in the growth of benign tumors on the nerves; Autumn has two. One is located on Autumn's belly and is not visible. The other is positioned on the right side of her face, and it extends into her brain.
The facial tumor is quite large and pulls at the little girl's eye, interfering with Autumn’s vision and distorting her precious face.
Lindsay is Autumn's mom and her biggest fan. She is there to apply ointment to the angry skin around Autumn's eye and to administer the twice-daily medicine that Autumn takes to shrink her tumors.
Lindsay is also there to offer healing words when people say unkind things to her daughter. People have called the girl with a facial tumor "the hunchback of Notre Dame" and "elephant man." It's hard to imagine such cruelty!
"She's gone through phases where people have made fun of her,” Lindsay explains. “But she doesn't let it affect her as much as I think it should. There's a lot of pointing and ‘why do you look that way.’"
Support From Loved Ones
Autumn has another important person on her side. Older sister Riley is Autumn's defender to kids at school who say unkind things about the girl with a facial tumor. Autumn often turns the other cheek to those making hateful comments. However, Lindsey calls them out, reminding them to practice The Golden Rule - treating others as they'd like to be treated.
While the prognosis for Autumn is uncertain, her tumors are shrinking. This is critical because if her facial tumor were to grow, Autumn might have a stroke or even die.
Lindsay is very thankful for the drugs that are helping. Lindsay is thankful, too, for a daughter who calls her many birthmarks (skin discoloration) "angel kisses." She's grateful to have a child who brushes her hair, brushes her teeth, and makes faces in the mirror each morning. She's lucky to have a little girl who offers to take her own blood pressure at her frequent doctor visits.
It may seem odd that Lindsay considers herself lucky under the circumstances. But, Lindsay knows that Autumn is one special girl. She's extremely social, independent, and determined.
"I'm lucky that she is the way she is, she just accepts herself and has a positive attitude with everything."
We are all lucky, too. The world is a better place with Autumn in it!
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31
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Featured Image Credit: Youtube/truly