This world would be a wonderful place as long as we accept and cherish those who are different in some way.
When baby Winry was born, her parents discovered that she had a patch on her face. They initially thought it was a bruise, but physicians later informed them that the child had congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN), an extremely rare birthmark.
“When they first handed her to me, I mistook her for a bruise.” My spouse and I realized right away that it wasn’t a bruise. “And, as the name suggests, I thought it looked like a mole,” mom Nicole Hall told Good Morning America.
“I was fortunate to have a fairly normal pregnancy!” “I had morning sickness from about weeks 8-14, but once that subsided, I felt great until the tiredness kicked in the last month,” she writes on her blog, adding that no one could have predicted that the baby would have such a birthmark on her face.
“Some of the excitement of labor had worn off, and I’d say worry was the dominant emotion I felt – I recognized that it resembled a mole, but I’d never seen anything like it before, and I was concerned it might be harmful to her.” At this point, none of the nurses had said anything, but I didn’t know what to ask, so I simply held her tight and loved on her.”
According to a report by Dr. Harper Price of Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Dr. Heather Etchevers of Marseille Medical Genetics for the National Organization for Rare Diseases, Winry’s condition causes light brown to black patches that can appear in a variety of ways and on various parts of the body.
Having this birthmark means there’s a potential risk of developing a melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Although that risk is relatively low, Nicole always makes sure to put a hat on Winry’s head whenever they are out in the sun. She also puts sunscreen on her baby’s face and takes every precaution.
“Her health and happiness are our top priority. We have to monitor her with sunscreen. I’m careful with hats and that sort of thing. I know our regular dermatology appointment is probably going to be our best friend growing up,” Nicole says.
Winry’s parents are aware there would be stares as their girl grows up, and probably later in life too, so they do all in their power to help raise awareness about CMN.
“For a lot of people, this is the first time seeing a birthmark like hers and that’s part of why I enjoy sharing,” Nicole says. “This is a good conversation for parents with their children to see kids have differences, or for those parents who do have a kid that looks like Winry or has any kind of a birthmark to see their child represented.”
Winry is a happy and healthy girl, and her parents hope that once she is aware of her birthmark, she will accept it as a part of herself and value her uniqueness.
“She just exudes happiness.” She’s either laughing or shrieking all the time. “She is the happiest baby I have ever seen,” the mother said. “She’s already a huge talker. We haven’t said anything yet, but she tells it like it is and she’s already gaining a little sassiness, so I think we’re going to have a lot on our hands.”
Through her TikTok videos which feature now 13-month-old Winry, Nicole is getting to a number of people and spreading awareness. They have already been contacted by other parents whose children have CMN, among which a family from Brazil whose son has almost identical birthmark as that of Winry.
At least they know they are not alone.
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