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Why This Family Won’t Be Using Plastic Surgery to Remove Their Daughter’s Birthmark

posted: 04/26/16
by: Mara Betsch

Months ago, Katie Crenshaw wrote a blog explaining her daughter Charlie's birthmark on her face, merely hoping to raise awareness and share information about her condition. What followed, though, was anything but ordinary, and her message is one that should be remembered in months and years to come.

Charlie, 7 months old, was born with capillary hemangioma, which is defined by a tumor with higher-than-usual amounts of blood vessels. It gives patients the appearance of having "strawberry" birthmarks on their bodies. In Charlie's case, it covers most of her right cheek, yet it doesn't seem to bother the little girl. Though the condition can cause larger health issues, doctors have deemed Charlie's case as cosmetic, and she takes medication to halt its growth. Often, hemangiomas disappear or fade as patients age.

Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped friends, family, and even strangers from commenting on Charlie's appearance, and Katie got fed up with it. In her blog, she writes:

We don't need to talk about it every time you look at her. We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it's part of who she is. It doesn't need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned. While I don't mind educating curious minds, I don't need your opinion on how it its progress or the affect it may have on her. It's a part of her unique beauty. It may never disappear, and guess what? It doesn't have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are.

She isn't in pain or ill. She simply has an unusual quality about her appearance. The most common sentiments are "I'm praying that it goes away." Or "Bless her poor little heart." I'm constantly being asked "When will that go away?" I've even heard things as harsh as "turn her to her good side" or "Too bad, she's so pretty otherwise".

I encourage you to, instead of praying it will disappear, pray that she grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like. Pray that constant comments and opinions from friends, family and strangers will end before she's old enough to overhear them. Pray that she will be a strong person in the in an age where we are bullied for any number of reasons.

Katie received tons of positive messages but also some concerning ones. However, she stands by her message that she does not intend on putting Charlie under the knife unless her health is threatened. And, she tells the New York Post, "But it also makes me sad that people are wishing away one of her unique features."

We cover a lot of these beautiful differences on "Two in a Million" and applaud Katie for embracing Charlie's hemangioma. If you were in her position, would you do the same?