People with a visible difference (a scar, mark or condition) often experience staring and hostile behaviour because of their appearance. Finley’s parents know this all too well.
Finley was born with a condition called lymphangioma. Lymphangiomas are non-cancerous, fluid-filled cysts that appear in lymphatic vessels. In Finley’s case, he has swelling in his face, which extends to his airways. This means he needs a tracheotomy to help him breathe.
His family found stares and questions from strangers about his appearance very distressing.
“When Finley and I were out at our local petting farm, I spotted a girl, around eight years of age, staring at Finley. She started to follow us around relentlessly, gaping at Finley in his buggy. It became quite menacing to see her pull and contort her face to mimic his condition. She was also pointing at him and saying, ‘what’s wrong with his face?’
Watching her mum say nothing to her daughter or to me was hurtful. I ended up in tears, rushing out of the park and cutting a nice day short.”
Working to eliminate discrimination
Through educating others, we aim to eliminate the discrimination faced by people with a visible difference.
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