Try to imagine the worst words you could possibly hear from a doctor. Sure, there are plenty of things that a physician could say that would rattle us to our cores.
One of the most terrible phrases, though, has to be, “It’s a tumor,” and for good reason: The appearance of an unexpected growth can often prove fatal.
However, one Fort Wayne, Indiana, woman received that news 6,000 times over. See, Libby Huffer suffers from neurofibromatosis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition with nasty symptoms. It causes tiny, pebble-like, usually benign tumors to form around nerve tissue.
Though these lesions may occur internally, they also can crop up all across one’s skin. And that’s exactly what they did in Huffer’s case.
Metro reported that Huffer was first diagnosed at the tender age of 5. However, the tiny tumors didn’t begin popping up until she was a teenager.
The bullying was ferocious, as was the physical pain. A mere hug was often agony.
According to Iupy, she said, “I can’t even go for groceries without someone saying, ‘What’s that all over you?’ or pointing at me with their kids saying, ‘Look at her.’ Someday, it would be wonderful not to have to worry about how I look, or what clothes will hide my bumps.”
She also told Metro, “I have been bullied and victimized my whole life because of the bumps all over my skin. They cover me from head to toe.
“In school, kids would pick on me all the time. They called me lizard breath and toad.
“I had to change my name from Elizabeth to Libby because whenever I heard my name, it reminded me of being called lizard breath.”
Fortunately, there was a treatment. An electrodesiccation procedure followed by CO2 laser smoothing could remove the growths and give Huffer relatively normal looking skin. Unfortunately, it was expensive and each round cost five figures.
WARNING: The following video contains images of a surgical that some viewers may find graphic and disturbing.
She had undergone several treatments, but she had roughly 6,000 of the small tumors all over her body. Yet everything would change when she went on the television talk show “The Doctors.”
Specialists offered to manually remove the tumors free of charge, and the end results were amazing. In fact, when Huffer’s daughter saw her mother fully made up on the show, she burst into tears.
“Look at her!” she exclaimed. “Wow!”
For her part, Huffer said, “There’s still a long way to go to heal the emotional damage I’ve undergone over the years. But I know that will only improve over time.”
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