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After Years of Sickness, Doctors Tell Woman Red on Stomach Isn't A Rare Birthmark

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Take a moment and think about your body, all of those little wrinkles and moles and birthmarks that set it apart from every other frame in the world. Most of us probably don’t even consider them unless we’re seeing a dermatologist.

Model and musician Taylor Muhl certainly didn’t. Since birth, the Los Angeles native had an unusual complexion.

Most of her skin is snowy white, but one side of her torso is a deep red, looking as though she got a bad sunburn. “I was told I had a birthmark,” Muhl explained to The Huffington Post.

“My mom was like a flower child, so she had me naturally at home with two midwives. …When I came out and my stomach was like this, she was immediately like, ‘What did I do?’”

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The midwives initially said that the mark should go away on its own, but it didn’t. And since Muhl’s mother never had an ultrasound, she didn’t receive a big hint about the truly unique future her daughter would face.

Right before Muhl entered puberty, she started experiencing odd health issues, such as chronic sinus infections and migraines. Doctors attributed them to an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder or allergies.

Only when she reached her twenties after enduring years of sickness did Muhl and her doctors finally learn what was going on. She had utterly different strands of DNA in her body.

The reason why proved as shocking as the diagnosis: Muhl’s mother had been pregnant with twins, and Muhl herself has absorbed her sister while in utero.

When two unborn children fuse into a single fetus with a pair of complete genetic codes, medical professionals call that chimerism. That red splotch on Muhl’s torso? That’s her sister’s skin tone, not a rare birthmark.

“This has probably been the most freeing year that I have ever lived in my entire life,” she told People Magazine. “What was so hard for me was pretending that I wasn’t sick, and it’s something that I did for the last seven-plus years.”

“It really does start wearing on you. Now I don’t have to worry about any of it. It’s all out there.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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