Being a kid isn’t all that easy. Specifically when it comes to dealing with the other kids in school. Bullying is something we’ve all experienced, more or less. Some of us have gone through it more extreme than others. The fact of the matter is, that kids can be cruel. It can be especially difficult when you look different from the rest of your classmates. Kiana Smith knows all about that, but her story is truly empowering and shows us to pay no attention to bullies. Kiana is a normal woman who was born with one of the rarest birthmarks known to man.
The birthmark is called the port-wine stain and it’s pretty noticeable. The birthmark is stretched from one side of Kiana’s face to the other and makes it down into her neck and chest area. You can probably imagine how hard it must have been growing up for Tiana, being ridiculed a fair amount by the kids at school and in her neighbourhood. According to Kiana, kids would give her the most hurtful nicknames like “purple people eater.”
She has gone through a fair amount of surgeries where she and her parents had hoped that the birthmark would reduce in size. Some laser treatment was also done to the area to lighten it. All the surgeries and laser treatments, it has helped a great deal. Kiana no longer has to walk around with the same massive bump on the majority of her face. Looking at the before photos, the change is definitely something noticeable. Kiana noted that before, she was able to feel the blood pumping through the birthmark but now the problem is gone.
You are probably wondering about her speech as well, considering the birthmark took up the majority of her mouth. Well, this birthmark definitely caused her speech to be impaired, although ever since it’s improved and now she is able to speak normally. So how does one even get such a rare birthmark on their face and on the neck and chest? The answer is not as complicated as you may believe.
WebMD notes that researchers have discovered what the case is of birthmarks on babies in the first place. In a new study that was published in the May 8 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, scientists say that a random change to a single gene after conception causes not only birthmarks but Sturge-Weber Syndrome as well. The site continues, noting, “the change causes a molecular switch that’s normally flipped on and off by chemical messages received by cell to get stuck in the ‘on’ position.”
So what about the port-wine stain birthmark specifically? This is essentially the outward growth of blood vessels. WebMD notes that as the vessels continue to grow in this manner without being checked, they can result in what Kiana has. But this is where her story becomes pretty inspirational. She doesn’t let this birthmark stop her from fully living her life the way she wants to. She doesn’t let this stop her from achieving the things that she always wanted to achieve.
Good for her for not letting this birthmark stop her from living her life. Watching the video down below, it’s truly shocking just how far this woman has come from her childhood. In spite of knowing that people will be staring at her, and maybe even judging the way she looks, she still walks and speaks with confidence. She’s even become the ambassador for the Vascular Birthmark Foundation. Good for her! Check out the video below to hear more about Kiana’s story and transformation!
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