Mia’s mom, Julie, describes her as a silly, smiling, happy-go-lucky girl. She plays the ukulele and volleyball and she loves to sew, recently making pillowcases. She’s nurturing and giving. She’s had the same two close friends since third grade and volunteered this summer at Vacation Bible School. She is a well-rounded, beautiful typical 13- year-old girl, with one unique challenge.
Mia has localized scleroderma, also known as morphea, on the left side of her face, affecting her chin and the area next to her eye. It is an uncommon condition with no known cause that leads to thickening and discoloration of the skin, which often results in depressed areas that can sometimes be quite obvious.
“Most of her friends don’t even realize the number of doctor visits she has,” said her mom. “Mia doesn’t talk a lot about it, but she knows she looks different. It’s helpful for her to have others to talk to.”
A Children’s House for the Soul has given her the opportunity to talk and connect with other kids facing similar challenges. Mia recently participated in the “Love the Skin You’re In” conference and her mom says she loved it. She loved being with and seeing other kids who look different. Talking pictures with New York based photographer and author, Rick Guidotti, was a highlight. The conference gave Mia, her mom, and other children and their families a safe, warm, and positive place to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
“Every time I come to a conference, I just want to cry because so many people care. It’s inspiring,” said Julie. Julie says being with others with skin conditions and learning about them has helped Mia to be more grateful and open to new experiences. She is a leader in helping others.
While Mia has faced questions and stares because of her skin condition, she has also learned all people are different. Some differences are just visible to others. Attending conferences and camp in the summer has helped her develop that nurturing and giving personality.
Would you like to be part of this uplifting, honest and encouraging community? Please join us for conferences, camps, support groups, and Bible studies by registering today. Love the Skin You’re In today!