I would like to share this truly amazing young ladies journey with you. I had the pleasure of meeting Tori in person a few weeks ago; I was able to chat with her for awhile. She is incredible, beautiful bright young lady. Tori is getting ready to start college and I am wishing her the best in her journey! Despite challenges in life she has pushed through them and continues to inspire others! Please feel free to comment on this link as I have tagged Tori. Tori is standing next to her friend Kennedy that also has LM. Peace!Our friend Tori has written a little something for us to share on this page. She was also born with Lymphatic Malformation, lives in North Jersey and travels to Boston Children's also for treatment like Kennedy. Recently Tori graduated and is heading off to college soon! She is a super strong girl with a bright future- glad to have their family to go through this journey with. Thank you Tori for sharing...
Hi everyone! I'm Tori, Kennedy's friend I also have Lymphatic Malformations. Here are some things you should know about LM in general and also how it affects me personally!
I guess you could say that my life has been different from most “teenagers’”. I was born with a rare medical condition. It is not hereditary or contagious. I am not disabled - I can do anything and everything anyone else can do. The only difference is my appearance. LM is enlarged tissue that makes me look abnormal compared to other people. I developed this condition before I was even born. It’s one of those “one in a million” things that just sort of happened without my or anyone else’s control. No known food, medicine, or activity during pregnancy can cause this. This isn’t like cancer. There is no “cure” and it’s not a tumor so I can’t just get it “removed”. It is a process of big major-risk surgeries throughout my life that will help correct the abnormality so I will be able to look what you may call “normal”. I have had about 25 different surgeries from when I was 2 months old until now. I am 18 years old.
Being born with this condition I’ve always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Like I wasn’t supposed to be in this body, like it was some horrible costume that I was desperate to shed out of. Despite the way I looked, though, I never let that stop me from doing what others could do. Even though it took time and hard work, I learned how to swim with my trachea. I joined basketball, softball, dance, ice-skating, gymnastics, and more. I never let my condition affect my capabilities.
Because of my struggle, I’ve learned not only to have more sympathy for people, but also to look at things with a whole new perspective. Along with that, I have a different perspective on myself. I’ve learned to be strong, determined, and motivated. Those qualities are very important to me to have because they will be helpful for me later in the future as I plan to become a counselor. My dream is to inspire people with my story, as well as help them with my own experience. Thanks for reading