For many young women, puberty starts as a surprise to many, and usually begins at a very stressful time in their life.
If you thought that having a huge zit on your face was bad, Meagan Barnard had to go through school with a much more embarrassing problem…
Around the same time Meagan started blossoming into a beautiful young woman, she developed Lymphedema, a condition that makes it hard for the body to flush out fluids from limbs, resulting in swollen tissues.
While many people didn’t know the details of the condition, Meagan knew all too well. Unlike her classmates, she couldn’t wear the same clothes that everyone was wearing, and she definitely didn’t wasn’t able to do all of the things everyone around her was doing. Even as a beautiful young woman, she was self-conscious that she her self-image was completely broken at such a young age.
“How could you live with yourself when you look like that?”
Because of the condition, Meagan’s right leg would retain up to 5 pints of fluid. Her classmates would constantly bully her in school, making fun of her condition, and giving her appalling nicknames like “Michelin Man.”
But even after she graduated from high school, life didn’t get any easier. As time went by, her leg would grow with her. By the time she was 24, her leg had doubled in size! The average person only has 8 points of blood in their body — Imagine having all of that stuck in your leg!
At one point, the ridicule Meagan experienced became so unbearable, that she even wrote a letter to her father, telling her that she was “done, and going to end it.”
Even after Meagan started a relationship, she tried her hardest to hide the leg. Only going to dimly lit rooms, or pretending to casually hang out and placing pillows on top of her legs.
Eventually, Meagan opened up to the people closest to her and the support was overwhelming. What was once a taboo subject for anyone close to her to mention, she was determined to spread awareness about her condition.
A young woman who would always avoid the camera decided to step into the spotlight and shed some light on her condition. In an effort to spread awareness online, she bravely took photos in a bikini, showing the world what she is suffering from and how others can lend support to those afflicted by it, rather than making a difficult situation, even harder.
Maegan’s insurance refuses to cover her condition because they claim it’s cosmetic and refuses to take in account the effect it has on her quality of life. Learn more about Meagan’s condition and her story below!
If you’re able to, please consider donating her to GoFundMe to help her achieve a more normal life!