28-year-old Karina Rodini, from Curitiba, Brazil has tumours weighing 4kg on her leg that she refuses to cover up.
Karina’s parents first spotted small dark moles on her leg when she was a toddler. When she was two, she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis – a rare disease that ended up forming tumours on nerve tissue.
The tumours grew in size after having surgeries to remove them when she was a teen.
Now, Karina is left with tumours weighing 4kg on her leg. She is unable to walk and see properly with her left eye and also suffers from severe scoliosis.
Despite the stares and negative comments, Karina refuses to cover them up. She said: “Prejudice is always going to exist. From various people, with various problems. It can be with mine, with a person who has darker skin or a disabled person.”
“My family always accepted me the way that I am. They learned to deal with the situation. My mother accompanies me to doctors, exams, consultations, trips.”
As there are not enough doctors specialising in neurofibromatosis in Brazil, Karina has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to get better treatment abroad.
Karina is not embarrassed by her body and doesn’t want to cover up her tumours. She said: “In this last year when the disease has affected me more, I felt shy of exposing myself, of taking pictures, of being recorded. But now I try to overcome my insecurities.”
Karina says she tries to expose herself more to encourage those who are also suffering from the same condition.
She said: “There are many people who have the same disease who have reached out to me. You have to show yourself, you have to talk about the disease, you don’t need to be embarrassed.”
Karina raises awareness about the rare condition by talking publicly about it so she can help those who suffer from similar conditions.
[rumble video_id=vfzmh domain_id=u7nb2]