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For Libby simply showing her face in public is beyond difficult, but she’s bravely come to The Doctors to help educate the world about the condition that has caused tumors to cover her entire body.
She is living with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a hereditary disease that has produced thousands of tiny tumors on all over the skin of her body. Both her mother and grandmother suffered from NF1, and for Libby the taunting, stares and name-calling began when she was in grade school.
Luckily, when Libby gave birth to her daughter Lindsey, she did not pass on the disease. Even now, Libby is constantly plagued with questions and comments regarding her skin. Her bumps cause her chronic pain, itching and she has difficulty showering and sleeping.
“I just wish I didn’t feel like a circus freak,” Libby says.
Despite her fears, Libby joins The Doctors to share her story and help spread the word about NF1. She would like everyone to know that her condition is not an infection, it is not contagious and she’s not dying. The condition occurs in about 1 in 3000 to 4000 people and can occur spontaneously. When NF1 does happen spontaneously, it can then be passed down to that person’s children. People with NF1 are also at a higher risk of cardiovascular issues.
Libby created a Facebook page, “Faces of NF,” to help the people and families dealing with NF1. She only began with 2 members earlier this year and in a matter of months the group has grown to over 1,400 members from every state in America and from all over the world. “It feels wonderful to be the voice for other people who have NF,” she says.
The Doctors were extremely inspired by Libby’s story and her work helping to educate people about NF1. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon, his partner plastic surgeon Dr. Ritu Chopra and surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk have agreed to help Libby possibly transform her appearance through electrodessication, a laser treatment therapy that can eliminate thousands of her tumors.
An overjoyed Libby tells The Doctors, “It would be my biggest dream come to true to take my hands against my skin and feel smooth. It would be the greatest thing in the entire world to happen for me.” See more from Libby’s remarkable story in the video below.