Young mom Katie Crenshaw was sick and tired of people staring at her beautiful little girl, Charlie, with pity in their eyes, followed by the question, "What's wrong with her face?" So, she decided to let everyone know exactly what was on her sweet daughter's face.
Her birthmark doesn't define her
In her viral blog post, Katie shared a touching story of her daughter. It was a response to the way family, friends and strangers treated her six-month-old Charlie. Katie said, "We don't need to talk about it every time you look at her. We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it's part of who she is. It doesn't need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned."
She went on to discuss the wonderful things about her daughter that are often overlooked because of her birthmark. Crenshaw says, "It's a part of [Charlie's] unique beauty. It may never disappear, and guess what? It doesn't have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile or how gorgeous her eyes are."
So, what exactly is the birthmark?
According to Katie, Charlie was diagnosed with capillary hemangioma. In short, this means she has a non-cancerous tumor. Sometimes called "strawberry birthmarks", capillary hemangiomas typically show up within the first six months of life. Most cases will go away on their own without any treatment, but others have to be watched so they don't grow too large. Charlie took a medication that prevented the birthmark from growing and blocking her vision.
Some people tried to convince this mother to schedule a cosmetic surgery procedure for Charlie so she could avoid future bullying. To this, she says, "As a mother, I obviously don't want ... my kids to ever hurt. I want them to be happy and loved and have a large circle of friends. However, I am not naive enough to believe that these things will come from the color of one of their cheeks."
According to her blog, Katie used to get comments all the time like, "I'm praying that it goes away" or "Bless her poor little heart." But, instead of praying her daughter's unique birthmark away, she says, "pray that she grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like. Pray that constant comments and opinions from friends, family and strangers will end before she's old enough to overhear them."
Erika Strassburger is Brazilian, mother of three cute and funny boys. She earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration 20 years ago. Now, she works as a freelance writer and translator. She loves oil painting and ventures sometimes in this artistic work.