Cherubism: Victoria's story 

Victoria Wright talks about her life with cherubism, a facial disfigurement, and how she handles people's reactions.

Also read 'Cherubism and me'

Transcript of Cherubism: Victoria's story

Cherubism is a very rare medical condition.

It's caused by an overgrowth of fibrous tissue in the face

which basically means that instead of having

lots of bone in my face or in my jaw,

I have this kind of tissue instead.

I was about four years old when I was first diagnosed with cherubism.

The older I got, the more noticeably visibly different I looked,

and I started to have a much bigger chin.

When I was about 12 or 13 the cherubism then started to affect my eyes,

and that combined with puberty

meant that I had quite difficult teenage years.

It did teach me how to be strong

and it did teach me that I'm lucky in some ways

in that the friends that I have are really good people

because they will look past my disfigurement and like me for who I am.

I'm very lucky in that cherubism is a relatively painless condition,

but I do get eye strain, I do get headaches quite regularly

and I do get a relative amount of pain in my jaw as well.

But apart from that it's mainly that I look very, very different,

that's really the main issue that I face on a day-to-day basis.

Obviously looking really different means that I get stared at quite a lot.

I've learned that the best thing for me to do

if I notice somebody staring at me

is to look at them and smile back at them.

Just because somebody's looking at me,

it doesn't necessarily mean they're looking at me in a bad way.

We're all curious and we all look at people who look different.

But I'm a very nice person and I just want to show them that.

Some people might think that if you have a facial disfigurement

that means that all you do is stay at home

feeling sorry for yourself and being miserable and not going out,

and that's not true.

I'm a very confident person

and I have a really good, happy, successful life.

I've had to work at it but I'm happy with where I am.

I work and I also study part time for a law degree at university,

which is great.

And I'm also very happily married.

I met my husband Colin when we were both students at college.

He asked me out on a date

and eventually I said, "Yes, OK" and it went from there.

We've been together for seven years now and married for just over two.

I advise anybody who's got a visible difference

or a facial disfigurement

who thinks that they need some support and advice

to contact Changing Faces.

I would love to see a world where people were accepted for what they look like,

even if they look different,

and one of the things that Changing Faces is campaigning for

is face equality,

which is all about being accepted

even if you have a facial disfigurement.


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Changing Faces awareness campaign poster

Facial disfigurement: coping strategies

Coping strategies for people with a disfigurement, including building confidence and handling questions, comments and stares

Disfigurement support groups

Links to disfigurement groups offering support, information and advice on specific conditions