It was the day after my 8th birthday, I was at home and accidentally set my clothes on fire with a lighter I’d found. I remember my mum calling an ambulance and then waking up in hospital with 60% of my legs, back and arms covered with second and third degree burns.
I know first-hand the impact that scarring has – as I grew, my scars meant that the skin on my arms became tight and uncomfortable. At school, I was subject to bullying, staring and cruel comments…this lead to depression. Growing up I thought I was the only one who looked like this.
However, I built up the courage to go to a camp for children with burns and met other young people who had been through similar experiences, this really helped me build confidence. I now working with others to raise awareness of the long term mental and physical impact that scarring can have on people’s lives. I no longer feel the need to cover my scars with high necked tops and scarves. I’m proud of me. I am studying for a degree in Sociology at University and have so many ideas of my future.
As a society, we need to talk about scarring, I think it would help a lot of people feel more comfortable with their appearance, and know that there is help available.I feel positive that I’m helping people. The Scar Free Foundation’s work is so important to show the diversity of people affected by scars and that not everyone fits into one category. The charity is changing the way that people look at scars and breaking down the barriers that exist by talking about them and understanding the problems. The research that the Foundation is funding will create a scar free future, which everyone should be able to experience.