Woman Born With Birthmarks All Over Her Body Is Our Hero

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Woman Born With Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus Birthmarks Is Our Hero
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Ciera Swaringen, 24, from Rockwell, North Carolina has a rare condition called Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus (GCMN). 

Swaringen has hundreds of mole-like marks that cover two-thirds of her body, the largest one stretching from her navel to her lower thighs.

This rare skin condition affects one in every 500,000 people.

Swaringen has had this condition since she was a baby and constantly endures nasty remarks and bullying because of it.

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At a certain point, Swaringen decided that she needed to develop a positive attitude and love her body — no matter what anybody said to her. 

In an interview, she said, "Everyone is born to look different and at the end of the day, we all have something about us that's unusual, whether it's on the inside or the outside." 

But people, especially kids, can be cruel. 

"One day I remember being on the school bus and hearing a young boy laugh at me and call me a spotty dog," she recalled.

"That really knocked my confidence. I was young and it made me feel different from the other kids, like something was wrong with me. Over time I've learned to brush off negative comments and remember that most people stare and say cruel things because they're not used to seeing someone with my condition."

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One of the reasons Swaringen is able to have a continuously positive outlook on things is because of her strong, supportive, and loving parents who called her birthmarks "angel kisses."

Because she grew up in such a small town (population of 600), people got used to seeing her birthmarks.

"People in my town don't bat an eye when they see me now, as they know me. But if I go somewhere new, it's not so easy," she said.

Her condition has no cure. And since the spots cover most of her body and continue to develop, she won't be able to get them removed.

She's also at a much higher risk of developing cancer.

"Sunscreen is like my best friend," she said. "I still wear shorts and T-shirts when it's warm, but I just have to make sure I'm being safe." 

Swaringen is making a major impact by sharing her story via social media.

She's not hiding; she's proudly sharing photographs of herself being like any other person — hanging out with her friends, being goofy, and going to parties.

Swaringen is very young to have to deal with such serious health issues, but with her positive attitude, confidence, and happy outlook, she has a very bright future.

In 2017, Swaringen was pregnant and ready to enter motherhood.

She gave birth to a precious little girl, who does not have the same skin condition she has.

Now, her baby girl is three years old and they have a very close relationship.

Even though she has this skin condition, it doesn't keep Swaringen from living her life to the fullest.

She shows her daughter confidence and that beauty comes in all different forms.

Shout out to this wonderful mother and what an inspiration she is for everyone.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in August 2015 and was updated with the latest information.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or her Instagram.