Janine Violet Light was diagnosed with leukemia just a few weeks before her 4th birthday.
She was too young to be aware of what was happening to her, but her family knew she had a long and uncertain road ahead of her.
What they were not expecting is their baby girl getting an additional life-threatening condition during her treatment.
Janine contracted the rare condition known as necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that can be fatal.
While her treatment for both diseases was successful Janine was left with rotting tissue and disfigurement post-surgery.
The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland has undergone multiple operations and endured decades of bullying and cruel taunts from strangers in the street.
According to a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her treatment, she now wears headphones when she goes out so she can’t hear what people are saying.
But now a plastic and reconstructive microsurgeon Dr Kongrit Chaiyasate, based in the U.S., is offering to help Janine free of charge.
Janine, who is now married with children, said the surgery will be “life changing.”
She added: “It’s hard for me when I have to go out to the shop or just walk around with my hubby, friends and family due to the verbal abuse I receive, including name-calling from young people.”
Janine said the constant bullying has left her feeling “worthless” and “like I don’t belong here, as if I am some sort of freak show for everyone to make fun of.”
Janine was originally operated on by Dr Kongrit’s mentor, Dr Ian Jackson, who has since passed away.
Speaking to Jam Press Dr Kongrit said: “The fact that she is still experiencing bullying and isolation for her appearance really affects me, especially as a parent.”
Dr Kongrit said he wanted to restore Janine’s smile and blinking mechanisms.
“If she can eat and drink as normal and walk down the street without having to hide her face I will have done my job,” he added, explaining the surgery would take a day to complete.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise the $100,000 needed for her travel and accommodation costs as well as hospital funds.
“If I was able to get over to the USA and have my surgeries, it would really mean an awful lot to me, it would be a dream come true to be able to feel like I actually belong here, and would enable me to walk past the bullies without them calling me names and making me feel worthless,” she said, as per The Sun newspaper.
It’s horrifying to think Janine cannot walk down the street without someone being cruel to her; we have to become a kinder society and not one that judges people solely on their appearance.
Please share so more people can support Janine and help her to get this life-changing surgery.