As a teenager with CMN, I have been through a lot, including name calling and mimicking. My CMN is located on my nose and right cheek. I had my first of 6 operations at 8 months of age at Great Ormond Street Hospital, all performed by the wonderful Mr Bulstrode.
I first attended a Caring Matters Now family day at 4 years of age, this was a great relief for my parents to find other people in the same position as us. Caring Matters Now have given me and my parents’ great support and are like a family to us now.
The support days are great fun for the children and adults to socialize with other families and charity helpers and trustees. As a result of the family days, my Mum is now London support contact and my dad is the charity treasurer and also a trustee.
As a family, we attend the London support day with my younger brother Alex too, an event I personally really enjoy attending and helping at. A couple of years ago, I felt that I wanted to get more involved, so I asked Jodi if I could say a few words at the London support day about my experiences and explaining how I cope with having CMN. Speaking at the support day has given me self-confidence and helped me with my public speaking, which is an important skill in life.
I would encourage everyone to share their experiences at the CMN support day. Just speaking one-to-one to other children who are there, particularly those who are attending the event for the first time, because it might help others who are in a similar position to you, and it can help you to grow in confidence too.
If you’d like more details about how you can get more involved in the support days as you get older, please get in touch with the Caring Matters Now teenage support contact, Katie Arends at [email protected] It would also be great to chat more regularly with Caring Matters Now teenage members, so if you would like to be in touch you can contact me on my Mum or Dad’s email addresses which are [email protected] or [email protected]. I look forward to hopefully hearing from you soon and seeing you at the next support event.