Year by year the knowledge and understanding of CMN increases due to the excellence research that is ongoing. As a child growing up with CMN I wasn’t interested in the research and the knowledge behind my condition, however as I get older it is important to me to understand all aspects of CMN and appreciate how lucky I am.

I have had many different types of treatment on my CMN from a baby until I was 15 years old. I am now 21. When I was younger, going through primary and secondary school I was very lucky to be in an environment where people didn’t judge me or leave me feeling excluded. I grew up with 3 older brothers which throws you in at the deep end enough, but facilitates a sociable, confident, bubbly personality that has really helped me throughout life growing up with CMN. My friends were and still are a big part of my confidence, seeing past the CMN and supporting me through any problems. I think there is definitely a worry you have as someone with CMN that people will bully you but in my experience that has been very minimal and the friends I had would stop anything being said before I even had a chance! Humans tend to stare when they see things they aren’t used to and growing up I’ve had to learn to deal with this but truthfully it does still bother me sometimes. The most common comments I get occasionally will be asking if my CMN is a burn or from an accident. I’m not sure what bothers me more, the staring or people asking me questions but I try think of it in a positive way and use it as a platform to make people more aware of CMN, and the more it happens the more you get use to it. I still notice my CMN every day, now more than when I was younger, but I remind myself everyone has some part of them they notice every day too and learn to love it.

When I was 16 I moved away from home to Hartpury College to pursue rugby and study a BTEC alongside. I went to university when I was 18 at Hartpury University and have just graduated with a 2:1 degree in BSc Hons in Sport and Exercise Science. Hartpury has been a friendly environment with great people who have never had a mean thing to say. My plan after university was to gap year and travel as I have a passion in seeing the world however because of COVID-19, I’ve delayed that for a year and instead am studying a Masters in Sports Coaching, still at Hartpury. After my 1-year course I’ll look to finally go travelling, getting experience in conservation, and helping animals in danger as well as seeing different countries cultures. I’ve always been a very sporty person, playing everything I could and now settling with rugby. I have played rugby since I was young and have progressed up the levels throughout my teenage years. I now play for my University in the BUCS Super League. I have never let CMN be a barrier in any aspect of life, and sometimes can be an advantage to be noticed in a good way!

I am very lucky to have the support of my family and a great set of friends throughout my life that have supported me, encouraged me and loved me regardless of CMN.