My name is Katy, and I am 11, nearly 12, years old. I have a CMN on the back of my right knee. When I was 18 months old, I had an operation to remove it. It was lasered off, using CO2 and Ruby Lasers, and then I had various bandages and dressings for 3 months which involved going back to the hospital to have my leg redressed and treated. Immediately after the operation, however, it started to grow back. Since then, I have had a range of treatments to help me with the problems that I have with it; most of the time, it itches and sometimes I get some pus filled spots that really hurt to pop.

My CMN does not really affect my social life or my hobbies. Sometimes I get asked a few questions about it, or some strange looks, but now I have learnt to ignore them and not letthemgetmedown.Idoa lot of dancing (modern, tap and ballet), and since I was 4 years old, I have been dancing on stage showing my birthmark to the whole audience. When I was 10, I danced on stage with the English Youth Ballet, as a Scottish Doll in the ballet Coppélia, and my CMN did not affect my performance in any way. Then, when I had just turned 11, I danced on stage with the Southern Youth Ballet, in the ballet La Fille mal Gardee, as a villager.

For the last four years, I have been dancing in competitions throughout the south-east of England. Sometimes my costumes cover my birthmark, but sometimes they don’t. My teacher and I don’t think about the fact that I have a birthmark and we don’t let it dictate what I wear!

My CMN does not stop me making friends either. In September 2008, I started at Tonbridge Grammar School, and almost instantly, I made a whole group of friends. At first they questioned my CMN, but now that they know what it is, they don’t worry about it, in PE lessons, or anything else that they see it in. When I go swimming with my friends, they don’t worry about it then either. I do get a few glances from other people in the swimming pool, but I just ignore them.

Most of the things that I get asked or told are ‘What’s on your leg?’, or ‘You’ve got mud on your leg’. Sometimes it can get quite annoying, but my instant reaction is just to say ‘It’s a birthmark’, and then most people just get on with the fact that I have a birthmark. Some people keep pestering me about it and then I just keep telling them the same thing, ‘It’s a birthmark’.
If you have a birthmark, then I would just say to you, don’t let it worry you, nobody’s perfect, so just go out and enjoy yourself.