When you’re young, it seems the possibilities are endless. The future is wide open—especially when it comes to forming a close relationship with someone for the rest of your life. But for those marred by debilitating diseases, love can be a challenge.
Sophie Walker, from Norfolk, United Kingdom, has suffered from neurofibromas tumors for her entire young life. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition that affects one in 3,000 people. The condition is incurable, and it was transferred from her mom—her mom has soft lumps on her body, while her brother has a milder form, but Walker’s condition is rarer.
“My facial tumor is a benign tumor, which has grown steadily since birth. People always asked why I couldn’t just get it removed, but because it is attached to nerve endings, completely removing it would actually paralyze my face,” she told MailOnline.
Heartless men would even ask to take selfies with her on nights out.
Because of her rare facial tumor, Walker, an agriculture student, was called “tumor girl” by taunters. She recalled the dread she felt of spending her life alone—men would take her out and let her take selfies together just to upload them on Facebook to poke fun at her.
“Once some lads held £50 bets with each-other to kiss me,” she said. “After years of cruel comments and bad dating experiences I thought I’d never meet a nice guy.”
Walker went through a lot of relationship pain. But she has defied the odds and has finally found the love of her life.
“Men used to keep me secret and would be embarrassed to be seen with me. But now I’ve finally found someone who makes me feel beautiful and loves me for who I am,” she said.
Walker and boyfriend Christian Dibden have been dating each other since September 2016. They knew each other from their college days but had since lost touch, but the couple went on a dinner date, and that’s when they fell in love.
Sophia Walker was teased mercilessly by bullies for having a face tumour. But she refused to let them get her down and…
“We were supposed to be catching up as friends, but there was a lot of flirting and I realized I felt something more,” she said. “Then the next time we met up, we shared our first kiss. At the time, I really liked him, but was cautious of revealing my feelings as I’d been badly hurt in the past.”
It didn’t take them much time to officially start dating, and now they spend every weekend with each other. Walker said that her parents also love Christian. “He is proud to be with me and I’m glad I’ve found love with someone special,” she added.
Walker underwent major surgery in November 2009 when she was 14. Other than that, she has undergone many other corrective surgeries and will have to undergo more in the future, but she doesn’t let it get her down.
“I’m excited to be with Chris and I’m looking forward to finishing my degree and moving back to Norfolk,” she told MailOnline in 2017. “With the support of my loved ones, I have finally found the confidence to be myself. And that’s what really makes me beautiful.”
Walker’s courage to believe in herself is truly an inspiration for us all! Life’s trials will test you, but if you believe in yourself and have the courage and determination, you will soar high in life.
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