Hi, my name is Michelle Lai and I am 24 years old. I never understood my condition growing up, but I was fully aware of it growing in my face. After so many unsuccessful surgeries as a child, I was left with many scars and traumatic experiences. My family and I accepted that no one out there could help me. I decided at a very young age that it is what it is and I’m not going to let it stop me. I remember telling myself that I’ll figure it out and treat myself when I’m older!
In 2016, I discovered VBF in my hunt to find answers. My family and I were able to finally put a name to my condition at the conference in NY that year. We couldn’t be happier! I felt like that was the missing information that I’ve been longing to know my ENTIRE life. I discovered VBF 4 years ago and wished I had known about VBF sooner! I could’ve started treatments earlier and lessened my loved ones’ stress from the day VBF was founded! This is why being a Global Ambassador is so important to me, because WE are spreading awareness, networking people to a positive and supportive space, and most importantly, helping them get the most accurate treatment and diagnosis! That means so much to me because I’ve always felt alone with this condition before discovering VBF.
One thing I can say is that I am thankful that growing up with my birthmark did not impede my goals or define who I am in life. I am so much stronger, confident, and positive because of it!