Woman with Birth Defects Raises Awareness of True Beauty
Society at large does not place a lot of value on people who have disfiguring birth defects. The media has presented an image of beauty that has set a standard in the minds of individuals worldwide. Those who do not meet this standard of perfection are not usually championed or encouraged to pursue their dreams. Even those who are have quite a time finding the support they need to make their dreams come true or stay positive. Penny Loker is one individual who is choosing to keep a positive attitude in spite of the birth defects that have deeply impacted her life.
Penny Loker has two disfiguring birth defects.
A birth defect is basically a medical issue or deformity that a person is born with. Birth defects can cause people to experience resulting disabilities as well as social isolation, etc. But what about those who have more than one birth defect? This is the case for Penny Loker, a 31-year-old woman who has Goldenhar syndrome as well as hemifacial microsomia. Loker has definitely felt the effects of these conditions.
Birth defects have prevented certain life experiences.
Growing up, Penny Loker never received a Valentine at school. Instead, she was called cruel names. In her teenage years she had to forgo having a boyfriend or a best friend. Now, at 31 years of age, Penny has not had a relationship and has yet to experience her first kiss. “Her dream to one day become a wife and mother is fading as she grapples with the reality that it may never happen.” Why has Penny Loker had to miss out on so many of life’s blessings? Because her face is disfigured by birth defects.
Loker explains that beauty is based on much more than outward appearance.
Is it fair that Penny’s looks have prevented her from fully experiencing life? Perhaps a better question is, is it fair that others’ perceptions of Penny’s looks have robbed her of her needs being met? The answer is, “Of course not.” After all, looks are not everything. In Penny’s words, “The exterior doesn’t necessarily reflect the beauty that often lives inside. And when people fail to remember that, they can miss out on the love and friendship of a truly special person.”
Penny Loker wants to raise awareness of malformations.
After enduring a lifetime of stares and taunts, Penny longs to raise awareness of malformations. She would like to do this for both adults as well as children. Penny explains that children’s questions about others’ deformities can sometimes turn into cruelty. She says, “Educating them (children) early on would help them learn to be more tolerant of others who are different. The ability to love, share, bring happiness and help others is the real beauty of a person.”
Read CNN’s article about Penny Loker at http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/14/health/loker-profile/index.html?hpt=he_t2.
Do you have more than one birth defect?
Are you someone who has at least two birth defects? If so, are the birth defects disfiguring? How have they impacted your life physically, mentally, emotionally and socially? We would love to hear part of your story. Feel free to share with Disability Living by leaving a comment on this blog post today.
The National Benefit Authority is Canada’s leading service provider of the Disability Tax Credit, a disability program that offers financial support to people with medical conditions, including various birth defects. We’ve helped over 40,000 Canadians successfully receive their Canadian disability benefits!