Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bully's Target Learns to Live with Rare Condition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bully's Target Learns to Live with Rare Condition

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Dickinson Reporter @KATIEJDICKINSON

ANURSERY worker with a rare swelling condition has opened up about the cruel taunts from a school bully that left her confidence shattered.

Molly Cuthbert was born with lymphoedema, which causes swelling of her left leg, right arm and the left side of her face, "like a zigzag" across her body.

Growing up, the 21-year-old said she was self-conscious about her condition and would "try my hardest" to hide her arm from other people.

And when a school bully started branding her "gorilla hand" and other cruel nicknames, her confidence reached such a low she didn't want to go to school at all.

When Molly, of Stocksfield, Northumberland, was first diagnosed her parents were told there was nothing that could be done about her lymphoedema and she would have to wear specially made shoes and clothes her entire life.

But although the condition can't be cured, Molly says compression bandages and treatment to manage it have allowed her to lead a normal life and has spoken out about how her condition is "what makes me, me".

Lymphoedema affects around 200,000 people in the UK. Molly's condition was spotted when she was a few days old.

She said: "My auntie, who was a midwife, came to visit me and noticed the swelling in my hand and mentioned to my mum and dad.

"I wasn't given a diagnosis for some time, and was frustratingly told at a hospital appointment that there was nothing that could be done to help my lymphoedema.

"My parents were told I would have to have shoes specially made and clothes altered, that I wouldn't be allowed to play in the garden, but they were determined they weren't going to cotton-wool me that much."

Molly's parents, David and Helen, encouraged her to have as normal a childhood as possible, and she has no memories of her condition being noticed until she was around 12. …

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