Growing up as a girl in this world can be tough. There’s a constant pressure to look a certain way, and not looking the way you think you “should” can deeply affect some young girls, even to the point of damaging their sense of self-worth.
The mother of any girl would struggle with how to instill confidence in her daughter, but for Sue Tregoning, as well as for her husband, Mark, the struggle is confounded by people who don’t understand that beauty truly comes in all forms.
The Tregonings’ daughter, Natty, now seven, was born with a rare genetic condition called Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS) that results in deformities of the cheeks, jaw, eyes, and ears, and also affects the ability to eat, speak, hear, and breathe.
Treacher Collinsdoes not have any affect on mental development, which means that Natty is able to understand exactly what’s going on around her.
And sometimes, what’s going on around her is not very nice.
Mark and SueTregoning both say that, especially when Natty was a baby, theyhad to endure nasty looksand rude comments about their child.
“When Natty was three months old we had two elderly women come up to her pram with a look of disgust,” recalls Mark. “They said, ‘Don’t worry dear. Surgery can fix all that these days.’”
It’s comments like that, along with the disturbing habit people have of bullying anyone who might be a little different, that cause the Tregonings to worry, but also inspire them to take a stand.
As Natty grows up, her parents want to make sure she knows that she’s a beautiful person, inside and out,and that she grows up full of confidence and self-love. And they want everyone else to know that they won’t stop in their mission.
[H/T: Daily Mail]
Natty Tregoning, seven, lives with her parents Sue and Mark in Tasmania, Australia. Natty was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by facial deformities.
Natty is still young, but her parents strive every day to make she she grows up knowing that no matter what, she’s beautiful inside and out.
When Natty was a baby, her parents receivedcruel, unsolicited comments on their daughter’s appearance, from people saying that “surgery can fix all of that” to “What’s wrong with her face?”
And it was then that they knew they had to step in, as parents, to make sure that even if other people couldn’t accept Natty, that she could accept and love herself.
“It started to dawn on me the kind of life Natty could have,” her mother says. “The world isn’t the nicest place for those who are different. I knew she was beautiful, because she was my baby, but how could I convince her about that?”
But she might not have to worry too much, because Natty seems to be growing up just fine, and has plenty of sass to boot.
At school, Natty has plenty of friends.
“We have found that children tend to accept Nat’s condition more readily because they are more open and honest with their questions,” her father says. “Once they understand the facts they will happily go play with Nat.”
Adults tend to be more reticent, they say, but Natty has managed to win over plenty of them, too, with her energy and cheeky sense of humor.
That’s not to say that Natty’s condition doesn’t come with challenges, though.
She’s already undergone numerous operations to allow her to eat normally; up until last year, she had to eat through a tube.
She’s also takingspeech therapy to learn to speak. Currently, she communicates with family and classmates via sign language.
And seeing their daughter’s spirit and outgoing personality, the Tregonings grow more confident each day that their little girl will have a happy and fulfilling life.
“If we have any doubts now about how Natty will manage life with her syndrome, we need only take a glance at her at that moment to be rewarded with a cheeky grin for some thing she is getting away with or planning to get away with,” Mark says.
Natty will continue to face challenges as she grows up, but with her amazing parents behind her, it looks pretty certain that she’llbe living life to the fullest.
If you’d like to learn more about Treacher Collins Syndrome from people who have it, check out this website.
If you think Natty is beautiful both inside and out, pleaseSHAREher inspiring story.
Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/natty-tregoning-is-beautiful/
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