Teen called ‘freak’ by vile bullies over birth mark learns to love skin she’s in
A teen was branded a "freak" by cruel bullies who mocked her condition – but she's learned to love herself.
Lexi Chapman mistook the purple and red patches on her skin for a port wine stain.
The 19-year-old tried to cover up the blemishes with long-sleeved tops and scarves.
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But sadly, this didn't stop classmates teasing her and comparing the marks to a "huge hickey".
Disturbingly, Lexi was even sent death threats before she was diagnosed with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS).
The rare condition causes triple the amount of blood vessels and can shorten life expectancy if left untreated.
Lexi now receives treatment every four to six weeks to treat her condition but says there is constantly a threat of blood clots.
The medical worker, from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, said: “I struggled with mental health issues for years and bullies made high school a living hell.
“I was a happy child throughout primary school, and I didn’t care about my condition.
“As soon as I went to a different school and got to the age of 11, things rapidly changed.
“I would cover up and wear long-sleeved high neck shirts to try and hide my skin, but nothing worked.
“They would call me a freak and say I had hickeys, I even received death threats."
At the age of 13, the constant bullying led Lexi to suffer with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.
The bullying was so bad during her examination period aged 16 that she reached breaking point – leaving school altogether.
Mum Misty Chapman, 40, opted to home-school her daughter instead.
Lexi recalled: “I walked out of my exam to the principal's office and never went back.
“I will never understand why kids I knew since primary school were so cruel about my condition.
“I didn’t choose to be born this way and I couldn’t do anything about it.
“My body isn’t anyone else’s business.
“I want to help other girls and make sure they don’t lose their childhood like I did.
“I missed out on playing sports, going to football games and parties and I regret it so much, I have no happy memories from that time.”
The teen has learned to love herself and uses social media to reach out to other young girls who struggle with self-image.
She finished her high school diploma and now studies phlebotomy at West Georgia College, Georgia, US.
Her boyfriend, 20-year-old Michael, provides support to Lexi when strangers ask rude questions about her condition.
She added: “I am happy I am finally at peace with my appearance, and I want to help to inspire other girls to overcome their body confidence issues.
“Although I am constantly scared I could have a blood clot that kills me, I was relieved to get a diagnosis meaning my condition can be treated properly…
"I’ve had therapy and now I know how to deal with negative thoughts.
“I’m now confident and I wear short sleeves and tank tops.
“I go out to local schools and girls' clubs to talk about my experience and to try and give others the tools to overcome any negative thoughts they have about themselves.
“I get so many messages from girls who reach out to say they hate their appearance.
“I want everyone to know they are beautiful in their own special way.”
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