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This 4-Year-Old Girl Has Undergone Multiple Surgeries To Get A Dangerous Birthmark Removed From Her Face
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This 4-Year-Old Girl Has Undergone Multiple Surgeries To Get A Dangerous Birthmark Removed From Her Face

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Luna Tavares-Fenner was born on the 7th of March, 2019, and her story quickly went viral. The media around the world named her the girl with the “Batman face” because of the characteristic birthmark Luna was born with. An extensive dark mark covering most of the girl’s little face was a huge surprise for the parents and the medical team assisting during labor. As doctors soon discovered, the birthmark was an unusual facial feature and a dangerous threat to the girl’s life. It turned out to be an extremely rare skin condition called congenital melanocytic nevi.

Immediate action was necessary, leading Luna to undergo multiple surgeries to remove the mark. Since the procedure was quite innovative and unavailable in local clinics at the time, Luna’s parents, Carolina and Thiago, decided to travel all the way to Russia to start the treatment promptly. The doctors carefully planned the entire treatment for Luna, though the duration and full recovery remained uncertain. By age 2, Luna had already undergone six surgeries, with breaks given for healing and rest. The medical treatment proved successful in preventing possible skin cancer for the young toddler. However, the journey was not yet over as the last stage of treatment involved ongoing aesthetic surgeries.

More info: Instagram | ajudealuna.com.br

Meet Luna, a girl who came into this world with a distinctive facial feature

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Bored Panda reached out to Carolina Fenner, Luna’s mother, to get more information about the girl and her story. We first asked her to give us more details about the rare condition Luna was affected by as a newborn. Fenner told us: “Her disease is called congenital melanocytic nevus and is characterized by a birthmark that can be harmful, with the potential for cancer development. Due to concerns about her health, we sought advice from various doctors but received conflicting prognoses. As time passed, our worries only grew stronger.

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This continued until we made the decision to travel to Russia, where a renowned physician specializing in this field proposed a less aggressive surgery. During our time there, further tests were conducted, revealing cancers that had gone undetected while we were living in the United States. This underscored the severity of Luna’s illness, which has always deeply affected both her and us.”

An extensive dark mark covering the majority of the girl’s little face was a huge surprise, both for the parents and the medical team assisting during the labor

Image credits: luna.love.hope

As doctors soon discovered, the birthmark was not only an unusual facial feature but also a dangerous threat to the girl’s life

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Asked how the decision about the treatment was made, Carolina explained: “The decision was indeed made when the doctor in Russia discovered the presence of three cancers associated with her condition. Prior to that, we were uncertain about proceeding with surgery since we had no knowledge of the existence of these three melanomas.”

It turned out to be an extremely rare skin condition called congenital melanocytic nevi

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Image credits: luna.love.hope

The media around the world named her the girl with the “Batman face” because of the characteristic birthmark

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Next, we wanted to know what steps the parents had to take in order to start the necessary treatment and more in-depth information about Luna’s life. Carolina shared with us: “For three years, while we stayed in Russia for her necessary surgery, Luna had limited contact with others, only interacting with a few individuals when necessary. It is evident that her illness greatly affected her ability to connect with the outside world, which is not healthy for a developing child. The challenges posed by her illness were particularly difficult for her, mainly due to the prejudice she encountered.”

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Luna’s parents, Carolina and Thiago, decided to travel all the way to Russia to start the treatment there

Image credits: luna.love.hope

The mother continued: “Since she was a young girl, Luna has had to cope with prejudice and bullying due to her physical condition. This made socialization challenging for her and had a significant impact on her well-being. As a result, we sought psychological treatments to support her. It became apparent that her condition consistently hindered her social development and greatly influenced the way she was treated.

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When we left Russia a year and a half ago due to the war, we enrolled Luna in a school. Unfortunately, she experienced instances of violence and exclusion, further highlighting the hardships she faced due to her illness.”

The doctors carefully planned the entire treatment for Luna

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Image credits: luna.love.hope

They could not estimate how long all the procedures would take or when the girl would fully recover

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Then, we were wondering if the results the doctors were aiming to achieve were satisfying. We found out that: “The surgery, being minimally invasive, did not debilitate Luna or disrupt her regular life. As a result, the outcome has been highly satisfactory and comforting for me. However, she will require ongoing treatments in the future. Since returning to Russia is not feasible, we have opted for alternative monthly treatments to assist with the scarring process.”

By the age of 2, Luna had already undergone six surgeries

Image credits: luna.love.hope

First, all the wounds needed time to heal, and then the toddler was given a break from the surgeries she had undergone

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Image credits: luna.love.hope

Asked how Luna perceives the process of her face changing and her birthmark gradually disappearing from her face, Carolina said: “These days, Luna often finds herself pleasantly surprised when she looks in the mirror and notices that the birthmark is now significantly smaller compared to its preoperative state. This transformation has had a profound impact on her self-esteem, as she has begun to perceive herself as more acceptable. Consequently, her mood has gradually improved, providing clear evidence that Luna is responding positively to the fading of the birthmark.”

Carolina and Thiago created a website where anyone could make a donation for their daughter

Image credits: luna.love.hope

In addition to directly donating money, the website features a special collection of rag dolls that have similar facial features to Luna

Image credits: luna.love.hope

We wanted to find out the estimated time the treatment will still take. Luna’s mother told us: “According to the doctor’s expectations, there are approximately six months remaining for the completion of the ongoing treatment.”

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Image credits: luna.love.hope

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Lastly, we asked Carolina if she had any additional words she would like to share with our readers. Fenner said: “It is crucial to take measures to assess the progression of the disease, as early detection can facilitate prompt treatment. Additionally, I firmly believe that it is essential to support the child in developing resilience to the potential prejudice they may face. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize both the psychological and physical aspects of their well-being, as maintaining a balance between the two is vital for the child’s overall health.”

This little girl is a shining example of immense strength, inspiring everyone around her

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Image credits: luna.love.hope

All the money spent on the website dedicated to Luna contributes to helping the family cover their daughter’s medical expenses

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Since the girl’s story was widely spread online and in other media, people from around the world supported the family

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Strangers sent gifts to Luna, all aimed at making the girl smile and be happy

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Recently, Luna celebrated her 4th birthday

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Thanks to the support of the community, the parents were able to organize a beautiful birthday party with all the friends that the girl had always dreamed about

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Carolina mentioned in one of her recent Instagram posts that they were preparing for the final series of surgeries in Krasnodar

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Image credits: luna.love.hope

However, due to the tense situation caused by the war Russia started against Ukraine, the parents decided to postpone their journey to the clinic

Image credits: luna.love.hope

The book written by Luna’s mother had its premiere in Brazil and will soon be translated into English and released in other countries

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Hopefully, the situation in the world will allow Luna to continue her treatment very soon

Image credits: luna.love.hope

Then, she will recover and fully enjoy the joys of childhood and live a beautiful life with her loved ones

Image credits: luna.love.hope

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eleanorhocking avatar
That Goth Demon (zey/zem)
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Her story is amazing! <3 I hope she gets all the fun in her childhood she deserves!

arianahale avatar
AspieGirl88
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I understand they said the birthmark is a threat to her life, but; as far as appearances go, I think it looks just beautiful … almost like she has a midnight-coloured winged animal perched atop her cute little button nose! I only hope that this sweet little cherry-blossom is loved & treated well by all who meet her, including other children of her age group. 🥹💖👧🏻🌸

lakotasilverthree avatar
Lakota Wolf
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is a high chance that this condition could degenerate into melanoma, which is why these marks are removed if possible. But I agree she is beautiful, both before and after :)

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fromsarawithlove9 avatar
RageHivewing
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The birth mark honestly looked pretty cool, sad it was life threatening

pebs_1 avatar
pebs
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Please don't be hypocritical: what you call "cool" would have been constant psychological and physical torture in the life of that little girl and later woman. Would you call it "cool" even if it happened to your daughter?

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eleanorhocking avatar
That Goth Demon (zey/zem)
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Her story is amazing! <3 I hope she gets all the fun in her childhood she deserves!

arianahale avatar
AspieGirl88
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I understand they said the birthmark is a threat to her life, but; as far as appearances go, I think it looks just beautiful … almost like she has a midnight-coloured winged animal perched atop her cute little button nose! I only hope that this sweet little cherry-blossom is loved & treated well by all who meet her, including other children of her age group. 🥹💖👧🏻🌸

lakotasilverthree avatar
Lakota Wolf
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is a high chance that this condition could degenerate into melanoma, which is why these marks are removed if possible. But I agree she is beautiful, both before and after :)

Load More Replies...
fromsarawithlove9 avatar
RageHivewing
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The birth mark honestly looked pretty cool, sad it was life threatening

pebs_1 avatar
pebs
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Please don't be hypocritical: what you call "cool" would have been constant psychological and physical torture in the life of that little girl and later woman. Would you call it "cool" even if it happened to your daughter?

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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