‘My Story’ written by Lauren, age 15

I am one of the only teenagers I know of with CMN to live in Ireland. My CMN is on my back and legs and I have moles all over my body. When I was born the doctors had to ask around the hospital to see what my condition was. Luckily there was one doctor in the hospital who had seen it before. I was going for developmental check ups to a baby clinic until I was two. I had many operations and an MRI test done when I was younger, which I didn’t even know about until a few years ago. When I was three, I went to a specialist in London who told my parents that my skin condition was nothing to worry about.

My parents have taken me to Caring Matters Now support event in the UK for a number of years. Living in Ireland means it is more difficult for me to attend these events, as we have to go on a plane or sometimes a boat to get there.

One of the first charity events I remember going to, was the teens Escape Rooms event. I started going to all the yearly teen events after that. It was a great support to see people that were my age with the same skin condition as me, and I have kept in touch with them by phone ever since.

Having CMN has opened many doors in my life. I get to travel to Britain almost every year and I get to be apart of the Young Ambassador Programme, which is an online course to help build confidence and improve public speaking ability. Knowing that there are other people like me in the world has also been a great support.

I have known since I was little that I have CMN, and I’ve had the support from Caring Matters Now for a long time. It shocks me to learn that many people are living with CMN and still don’t know what their skin condition is or about Caring Matters Now. So, when Caring Matters Now exhibited the CMN photograph series at the OXO Tower in London, I thought it was a great way to raise awareness about CMN. My parents and I booked flights to see the exhibition in London and when I was there, I got to see some of my friends from the charity too. It was amazing to see all the people with the CMN from across the world.