Mum with 200 tumours all over her body says strangers stare at her in the street

A woman who is covered head-to-toe in hundreds of tumours due to a rare condition says her confidence has been knocked by how people react to her.

Jamila Gordon, 33, says strangers avoid her and stare at her in the street, which impacted her self-esteem and made her anxious.

Jamila, who is from St Croix, US Virgin Islands, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis when she was a baby after a lump formed on her stomach and has developed hundreds of tumours on every part of her body since.

Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition that causes tumours to grow along the nerves. Jamila says the tumours are painful and have caused her to struggle in relationahips.

But, thanks to her eight-year-old daughter, Jamila has finally found her confidence after seeing that her little girl ‘doesn’t care what people think.’

‘The tumors hurt and they’re really itchy,’ says Jamila. ‘They’re all over my body and on on the bottom of my feet, which makes it difficult to walk.

‘I have too many to count but I would say I have more than 200.

‘It really affected my confidence and took me a while to get my confidence back. I do get really nervous and depressed and I get anxious because people stare at me.’

Since her diagnosis, Jamila has had some of the tumours removed, but they have just grown back.

‘Children stare at me, some people will come and ask but a lot will just stand and stare,’ she says.

‘When I was younger I got teased at school so I found it hard to learn and I never wanted to go. It has affected me getting into relationships because of my confidence and because the condition makes me depressed.’

Jamila says that people have felt so uncomfortable around her that she has even lost work because of how she looks.

‘I used to work in a nursery where the kids loved me, they would stroke my tumors and were really curious but I could tell the parents were uncomfortable and the next thing I knew, I was told I couldn’t work there anymore,’ she says.

‘That’s happened a few times. It’s a shame because I love kids but it has been hard to get a job because of my condition.’

Jamila’s daughter Tatyana has also been diagnosed with the disease, which is genetic, and Jamila says although she worries for her future, it was Tatyana who helped her get some of her confidence back.

‘She’s just started to notice that people are staring but she doesn’t care what anyone thinks,’ says Jamila.

‘After school, she shouts my name and runs straight over to me for a hug.

‘Every day I try and put a smile on my face and be the best woman and mother I can be for my daughter who loves me for who I am.

‘I do worry about Tatyana though because she also has the disease.

‘She’s developed little spots so far and the doctor said they won’t grow in tumors, but you never know with this condition. 

‘They could get bigger when she reaches puberty.’

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