When Winry was born, it became clear right away that she wasn’t like most babies.
On one side of her face was a giant mark, something her parents mistook for a bruise at first. But they quickly found out that what she actually had was a rare birthmark called congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN).
Because her mom, Nicole Hall, had never seen this type of birthmark before, she recognized that many others wouldn’t be familiar with it either. Because of this, she also realized that Winry may experience bullying as she gets older.
To help combat this, Nicole has taken to social media to raise awareness (and to show off how adorable Winry is!)
“For a lot of people, this is the first time seeing a birthmark like hers and that’s part of why I enjoy sharing,” Nicole said. “This is a good conversation for parents with their children to see kids have differences, or for those parents who do have a kid that looks like Winry or has any kind of a birthmark to see their child represented.”
Nicole gets quite a lot of questions when it comes to CMN, including the potential health risks. For Winry, there’s a very slight increased risk for developing a skin cancer called melanoma. Because of this, Nicole makes sure to take extra care of her daughter’s skin in addition to taking her to see a dermatologist on a regular basis.
People also frequently ask if it’s possible for the birthmark to be removed. While it may be possible in the future, Nicole does a great job at explaining why they’re waiting for Winry to be old enough to have a say.
As important as it is for them to stay on top of Winry’s health, their bigger concern is how people will treat her and how that will effect her mental health. Thankfully, though, through the power of social media, Nicole has been able to connect with people all across the world who also have CMN.
“We’ve got to talk to several people from Brazil with birthmarks,” Hall said. “One of them has one that is almost identical to Winry and it’s been so fun to talk to her because she’s almost exactly my age.”
Having CMN makes Winry stand out from others physically, but Nicole believes that it’s her personality that really sets her apart. She may be just a little over a year old, but she already shows signs of being talkative and sassy. Most importantly, though, is the fact that she “just radiates joy.”
“Twenty years from now I just hope that she’s happy and doing whatever the heck she wants to be doing,” Nicole said. “Because I just know that she can do anything she sets her mind on whether that’s college or becoming a mom herself or exploring the world; whether it’s talking to people about her birthmark and helping continue this or whether it has absolutely nothing to do with that. I just want her to be doing whatever makes her heart happy.”
Don’t forget to share Winry’s story with a friend.
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