A man in India whose rare genetic condition has left him covered in thousands of tumors and with an extremely swollen leg claims he is treated worse than “a dirty stray animal” by neighbors and strangers who don’t understand his condition.
Diwaker Bisoye, 65, told SWNS that the growths first started with a few small lumps around 15 years ago. He was diagnosed with multiple neurofibromatosis, which doctors told him could partially be treated with multiple surgeries, but care isn’t available in his small village. The condition causes tumors to form on nerve tissues, and in Bisoye's case has also caused his leg to swell to a massive 56 pounds.
“People ridicule me directly,” he told SWNS. “They stare at me and avoid me. Most people act very [strangely] around me. No one likes looking at me or being near me.”
Bisoye claims misinformed people believe he will infect them and that he’s been unemployed for 15 years because of it.
“Landlords don’t want me living in their property or ask me to leave when people complain about my condition,” he told SWNS.
A woman in Alabama who was also diagnosed with neurofibromatosis said she has spent the majority of her life dodging looks and comments from strangers who also have misconceptions about her condition. Ashley Jernigan, who said her mother and grandmother both also had neurofibromatosis, said she hasn’t had her tumors removed out of fear that they will grow back larger.
“With this condition, you can still live life like any other normal person,” she told Caters News Agency. “It’s just the bullying you have to deal with. It takes a strong person to overcome what people say. It’s hard, it’s really rough and depressing.”
An Alabama mother who has spent the majority of her life dodging looks and comments from strangers about the thousands of tumors that cover her body said she hasn’t had them removed over fears that they could come back even bigger.
Ashley Jernigan, 35, said she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic condition that causes tumors to form on nerve tissues.
“With this condition, you can still live life like any other normal person,” she told Caters News Agency, according to The Sun. “It’s just the bullying you have to deal with. It takes a strong person to overcome what people say. It’s hard, it’s really rough and depressing.”
Jernigan, whose mother also had the genetic disorder, did not specify which type of neurofibromatosis she was diagnosed with, but said her 15-year-old son is also showing symptoms, and that she's hesitant to have his three siblings tested. She also noted her symptoms worsened with each pregnancy.
“I’ll be pretty upset if I find out they have it,” she told the news outlet, adding that her grandmother was also covered in the benign tumors.
Jernigan said she has to monitor the growths, which are typically benign but in rare cases can turn cancerous, and that it’s the adults who are more harsh toward her than children.
“When I go out, people stare and make rude gestures,” she told the news outlet. “I don’t want to date because of the stares. A man wouldn’t accept me. It would take a strong man to appreciate me for who I am and look past my condition.”