G'day my name is Melissa.
I am 40 Years old I live in Beautiful Queensland Australia. When I was born it was only know as Cranio Facial. I am not the only one with CFND in my family, my late Grandma who passed away in her early 70s and her daughter / My Aunty who also passed away a few years ago also had CFND (as far as I know their deaths had nothing to do with Having CFND; my grandmas was asthma related and my aunty heart related).
Being 40 I am one of the oldest people I know with CFND and I was one of the first in Queensland Australia to have the Cranio Facial Surgery. I know I could have had more surgery but I remember being asked did I want more and I said no I am happy with who I am. My first operation was when I was about 2, it was the only surgery I had done on my head. I do not remember much except seeing the big lights above my head. My second operation was to remove my extra finger on my right hand.
When I was older I became very aware and took more notice at my appointments; sometimes I had up to 20 people looking at me, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and many other specialists studying and talking about me. I think I was about 11 when my dad asked me did I want to go back and I said something like not anymore dad I feel uncomfortable.
School was another hurdle; I was teased and bulled often both in primary and high school, but I did have good friends as well. I sometimes think it was worse when we went shopping, I would get stared at and pointed at I hated it and still do at times, but like my wise mum we just stared back till they stopped looking.
My hobbies include crocheting and cross stitching. I also love reading and at the moment I am reading the Outlander series, it’s also my favourite tv show. I volunteer twice a week at a lifeline op shop and recently joined my local choral group where we have about 3 major concerts a year .
The only advice I can give is be proud of who you are and we do not look different we are different just like everyone else in the world.
This is a photo of my grandma, who also had CFND.