Вс. Июл 21st, 2024

An Alabama woman has been gawked at her whole life due to the swathes of tumors covering her body. But she won’t get them removed for fear of the growths coming back bigger and more dangerous.

Ashley Jernigan, 35, suffers from an unspecified strain of neurofibromatosis, a birth defect that causes tumors to sprout on nerves. As a result, the mother of four is covered head to toe in thousands of pebble-like tumors that are so painful she can’t wear shoes.

Jernigan’s unfortunate condition has made her the target of frequent bullying. “When I go out, people stare and make rude gestures,” she told Caters News Agency, adding that “it takes a strong person to overcome what people say.” Some even falsely claim that it’s contagious, Jernigan said.

The disease has put the brakes on her love life as well. It’s gotten so bad that Jernigan doesn’t want to “date because of the stares.” She adds that “it would take a strong man to appreciate me for who I am and look past my condition.”


Despite the numerous obstacles, the courageous mother refuses to get the lumps excised because, in the past, they’ve tended to return even larger. And while the bumps are benign, they could “turn into cancer, so I have to keep an eye on them,” said Jernigan. Neurofibromatosis reportedly claimed the life of her mother — who was similarly blanketed in tumors — when she was just 25.

Doctors cautioned against having kids for fear of exacerbating the ailment. However, Jernigan ignored the advice and gave birth to four children, Darnell, 15, Devon, 14, Keonna, 8, and Kaiden, 5, which indeed caused her condition to worsen.

Worst of all, her son Darnell is already exhibiting symptoms of neurofibromatosis. Jernigan was so horrified that she refuses to get his siblings tested because she’d be devastated if they had it too.

“I worry about the future, but I try not to think about it because it’s depressing,” Jernigan said.