The mother of a young girl who was born with a large hemangioma birthmark on her face revealed that her daughter was once so upset about her reflection in the mirror that she refused to look in the mirror.
Rose Vasconcelos Esteves, 36, and husband Leonan, 38, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, say their six-year-old daughter Vitória would shy away from looking at her face after noticing that she looked different from her four-year-old sister Alice and the rest from her family.
Physiotherapist Rose says that while Vitória was never physically handicapped in her daily life, she was desperate to find a way to boost the little girl's self-esteem.
Vitória Vasconcelos Esteves, pictured, was born with a birthmark known as a hemangioma on the face and as a result, struggled with her confidence from the age of four
The little girl from Rio Janeiro, Brazil, was once so unhappy with her appearance that she refused to look at her reflection in the mirror. Now her mom Rose says she inspires people with self-esteem issues with her empowering Instagram poses
To boost her confidence and notice her love for photography, her mother Rose began getting Vitoria to pose for pictures she had posted on Instagram. Pictured: Leonan and Rose Esteves with their daughter Alice on the left and Vitoria on the right
To keep her birthmark from growing, Vitoria must have embolization treatments every few months, which are pictured on one of her treatment days. Fortunately, however, her condition does not cause pain
After Rose noticed that her daughter was showing an increasing interest in photography, she took fun photo shoots to boost Vitória's confidence.
Vitória's problems with self-esteem gradually subsided, and in November 2019, Rose decided to post these pictures on Instagram to further increase her daughter's confidence. She enjoyed dressing in fashionable clothes, styling her hair, and doing makeup.
Strangers from all over the world comment on how amazing the six-year-old looks and what an inspiration she is to others struggling with self-esteem issues.
Rose says the most rewarding comments are from adults who also have a hemangioma.
However, Rose admits that she and her husband were accused of using their daughter's disability to make money. She says this was never her goal and resulted in her leaving Instagram almost forever.
Vitoria's mother Rose publishes pictures of her daughter to raise awareness of her condition and boost her confidence, she says … but the family have been accused of trying to jointly benefit from their daughter Pictured, Vitoria and Rose's condition
The parents and doctors of the teenagers knew nothing about their birthmark, which was known as a hemangioma, before they were born. In the picture Vitoria as a baby
"Vitória has always been full of surprises," said Rose. “Her hemangioma came as a surprise to us and the entire medical team at birth. Fortunately, the hemangioma doesn't hinder them in daily life at all and it's only aesthetic.
“She leads a normal life, but of course we have to be careful not to fall or hit her face as this would cause significant damage.
“Apart from that, Vitória is a very healthy child and has no hemangioma pain.
"From a young age she had some problems with her self-image and didn't want her picture taken or see herself in the mirror."
Although the birthmark does not cause her any pain, the six-year-old pictured has to be careful when playing because if she hits her face, she can cause considerable damage
When Vitoria noticed at the age of four that she looked different from her younger sister Alice, she refused to look in the mirror because of the birthmark on her face. In the picture Vitoria poses for pictures of a princess
She always said she wanted to be like her sister and not have a hemangioma.
“I decided to show Vitória's life on Instagram because we saw that she likes to take pictures and take pictures.
“As a mother, I thought it would help her self-esteem, and luckily it did. Victoria is much more confident of herself, which is amazing.
“We get the coolest comments from people who also have similar hemangiomas to theirs.
Vitoria's mother, pictured with the six-year-old, spoke of the heartbreak she felt when people on social media accused her of using her daughter's disability to make money
WHAT IS A HEMANGIOMA?
A hemangioma is a collection of small blood vessels that form a lump under the skin, according to the NHS.
They are sometimes referred to as "strawberry marks" because the surface of a hemangioma can look like the surface of a strawberry.
80 percent of hemangiomas develop no problems at all, and for those who do, the problems are not always severe.
Hemangiomas can be superficial or deep. Some hemangiomas are a combination of superficial and deep types, with a raised, red area on the surface of the skin and a bluish swelling that comes from deeper within the skin.
While Vitória's condition causes no pain, she undergoes embolization treatment every few months to reduce the amount of blood that flows to the hemangioma to prevent it from growing.
The family hopes that Vitória will be able to have an operation to remove the tumor in the near future.
"It's amazing to hear people say that their lives have changed after they met Vitória and that they now feel more confident about exposing themselves to the world instead of hiding."
She adds that trolls have targeted the family: “I was once told that my daughter's disability made me money. My world collapsed when I read this comment. I wanted to drop everything and end social media because that was never my goal.
"But when I told our fans about this comment on Instagram, they encouraged us to keep going. We did that. We offer love because that's what we have to give."
Rose and Leonan's main wish for Vitória is similar to that of almost every parent in general – that their daughter is happy and healthy.
With the amazing support she is receiving online and the continued treatment she is currently receiving, Rose is confident that her hopes for her daughter will come true.
Vitória's current treatment includes embolizations, which aim to reduce the amount of blood that reaches the hemangioma, and then at some point she has to undergo surgery to remove the tumor.
After trolls accused Rose of using her daughter's disability to her advantage, she considered leaving Instagram entirely but stayed after Vitoria's (pictured) fans told them to ignore the hatred
Vitoria's confidence has grown immensely since she started posing for photos, and she has inspired others to feel good about themselves, too. In the picture Vitoria is wearing a dress and braids
“I only wish my daughter that she is happy and very healthy. Everything else is subordinate to these two things.
& # 39; She has such an amazing father. He is always by our side and gives us strength every day, despite the challenges we face.
“The best part about being Vitória's mother is that it made me a better person, something I never thought could happen. It brings light into my life. & # 39;
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