My Rare Facial Deformity Nearly Ruined My Life | BORN DIFFERENT


CYNTHIA MURPHY: I was very judged and very
mistreated by people who didn’t know me. So I lived a very troubled life and I just
felt helpless. COMM: 32-year-old Cynthia Murphy was born
with a rare craniofacial disorder called Treacher Collins Syndrome. CYNTHIA MURPHY: Treacher Collins Syndrome
is where the facial bones are affected, bone tissue and you are lacking those less necessary
elements to keep your face together in place. I have had 16 plus plastic surgeries on my
face including a major jaw reconstruction and I am set to get a second one this next
year. It’s been a long process that started when I was 12 years old. I had a very difficult
childhood growing up; I got beat up after school, things thrown at me. It hurt, it hurt
a lot to be labelled as someone who was ugly and deformed and stupid and incapable. I,
sometimes I still don’t know how I got through it. COMM: Having struggled to make friends growing
up due to her condition, Cynthia then met her husband, Thane. They have now been married
for 11 years. THANE MURPHY: What is Cynthia like as a person?
It’s very hard to explain somebody so wonderful to be honest with you. CYNTHIA MURPHY: Everyday I am grateful that
I met him because before I was a very lost person. I just didn’t see it happening. You know,
your whole life you, you just don’t, you know.. CYNTHIA MURPHY: I am very grateful everyday
for my husband and our dogs and the life that we have. It’s hard to, kind of, look back
on that but it is really, it does empower me and it makes me believe, like, ‘No matter
what you have been through, you can get through it.’ THANE MURPHY: I didn’t know anything about
Treacher Collins to be honest with you until I met, met Cynthia and when I met Cynthia,
I didn’t, I didn’t look at her as her having any kind of disability to be quite
honest with you. Cynthia’s condition affected her confidence in a lot of ways. CYNTHIA MURPHY: It wasn’t until I started
advocating for craniofacial when I was 30 that I fully accepted myself. COMM: Cynthia now runs an online community
to help others with Treacher Collins and has also set-up a lifestyle app. CYNTHIA MURPHY: I am very proud of the community
that we’ve built on Facebook especially. We built a secure environment. There are several
groups; I run a few of them. It’s all about sharing all the resources out there. CYNTHIA MURPHY: I didn’t have much help
growing up; I came from a broken home. And there were no books on craniofacial disorders.
I had no guidance; I had to get through everything on my own. Social media is huge, it’s huge
for helping the craniofacial community because you get the awareness, you learn what other
people have been through and we are all here to support each other. THANE MURPHY: I mean if we can change one
person’s life-that’s all our goal is and I don’t think I can come up with the words
to describe how proud I am of Cynthia. She, she is amazing. She completes me and I believe
that I complete her. And it’s, it’s just the team effort. I see the most beautiful
woman in the world and I know a lot of people say that but I say that with all sincerity
and honesty. CYNTHIA MURPHY: He helped me reach a point
of confidence I never had before. I never thought I was worthy. I never thought I was
lovable. Beauty is inner and he saw that in me when we first met. I just didn’t see
it in myself.

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