Try to imagine the worst words you could hear from your doctor. There are, of course, plenty of things a doctor could say that would disturb us to our core. However, one of the most awful phrases must be, “It’s a tumor,” and for good reason: the appearance of unexpected growth can often prove fatal.
But one woman from Fort Wayne, Indiana, received the news six thousand times over. Neurofibromatoses is a genetic condition with nasty symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. It causes the formation of small, pebble-like, usually benign tumors around the tissue of the nerve. Though these lesions may occur internally, they also can crop up all across one’s skin. And that’s exactly what they did in Huffer’s case. Metro reported that Huffer was first diagnosed at the tender age of 5. However, the tiny tumors didn’t begin popping up until she was a teenager. The bullying was ferocious, as was the physical pain. A mere hug was often agony.
According to Iupy, she stated, “I can’t even go for groceries without someone saying, ‘What’s that all over you?’ or pointing at me with their kids saying, ‘Look at her.’ Someday, it would be wonderful not to have to worry about how I look, or what clothes will hide my bumps.”
She also told news sources, “I have been bullied and victimized my whole life because of the bumps all over my skin. They cover me from head to toe.
“In school, kids would pick on me all the time. They called me lizard breath and toad.”
“I had to change my name from Elizabeth to Libby because whenever I heard my name, it reminded me of being called lizard breath.”
Thankfully, there was a treatment. An electrodesiccation procedure followed by CO2 laser smoothing could remove the growths and give Huffer relatively normal looking skin. Unfortunately, it was quite expensive and each round cost five figures.
She had gone through several treatments, but she had around 6,000 of the small tumors all over her body. Yet everything would change when she went on the television talk show “The Doctors.”
Specialists offered to manually remove the tumors for completely free, and the end results were shocking. In fact, when Huffer’s daughter saw her mother fully transformed on the show, she burst into tears.
“Look at her!” she exclaimed. “Wow!”
For her part, Huffer added, “There’s still a long way to go to heal the emotional damage I’ve undergone over the years. But I know that will only improve over time.”