It is all too easy to be unhappy with the the things we do not have and to take for granted the things we do, but one young woman in India, despite being poor and having a disfigured face, finds happiness in just living.
Khadija Khatoon, 21, was born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow throughout the body, reports The Sun. The condition has caused her face to have extra body tissue and has left her with no discernable eyes or nose.
Khatoon was born impoverished in Kolkata, Eastern India. Her parents, Rashid Mulla, 60, and Amina Bibi, 50, knew there was something wrong when their two-month-old daughter still hadn’t opened her eyes.
“When we took her to the hospital she was admitted for six months and they did lots of tests but doctors eventually told us there was nothing they could do.” her mother said.
Khatoon has never attended school, but instead learned from her two older brothers, Rutpaul and Muzzafar, and three sisters who have all left home.
“I don’t have any real friends but I have my family.” Khatoon said. “My family is my only friend and I love them dearly. My parents are my world. I don’t talk to strangers.
Her father is sometimes able to make money selling fruit at the market, while her brothers earn 7,000 rupees ($106) a month working in a baker. The lack of money has left the family unable to afford medical care.
“There’s a possibility she has a tumour inside her face which could be fatal.” Dr. Anirban Deep Banerjee said.
“If she’s willing we could need to do a lot of tests to determine how successful surgery could be.”
Although Khatoon is afraid of seeing a doctor — she hasn’t been to one since she was 8-months-old — a Crowdfunder campaign with a target of 10,000 pounds ($15,050) has been started to help Khatoon get the medical help she needs.
No matter her condition, Khatoon is “happy in this life.”
“I’m made this way and I accept it graciously,” she said. “I do what I can. If this is how I’m meant to be then I live with it. It’s not a matter of coping, I just live as I am.”