I am 52 years old, and I have had NF-1 since birth, the result of a spontaneous mutation. My parents are deceased, and I have two older sisters, both unaffected. I have cutaneous and plexiform tumors. NF mostly affects the left side of my body, including vision, hearing, and some motor function.

I was diagnosed at 2 yrs of age by our family doctor, and have had almost as many surgeries as birthdays.

I have a Masters degree in Counseling, am a Certified Professional Coder, and just finishing up an Associate’s Degree in Health Information Technology, the result of a midlife career change. I currently work as a caregiver while I complete my degree.

I was married once; I’m now divorced and single and happy. My personal mantra is: I am a woman with NF, but my NF does NOT define me or defeat me.