Warning: This article includes graphic images some readers may find disturbing
This boy was born with a severe condition called giant congenital melanocytic nevus, where 80 percent of his body was covered in birthmarks, but it was not the appearance of the boy’s skin, but the threat that the condition posed to his life, that really had doctors worried.
This is the left side of my "super hero cape" (thats what my brothers call it)
Meet Dylan Little, who came into the world with a serious condition seven years ago. His mother was shocked at her newborn’s appearance. About 80 percent of his body was covered with birthmarks, and his back was entirely black and bleeding. The rest of Dylan’s body was covered with liver spots.
Most noticeable was a gigantic blood-red mole covering his back. Dylan was to undergo several surgical procedures at an early age to remove the moles, as they posed a serious risk of developing into skin cancer.
Once Dylan, a boy from Atlanta, Georgia, was old enough to endure the agony, he started undergoing several surgical procedures.
Skin from various parts on his body needed to be grafted over his back after the giant mole was removed.
In order to grow skin, Dylan needed to have implants (akin to breast implants) inserted into his body.
Alluding to Dylan’s treatment, his mother told The Telegraph: “They use procedure skin expanders, like for breast implants. They put them inside the body under the clearer sections and over three months fill them up with saline until they grow and triple in size, like a water balloon inside him. They then use the excess skin to cover the area of nevus that they have removed.”
The brave boy subsequently went through more than 18 surgeries, as per his Facebook post, to remove half of the moles on his upper back, neck, and shoulders.
“We’re holding onto hope that the moles never turn on and become cancerous, but he could develop cancer at any point,” said his mother, Kara. “He has surgery every three to six months, dependent on which area of the body.”
Kara says people are generally quite sympathetic and just curious. There have been some mean comments though: “Once in a supermarket a store manager asked us to leave because one of their customers was upset about having seen our child, which was very upsetting,” she added.
“I’m not afraid to take him out at all and I don’t want him to be worried or think there is something he should be ashamed of.”
Kara told news.com.au: “We don’t know what his future holds at this point, he could have days, weeks, years or decades—which is why we are doing everything we can to keep him with us.”
Dylan is a warrior and is always ready to smile. Though Dylan’s condition is 1 in 500,000, there is nothing that is stopping him. He enjoys playing baseball and basketball and is a huge Cincinnati fan, and has even attended many games there. In a Facebook post in January this year, the strong-willed boy shared: “31 surgeries doesn’t mean anything to me! I hit 7 balls out of the park just in practice in the last week!!!! Believe in yourself! You can do anything!!!”
Dylan still has to have an MRI done twice a year to check if his moles haven’t resulted in cancerous growth in his brain or spine. In April this year, after an appointment with the doctor, an update on Dylan’s Facebook page read: “My appointment went great on Monday and I made it home safely yesterday. Very quick trip, but really good to know that everything with my skin looks as it should. I have a scheduled MRI for the internal spots at the end of summer.”
He is surely a courageous little boy.