A mother of two who was cruelly named the Batman character “Two-Face” due to a large facial birthmark thought she would never find love—but got her dream husband and kids.
Chelsey Peat, 34, from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, was born with a rare condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome, a neurological disorder that left her with a large birthmark on the left side of her face, along with glaucoma in her left eye.
“It is a complete genetic mutation. There is nobody in my family who has the condition,” Chelsey told Caters News Agency.
Chelsey didn’t have the easiest start in her life. She had to undergo brain surgery at just 18 months to stop life-threatening seizures that were caused by her condition.
Doctors had told her parents that she had a 50 percent chance of surviving the procedure—and even if she lived, Chelsey would have a 50 percent chance of living with serious mental disabilities. But she defied the odds stacked against her and was left with only a little amount of field vision loss in both eyes and infrequent headaches.
“I beat all the statistics,” Chelsey told Truly.
However, growing up, things didn’t seem easy, as Chelsey was constantly targeted for her physical differences.
As a young child, when Chelsey went out with her mother, people at the shopping center would ask how she was burned or if she was beaten.
There was once even a time when her mom told her that a man wrapped his hands around the mother-daughter duo and said he could help with the abusive situation.
School was equally hard for Chelsey as cruel bullies throughout the years made her life a “living hell,” as she was taunted daily and called cruel names such as “monster” and “freak.”
Chelsey told Caters News Agency that her tormentors also nicknamed her “two-face” after the infamous Batman character who is horrifically scarred on the left side of his face following a chemical attack.
“I didn’t have many friends growing up, it could be a very lonely time,” Chelsey added. “You get to the age where you want boys to notice you but they didn’t want a thing to do with me because I looked different.”
As a teen, Chelsey longed to be a normal girl and thus would put on thick layers of foundation to hide her birthmark.
Once, during a high school graduation dance, Chelsey wished that someone would ask her to go to a dance with them; however, no one ever did.
Chelsey admits that these situations plummeted her self esteem, and she always sided with the poor defenseless characters in the movies such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the beast in Beauty and the Beast, and the Phantom of the Opera.
“Those guys helped me growing up because school was really hard,” she said.
However, things took a major turn for Chelsey when she met her husband, Matt, 34, an IT worker, through mutual friends at a party in 2004. The pair hit it off and began chatting more on MSN messenger and quickly grew close.
Chelsey, who currently works part-time at a hospital, said she felt the experience of being able to talk online made it easier for her to open up and have Matt get to know her true self beyond her birthmark.
“The next thing I know he asked me on a date, we went to the park, and then on another date to the mall,” Chelsey recalled. “It was a big deal for anyone to be interested in me at the time, I never thought that was even possible.”
The couple tied the knot in 2008 and gradually welcomed their daughters, Athena, 13, and Zelda, 3. With this, Chelsey got the family she never dreamed she could have.
Now, the mother, who is an ambassador at Vascular Birthmarks Foundation, is helping create awareness about her condition and giving hope to those who may be bullied for their facial differences.
“I wish people knew we are not contagious, which is one of the biggest misconceptions,” Chelsey said. “Accept us and love us for who we are, birthmarks and all.”
Chelsey has also found peace within herself to deal with the situation. She says now when people stare or make comments on her, she uses the opportunity to educate them.
“We are incredible people, but we don’t get to use our full potential because the outside world is not comfortable with us because we are such oddities,” she concluded. “I want to be treated like any other woman in 2020.”
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