Girl, 6, With Rare Facial Birthmark Given Doll That Looks Like Her: 'I'm Beautiful and You're Beautiful'
Corina, 6, has always been self-conscious about her facial birthmark, but thanks to the doll, she is starting to come out of her shell.
Corina has always been self-conscious about a birthmark on her face, but that's all changing now, thanks to her new doll that has been designed with the same birthmarks.
The 6-year-old from Cedar City, Utah, has Sturge Weber Syndrome, a rare neurological disease that causes reddish-purple birthmarks sometimes called a "port wine stain" on her face and body.
Her adopted mother, Kirsten Murdoch, 38, said she suspects the birthmark, along with the other expensive medical needs that come with the disease, may have been the reason she was given up for adoption in China.
As a result, Murdoch said Corina is often self-conscious, and buries her face when she senses she is being stared at.
"We've heard the gamut of cruel things," Murdoch told InsideEdition.com. "But she tells the doll she's beautiful, 'Mommy and daddy tell me I'm beautiful and you're beautiful.'"
The handmade doll, created by A Doll Like Me, was designed to replicate all of Corina's unique features, including red birthmarks on her face and legs. The company specializes in designing dolls that look like their owners, even if they have albinism, disabilities, or rare birthmarks.
"This is the first time we've seen her attach to a tangible thing as a typical child would," said Murdoch, who adopted Corina when she was 3 years old. "She's identified that this doll has birthmarks just like her."
Murdoch explained that although she expected children to point and stare, she is most surprised at adults who are quick to jump to conclusions, even asking if Corina was hit or burned.
"The mom in me has this inner tiger that rises when it's hurt," she said. "You want to protect your children. When we see it or feel it, we try to shelter her as much as we can."
As Corina has gotten older, Murdoch said she has started burying her face in her arms or lap when she notices someone staring, or pulling down her hair to cover her birthmark.
But, her three older brothers, one of whom is also adopted, are protective of her. When they feel she is the subject of negative attention, they form a circle surrounding her, blocking her away from unwanted stares.
"We hope she can find more of that self-confidence to hold her head high, and to be okay with this," Murdoch said.
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