A Woman with Facial Tumor Uses Sign Language to Communicate

Marimar Quiroa, a 21-year-old Californian woman who was born with a cystic hygroma, a birth defect that causes a tumor in her face. Although it’s possible to remove the abnormal tissue, the problem is that the tumor can return. Besides, it’s still growing.

After years hiding at home from many people, she decided it was time to do something for her and with her life. She went through multiple procedures to try to reduce the tumor. However, all the procedures left her unable to speak, eat (she eats through a tube that is directly linked to her stomach), and breathe (she has a hole in her throat for this purpose). On top of it, she can’t hear well from her right ear.

Photo from mirror.co.uk
Photo from mirror.co.uk

Quiroa shows the world that she can have a life, just as other people with similar issues, and she is now a Zumba instructor and a popular makeup blogger.

But her way of thinking is not recent.

According to Quiroa, “When I was younger I would talk to myself in the mirror. I would tell myself I was beautiful. What I like about makeup and beauty is imagining new looks, especially around the eyes, and showing people they’re beautiful no matter what.”

Just two years ago, Quiroa launched a video blog on YouTube. Since she’s unable to speak, she started sharing her makeup tutorials using sign language. She received positive and negative comments. However, it’s all a matter of how you let it affect you-as Quiroa puts it, “When people say negative things to me, I either tell them to stop it or just ignore them. But if people are staring at me, I stare right back and refuse to look away until they stop.”

But Quiroa’s life is not only makeup and being a blogger. She uses her sign language knowledge and is currently training to teach deaf children. Since she likes to do different things, she also attends a beauty school in the evening and has one day a week reserved to teach Zumba, an instruction certification she earned in August 2015.

Quiroa confesses that “my condition doesn’t hold me back in any way – there is nothing I can’t do.”

Despite not being able to tell how Quiroa’s health is going to be affected in the future, she has no problems making plans for the future. “I hope to get married someday and have a family, have my own beauty line, travel and teach people around the world about makeup and my life experience,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how you look or how you feel about your body. Accept yourself; accept your image – that’s what matters.”

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