Lilli Sim’s family was excited to welcome a happy baby girl into the world, but they were shocked when doctors informed them that baby Lilli had CFND. Craniofrontaonasal dysplasia, or CFND, meant that she would have to live with this physical deformity for the rest of her life.
Initially, doctors thought that she had Cohen’s syndrome which meant she wouldn’t live longer than a few months. Thankfully, they were wrong, and Lilli has grown into a happy, healthy, enthusiastic young woman.
She didn’t die after a few months, but she did find herself in and out of hospitals frequently for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Doctors have to break and re-break her nose and jaw in order to slowly transform her face. She wanted a more “normal” life, and years of bullying throughout school taught her to value people for who they are – not for what they look like.
Kids can be cruel, but once she started high school, she found that people weren’t as mean to her and she began to make friends. They didn’t make her feel as though she was different, and she began to accept herself, making the best of a bad situation.
I copped a lot of staring and I still do, but it doesn’t really phase me.”Her childhood and experiences have taught her more about who she is and what she wants out of life. When she finishes school, she plans to become a welfare worker to help children who need it the most. While she is getting closer to her “ideal” look, she knows that it isn’t the surgeries that make her beautiful – it’s her goals, dreams, and personality that truly make her an inspiration.