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Cushnie - Runway - February 2019 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

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23-year-old aspiring model Mahogany Geter wants online trolls to know that she loves every part of herself — including her 100-pound left leg.

Geter, a Knoxville, Tennessee resident, lives with lymphedema — a long-term condition that causes the swelling of excessive fluids within her body’s soft tissue on the left side. Doctors diagnosed her with the disability shortly after she was born. Although there’s no cure for the illness as of yet, Getter regularly gets physiotherapy and lymphatic drainage massages in order to manage her left leg’s excessive fluids.

The 23-year-year-old faced childhood bullying because of the condition but the Daily Mail reports that she now feels “beautiful inside and out.”

“My mom was so worried when I was diagnosed but we have got through everything together,” the aspiring model shared. “As a child I never felt pretty, I used to think God had cursed me. I felt ugly, like a freak of nature and cried in private so many times.”

“Then I decided that I was given this condition because I am emotionally strong and I can handle it,” she inspiringly noted. “Since then I have been learning to accept and celebrate myself.”

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The Daily Mail also reported that “At its largest, [Geter’s] leg adds 100lb to her 300lb total body weight.” Moreover, even though the 23-year-old faces online trolls, the outlet noted that she’s “vowed” to never have her left leg amputated.

Instead, she emphasized the importance of using her disability to inspire others to “celebrate their differences,” and shared that she’s “proud” of what her body can do.

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“I have had my fair share of ignorant comments — one person told me my leg looked like a ham roll and one girl at school called me a deformed b–ch. It has been so hard to rise above these mean people but I have no other choice,” Geter said candidly.

“For the longest I felt so low about myself but once I got older and with loads of support from the online lymphedema community and my mom who is my inspiration, she is so strong, I realised how beautiful I am. Not only looks but as a person.”

“People have been so nice and supportive of me online,” she emphasized. “It isn’t all trolling and negativity. I have met so many people online who keep me company on this health journey I am on.”

While she shared that she isn’t working at the moment, Geter stays very busy. In addition to her physiotherapy appointments, she also draws, listens to music and creates content for her various social media platforms.

Her Instagram has over 14,000 followers and her TikTok over 34,000. The 23-year-old even has a YouTube channel.

“Despite the hard times I honestly feel like I live a normal life. I try to be strong and stay focused on my dreams of making it as a model,” Geter shared. “If I ever make it big I want to buy my mother a house and take care of my family, then I’ll do everything I can to raise awareness of lymphedema to pay it back to everyone who has ever shown me kindness.”

Iconic radio personality and talk show host Wendy Williams has also been open about her struggle with lymphodema in the past. After sharing a photo of her swollen feet (due to the condition) earlier this year, the star had said during her show’s Hot Topics segment: 

“And I had no idea how many of you have lymphedema and came out of the closet with it, in the comment section. And I had no idea how many of you learned about lymphedema on our show. So if there’s one thing that was accomplished, it’s that that’s why I walk the way I do.”

 

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