My Life With Psoriasis: A Ballerina’s Story

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

The pain in psoriasis is different for everyone. But for me, it felt like I was lit on fire. Psoriasis just covered me from head to toe. It would be all over my face, my eyelids. I was bullied a lot in school.

One of my more popular nicknames was Crocodile because of the thick scales on my skin. A lot of parents didn't want their kids to play with me. I think ballet was probably the craziest thing I could have done because ballet is about perfection and I stood out with blatant imperfection. I just wanted to prove to myself and maybe to the world that I could do anything, even with psoriasis.

I was training every day for hours a day. I would look in the mirror and I would just see, like, a strong and capable person. I just felt like I could be who I wanted to be.

By the time I saw a doctor, it was pretty bad. I had systemic inflammation from a lifetime of psoriasis. And that meant that I had inflammation not only in my skin but in my joints. I was then over the age of 18 and so there were treatments available to me that hadn't been available to me as a child. I saw my own clear skin for the first time in my whole life when I was 21.

So I started volunteering with the National Psoriasis Foundation, mentoring other patients, hosting events to teach people about it. I'm applying to medical school because I want to be a doctor and work with kids. I really empathize with them.

Psoriasis never defined me. There was pain but there was the overcoming of it. And I think that defines me a lot more than psoriasis ever could.