Chelsey Peat was born with a venous malformation known as Sturge-Weber syndrome. It is a rare disorder characterized by the association of a facial birthmark called a port-wine stain birthmark. She says the condition has made cause for many hospital trips throughout her life Although not contagious, the condition has caused negative public reaction towards her all her life.
Peat recently began connecting with other adults with facial differences to hear their stories, and she advocates with different organizations in Canada and the U.S. Through her advocacy, she hopes to send a message to the community that birthmarks may not be contagious, but awareness and acceptance are.
Sturge-Weber syndrome is a rare disorder, as only 1 in 50,000 people are born with it, and Peat adds that there are no facial differences organizations in Lethbridge yet.