When Dylan Little was born four years ago, his mother Kara and the medical staff were bewildered: Dylan's entire back was covered with a massive dark mark. His legs and arms were also covered with sizeable birthmarks. The neonatal ICU quickly discovered that Dylan had been born with a rare skin disorder called congenital melanocytic nevus.
Warning: Some people may find the following images disturbing.
"When Dylan was born, over 80% of his body was covered in birthmarks—his back was completely black and bloody; his face, his arms and legs all covered in moles," said his mother Kara.
Less severe forms of this disorder cause small moles or birthmarks, but fewer that 500,000 people have been born with such a dramatic case. More than 80% of his entire body was covered in spots!
Dylan's parents Kara and Nikki looked deeper into the condition and feared that his marks could one day develop into a deadly skin cancer. But the affected skin surface area was far too large to simply remove the spots.
Then a ray of hope came from an unexpected direction. Implants—like the ones used for breast enlargement—were inserted beneath Dylan's healthy skin. The implants were then slowly expanded with a saline solution over the course of three months in order to stretch his skin. This was an important preparatory step before continuing with his treatment.
Every three to six months, Dylan undergoes another operation. So far the little guy has been put under the knife 26 times, but more than half of his moles have been removed.
"We hope to replace all of his moles with healthy skin in order to make his chances of getting skin cancer as low as possible. We're trying to do what's best and give him the longest and best life possible," said his parents.
They are also working on his self confidence, because he has already received rude comments from people on the street. In response, the family gives out small information cards about his rare condition.
What a courageous young man to have gone through so much at such a young age. Thank goodness he was born into such a supportive family!