Your Stories

Sylvia's
Story

I am a child burn survivor who struggled to accept my own body image.

I am a child burn survivor who struggled to accept my own body image. Falling into boiling water at 3 years old left me on life support for months with a very limited chance of survival.

Luckily, I pulled through but over the years I suffered with severe depression, suicidal thoughts and low self-esteem.

I joined the local swim club aged 9 but constantly hid my scars.

3 years ago while on a beach holiday I hit a turning point. I had to do something so I could try and lift my mother’s sadness and guilt over the years but also to try and help others so that they could learn to love their bodies and love their life!

Remembering all the fun and happiness I had in the water, I realised that swimming had a huge impact on my life both physically and mentally. Water is an equaliser and is for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, many of us do not like our bodies so miss out on swimming due to body image difficulties.

I set up a small swim group for burn survivors and created an online community for those with hidden and visible differences called ‘ Love Disfigure’.

Love Disfigure has helped bring people together to form friendships. It has grown into a support network worldwide and has appeared in many press articles include live TV.

I am now currently training to swim from Asia to Europe in July to bring about more awareness for those suffering with long term mental health problems and people affected by their appearance whether facially or bodily.