6-month-old Luna Fenner was born with congenital melanocytic nevus, a rare skin condition that causes an “abnormally dark” patch to appear on the skin. Luna’s patch, which appears on a large portion of her face, is said to look like the Batman symbol. Her mother, Carol Fenner, says she will take Luna to Russia, where a doctor there will perform a series of surgeries to remove the dark, Batman-shaped patch.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people with congenital melanocytic nevus have a high risk of developing melanoma, so the decision is not just a cosmetic one.
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Luna’s mom, Carol, was “shocked” after giving birth to Luna. Almost immediately, she knew that she wanted to have the dark patch removed from her daughter’s face. Doctors quickly confirmed that to be the right call, given how easily such a mark can turn into melanoma.
Unfortunately, there are no doctors in the U.S. who can perform the necessary surgeries, so Carol is heading to Russia.
“We saw a lot of doctors. We went to Boston, Chicago, and New York trying to find a better result,” Carol told WPLG.
Dr. Pavel Borisovich Popov, a Russian surgeon-oncologist, contacted Carol and told her to bring Luna to Russia, where he can perform surgeries that cannot be performed in the United States on a faster timeline.
“We’re going to remove it,” Carol told Inside Edition. “That can turn to cancer, also because of the bullying and stuff we are going through when we go out. People saying bad things about it.”
Dr. Popov plans to perform up to eight surgeries on Luna once she and her mom make it to Russia. He says the surgeries should take approximately 18 months to complete.
“Everybody thinks I’m crazy to go to Russia,” Carol says, “but I have done a lot of research and gained advice from several doctors and I really think that this is the best option for Luna right now. It will be a huge relief if it works for Luna. I don’t want her to get bullied. People ask if it’s contagious and say really mean things.”
Carol launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the expenses of traveling to Russia and the surgeries themselves.
“Hi, I’m Luna,” the GoFundMe page reads. “I’m 4 months old. I was born with a rare disease that affects 1.5% of the world population called Congenital Melanotic Nevus.”
“People like me with large moles get more than their fair share of looks, stares, whispers, and finger-pointing. It is heartbreaking for my parents and it can have a devastating effect on me as I grow up. I need your help because I want to be a normal kid and have a normal life. I hope this doesn’t sound like a lot to ask.– GoFundMe
There is no cure for Nevus and there’s no magic treatment. The best option is the Nevus removal through surgeries. A bunch of surgeries, actually.
After consulting with the best doctors and weighing the psychological impacts and health issues, my parents decided to start the surgeries asap, since the babies skin recovery much faster than an adult. We’re not sure how many surgeries I need. Everything will depend of the doctor. But at least 6 surgeries will be needed.”
The GoFundMe page states that each surgery will cost $40,000, not including transportation, accommodations, and other costs. So far, the campaign has raised more than $46,000. It has a goal of $98,000.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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