Teen is True Definition of Body Positive

Teenager's LegBarcroft TV

While many adults still struggle with their own body image, some of us could take a cue on body confidence from the kids. Young people who have learned to live with a disability are prime examples of what self-acceptance looks like.

Back in 2015, a bikini photo of teenager Isa-Bella Leclair went viral, and she ended up posting a message about her body. She used it as an opportunity to inform people about a rare condition that affects her appearance. This past December, Barcroft TV interviewed Isa-Bella to learn more about her inspirational life and Parkes Weber Syndrome.

Isa-Bella’s right leg is extremely swollen – at 40 pounds to be exact – due to Parkes Weber, but she’s never let it slow her down. In the video, Isa-Bella’s mother Joan speaks about how she noticed something was different with her daughter at birth. Doctors were unsure about Isa-Bella’s future with the condition.

According to NIH, Parkes Weber Syndrome affects the vascular system, and its characteristics include malformed blood vessels, port wine stains on the skin, and overgrowth of a limb. Typically the abnormality is seen in the legs, where one grows larger than the other.

One of the complications of Parkes Weber is that it can impact how blood is circulated in the body. Fatalities can occur from heart failure or irregular bleeding. Parkes Weber Syndrome is present at birth and has no cure, and the condition is so rare that most doctors are unaware of how to diagnose or treat it. For patients who have it, treatment is given to address swelling and blood circulation.
 
As you can see in the video, Isa-Bella is wearing a compression stocking to combat the swelling. She discusses how lymph fluid usually drains down into her right leg. Curious people often ask if she’s recovering from an injury or surgery, but she gently educates them about her condition.
 

Image of teen with swollen limb.Barcroft TV
What’s really admirable is hearing her mom talk about Isa-Bella’s commitment to doing what she wants, without fearing anyone else’s opinions. Her mom shares that she never came home with a story of being teased or hurt. From a young age, she’s always had a positive attitude about the way she was born. Now a college student, she recently entered a beauty pageant in her Canadian hometown and won a title!
 
More grateful than excited about the win, Isa-Bella was happy that she could raise awareness about Parkes Weber Syndrome. Perhaps the person who is most proud of her achievements is her twin sister Danyka. She’s watched Isa-Bella love herself as-is throughout their lives. As you listen to the family speak, you may choke up too!
 
Isa-Bella continues to undergo treatments to help with her leg. Watch below to learn about her therapy sessions, and to hear her thoughts on beauty, body confidence, and life. So much wisdom and at such a young age!

Are you inspired by this young woman’s positive outlook? Do you have a disability that you’ve learned to embrace as part of you? Share with us in the comments!