A brave teenager is using selfies to show the reality of a debilitating disease and now her efforts to normalize and celebrate her body just the way it is have gone viral.
Aimee Rouski, 19, suffers from Crohn’s disease. She explains, “My Crohn’s has left me with a permanent ileostomy, no large intestine, colon, rectum, anus, or inner thigh muscles as they were used for plastic surgery on my wounds.”
While she says, “I’ve always been okay with the stuff that has happened to me,” the teenager goes on to admit that, “some people have real difficulties accepting these things.”
So Aimee shared a series of intimate photos of herself, along with her ileostomy and scars, writing, “I’ve wanted to do this for a while because I always see body posi [positive] posts for weight, but not many for disabilities/invisible illnesses.”
“First off, I have Crohn’s disease, it’s a serious incurable illness that nearly killed me, not just a stomach ache like most people seem to think.”
“I just want to say this: No one will know unless you tell them. People who know will still love you and still find you beautiful. Your illness is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.”
Aimee’s post has since been liked and shared on social media over 100,000 times with readers praising her bravery and strength, admiring her for being so open about her illness, and fellow sufferers thanking the 19-year-old for reminding them that they’re beautiful — no matter what.