Bailey Pretak was born with with a rare genetic condition called lamellar ichthyosis, which makes her skin crack and shed.
This painful and uncomfortable condition prevents her skin from separating cells at a normal rate, which causes a dry and scaly appearance to the outer layer.
Early on Bailey’s family discovered that if they didn’t exfoliate and moisturise her skin each day, it would peel causing pain all over her body.
So the daily rigorous treatment regime where Bailey had to maintain herself as she got older and more independent. Naturally growing up, the emotional ramifications of Bailey’s skin condition were just as painful.
As a child she was bullied relentlessly as others called her names like “Scaly Bailey” and “The Contagious Girl.” While attending kindergarten other parents would call the principal requesting for their children to be removed from Bailey’s class. Some students wouldn’t touch the same things she touched.
Bailey would hide behind her incredibly protective mother, Tracie.
“Even if it was a child, I would get right down on their level and stare right back so they would see what it would feel like,” Tracie explains.
In an attempt to combat the judgement Tracie decided to change the way she reacted to rude people as that’s what impacted Bailey’s sense of self.
Bailey is now trying to educate people about ichthyosis and raise funds for the charity FIRST – Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types. Now aged 31 she turned her life around in the most unexpected way.
Take a look at her inspiring story in the the video below:
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