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longingforhope

creating public awareness about the need for a cure

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OK....i need to vent.

today i was watching Oprah and she kicked off her "better yourself in 2009" week by discussing her current battle with her weight. she was telling the audience that she refuses to put her body on the cover of her magazine out of embarrassment, and that she hates standing next to skinny people. therefore, she's using the whole week to discuss how we can all "get on the wagon" again and feel good about ourselves by working out and eating healthy.

as i know being overweight does affect one's self perception of themselves, it still made me upset to watch. being overweight is often a personal choice stemmed from poor eating habits and lack of exercise. if someone is overweight, they know that with some hard effort, they can definitely lose the pounds.

yet, for those of us who battle with scarring, we cannot do this - and i'm pretty sure i'm speaking for everybody that there is nothing we wouldn't try if it was guaranteed to work 100%. we did not cause our current skin condition. here oprah is embarrassed about her weight that she can actually cover with certain types of clothes...yet, we cannot hide our faces. how does she think we feel when we see people next to us with perfect skin? or how we wake up with a hopeless feeling everyday in regards to our options? there are so many overweight people in the media and in our society that help make oprah and many others not feel alone. however, you will never see anyone with scarring on tv or in movies.

her whole week is raising awareness about dieting and bettering ourselves so we feel confident and great again. yet, in regards to scarring, its frustrating to not really have the options to be able to "work" on it. some people have talked on here about starting a foundation intended to fund current research in skin regeneration...and i wondered if anyone tried contacting oprah or some other large news journalist who reports on issues affecting our society and persuading them that scarring is definitely something that truly affects the psyche. i personally believe that there will never be a cure if there is no awareness driving it.

if anyone thinks this idea is stupid, i'm sorry. i'm just trying to keep the hope alive in 2009...thoughts?

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I've been watching Oprah as well and have thought exactly the same thing. Being overweight is something that can be fixed. Yes, it's hard but it's fixable. With scars, it takes a lot of money (that I and most people definitely don't have) and time to even see a small improvement. I'm stuck paying on a loan I took out for some treatments that ended up doing absolutely nothing for me and it's hard not to be bitter about it. I would love for awareness to be brought to the matter! There's so much depression involved in scars, especially when they're on your face, something you're supposed to show the world daily.

I've thought about writing Oprah myself, though I don't know if I'd actually do it. I wonder if she's ever received anything about it. I'm sure if enough people sent in on the matter it would be considered. I can't imagine her having a show on scarring but hey, it's worth a try. She's had all kinds of situations featured on her show, why not? It's not like we're asking for a car or a house.. haha. :)

I'm glad that even though there isn't support in the media about it, this site exists. It has definitely made me feel less alone.

I definitely don't think your post is stupid. :)

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haha i know. i think i was kind of tired and frustrated last night when typing this. :wacko:

i'm just so sick of such a huge emphasis on dieting and how people freak out over an added 10 lbs when i feel the suffering and struggle we deal with everyday is overlooked.

i'm not necessarily saying that Oprah would have a whole show on scarring, but sometimes i think about people who also are severe burn victims and such....some light should be shined on this issue to further push regenerative medicine - to help improve all of our lives!

thanks for being so nice....even to my crazy idea....haha. this site has helped me so much not feel alone. :D

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i'm just so sick of such a huge emphasis on dieting and how people freak out over an added 10 lbs when i feel the suffering and struggle we deal with everyday is overlooked.

You're 100% correct.

I actually get a bet sick when I hear ppl like O moan about weight problems and whatnot. Get on a treadmill u fat cow. All this BS talk about genetic obesity and hormone imbalances. Seriously, wtf?!

There is a cure for weight problems and its called EXCERCISE & A HEALTHY DIET!

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Oprah is in television and therefore interested in mass appeal. Weight is something that concerns the masses so therefore it is not a surprise that she will concentrate on that for her show. Acne scarring is not something that affects many, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it doesn't feature much on shows.

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I have thought about this exact topic. and when I do I use obesity to compare to scarring.. Nobody speaks up on behalf of scars. I think its a combination of people with scars are so ashamed of there scars to talk about it. and also I think it also has to do with the way society has treated scarring our whole lives. how many times have you been told. "those scars are not bad" or a dr. at a derm office said, your scarring is not to bad" if the people who are supposed to care the most treat your scarring with no sympathy at all who will?? we are made to believe that our scars are simply a part of life and if you cant overcome them to be as productive as somebody with great skin then we have something wrong with us. that theres alot bigger problems in the world then our scars. and its always people without scarring telling us that.

its a very frustrating situation for all of us.

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Well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

And imagine if Oprah threw just a fraction of her considerable wealth and influence behind the cause of eradicating acne...

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The thing and overwhelming majority of people won't bother fixing something that doesn't concern them personally.

That's why when you see a famous person doing some kind of charity or sponsoring medical research, it's because they or their kids have or had the same problems.

The thing is, nobody really wants to talk about (their) acne.

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some people have talked on here about starting a foundation intended to fund current research in skin regeneration...and i wondered if anyone tried contacting oprah or some other large news journalist who reports on issues affecting our society and persuading them that scarring is definitely something that truly affects the psyche. i personally believe that there will never be a cure if there is no awareness driving it.

Hey, longingforhope, I've made posts in other threads in the last few months about this very same topic -- the need for raising awareness about acne scarring and the even bigger need to create an organized effort to end "acne scarring" as we know it. You said that you believe that "there will never be a cure if there is no awareness driving it." You are absolutely right.

After spending the good part of a year in a debilitating depression over the state my skin is in, and dealing with frequent thoughts of suicide, I've decided to try and use this experience to try and bring some small bit of good into a world filled with suffering. Just a couple of months ago, I made the decision to make it my life's work to run a foundation that will fund new and existing projects around the globe which are dedicated to researching and developing novel methods for acne scar revision. I have named the foundation the *Moderator edit, URL removed - read the board rules. *. You can see the website, which is currently under construction, at *Moderator edit, URL removed - read the board rules. *

There has been a discouraging lack of meaningful progress in the arena of acne scar revision. My firm belief is that it is due to the fact that the most effective treatments for acne scarring will come from projects that are too long term for standard funding mechanisms. For-profit entities are generally unwilling to invest the time or money into research that will not yield a product or procedure for an estimated ten years or more. Acne scarring is a condition that will take several years and teams of researchers to arrive at dramatically effective solutions. And it will only come about when there is an incentive greater than capital gain. It will take patience on the part of researchers and those providing funding. It will require a fusion of surgical artistry combined with the use of the very latest biomaterials to assist in optimal healing and regeneration.

Many have said to me personally, "Ten years? You've got to be kidding me. Wake me up in a decade when you've got something I can do NOW." But the truth is this: you and I both will be alive in ten years...fifteen years. In 15 years, I will be 43. Longingforhope, you will be only 40. The eighteen-year-old who has been disfigured by a vicious bout of cystic acne will be a very young 33 years old. And for those of you who are in your forties or older, you're going to still care what you look like when you're 55 or 60. Wouldn't you rather have a genuine, life-altering fix THEN then NEVER? We will all still have plenty of life ahead of us in 10-15 years, and I'm doing my part to ensure that there is a real cure when we arrive at that future.

I'd rather wait a decade for something that *works* then fritter away my funds on the half-baked "cures" available now. Now that is certainly not to say that there is nothing to be done now. I believe that things such as dermarolling, needling, and TCA cross can provide noticeable results over the long term. But those procedures don't work for everyone, and they may or may not yield the kind of improvement we are really seeking. Like you said in another post, longingforhope, "I don't want just improvement - I want total restoration!" That sentence spoke to me. That is what I want too, and I do believe that it is not an unrealistic goal, given enough time, funding, and research. I also believe it is something that is NOT decades away.

You know, before my skin was wrecked beyond repair, I used to read posts made by people with scarring and feel so removed from their suffering. I was just glad I didn't have to comprehend such suffering. It wasn't my problem. Now I know. Now I understand. It took entering my own personal hell to get me to care about a cause. Before that, I was so selfish and only concerned with my petty strifes. Now I am fighting for something that is bigger than me. This is what I now live for. Hopefully I will be able to look back in twenty years and be able to say that I did something to CHANGE the world.

Longingforhope, it's funny how both of our usernames contain the word "hope." That word has become so meaningful to me. The sound of it holds so much promise. I have hope, but I also have a plan. And that is a powerful combination.

I have already gotten an attorney who suffers from acne and acne scarring to donate her time in helping me set up an official nonprofit corporation. We will hopefully do that this month. I'm not in this for any kind of monetary gain. I currently run a business, creating marketing materials for doctors' offices around the country. If anything, my income will decrease as I devote more time to the development of the Hopeskin Foundation.

I post regularly on the "Scarless Healing" thread http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Scarless-...tml&st=1380 and I do believe that, if this cause is given a voice, it will be possible to eradicate facial scarring before we're too old and wrinkly. : ) I do believe that celebrities and other high profile people can do wonders for a cause because of their rare combination of fame, public influence, and wealth. As far as Oprah goes, the funny thing is that I actually have been devising ways to contact her and other celebrities in hopes that they might feel compelled to contribute to the cause of acne scarring. I'm so glad you made this post! I'm going to wrap this post up and make another one under this thread about my idea for getting Oprah to fund our cause. Stay tuned!

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Many have said to me personally, "Ten years? You've got to be kidding me. Wake me up in a decade when you've got something I can do NOW." But the truth is this: you and I both will be alive in ten years...fifteen years. In 15 years, I will be 43. Longingforhope, you will be only 40. The eighteen-year-old who has been disfigured by a vicious bout of cystic acne will be a very young 33 years old. And for those of you who are in your forties or older, you're going to still care what you look like when you're 55 or 60. Wouldn't you rather have a genuine, life-altering fix THEN then NEVER? We will all still have plenty of life ahead of us in 10-15 years, and I'm doing my part to ensure that there is a real cure when we arrive at that future.

that was me who said that holdontohope. sorry for that remark. it was uncalled for.

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for holdonto hope:

some men are born to be great.....and u are one of them.

my hat is off to u my friend, ur going to help alot of people.....not only by finding effective treatments, but by taking the shame out of this skin disease, bringing it into the light, and giving a voice to all of us who are suffering alone..........finally.

thank you.

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i love that so many people have already responded to this post! :surprised:

i completely agree with you munsoned - people who don't deal with scarring always say things like "oh your scars arent that bad. there are bigger problems than your scars in the world" and i've even had dermatologists act like it was no big deal. i wanted to yell out and scream..."if it was no big deal, it wouldn't be the first thing i see in the mirror in the morning and i wouldn't be in your office spending so much money on treatments!!!!" i agree with you that it is very frustrating and so depressing when you feel alone.

that is why when i read your post, holdontohope, i seriously almost cried! you absolutely stated everything i feel 100% and i could not have put it better than you. i think what you are doing with hopeskin.org is truly, truly remarkable and i can only hope that there comes a solution soon. i am also in marketing/pr and would truly love to help in any way i can to your organization. please keep us informed of all your efforts!!! :dance:

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I don't watch Oprah.....enough said. I have scarring from acne and from discoid lups. If you've seen the singer "Seal" (sp?), those scars on his cheeks are a result of discoid lupus, and that would be me. Image Google "Seal" (sp?) to see what I mean. People who don't have scars cannot relate or have empathy for those of us who do. I'm not mad at them or hate them. I just take what they say with a grain of salt. My scars have made me less sociable. I feel safer away from people except for a few of my family members and a friend or 2. I applaud you!!!!!! Bring it on!!!!!

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As I said in this thread a couple of days ago, I've been brainstorming over ways to contact celebrities and other high profile people in hopes that they will lend their support to the cause of ending acne scarring. After all the talk about Oprah on this thread, and given the fact that she's about as high profile as they come, I think it makes sense to make her the first contact on the list. Again, I'm so glad longingforhope made this post, and I totally resonate with what she said: "some light should be shined on this issue to further push regenerative medicine - to help improve all of our lives!" I don't mean to hijack this thread, and hope it doesn't come across that way. I want to participate in the creation of a movement of which we can all be a part. This is how I am contributing.

I am going to put together a PR package complete with a video message, cover letter, and multi-page booklet complete with photographs, messages, and as many signatures of acne scar (and other facial scars) sufferers as I can. I am a professional in the design/marketing field and have access to a top notch printing press. I will give it everything I have to make this a first class production. Input, suggestions, and constructive criticisms are more than welcome. When it comes to gathering photos, personal messages, and signatures, I will certainly not be able to do that alone.

I believe that words, in this case, will not be enough. I believe that in order to create a compelling presentation, that actual photographs of individuals with acne scars and other types of facial scarring (like discoid lupus, MRSA scars, etc) will be a key element of the presentation. From as many people who are willing, I would like to collect honest, head-on photos along with very short, simple messages to Oprah written by the individuals in the photographs. The message of acne scar sufferers will speak louder if supplemented with photographs. The purpose of this pr packet is to tap the emotional reserves of powerful people to get them to offer support. In order to do so, there needs to be a memorable presentation with words and images. My aim is to not only get Oprah's (and other people's) attention, but to convince them that acne scarring is much more than skin deep - it has profound psychological and emotional consequences and affects many many millions of people around the world.

Anyways, that's what I'm working on now. If anyone wants to send me a photograph with a short message (1-2 sentences long) with Your first name and last initial, then I'll include it in the presentation. If you don't want your photograph shown, then please PM me a 1-2 sentence message explaining your hope for the future and how much it would mean to you. Please don't use Oprah's name in the message as I'd like to send this packet out to many people. This is going to be a powerful message and maybe we'll have some luck. : )

Let me know what you guys think!

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This is the best idea I've seen on here in a LONG time! Please do NOT worry about hi-jacking this thread - hijack all you like! :) I am also in PR/Marketing and think that your idea is astounding. It sounds like you have a lot of experience, and because you are so passionate about this topic, I'm sure you will do a great job putting it together! Please let me know if you need any additional help from me or others - and everyone - start sending in pictures and testimonials on how acne scars have diminished your quality of life! This is a GREAT IDEA and should NOT be overlooked!

I have so much hope in this! THANK YOU!!!! :dance:

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i think seal could be a great advocate, however, he has sort of embraced his scars and has publicly stated that if he had a choice to get rid of them, he wouldn't. i think that seal's outlook is great if it has worked for him, however, i know many of us don't feel the same way or we wouldn't be on this website! i am also a female, and not to be sexist, but sometimes i feel scars on men are considered rough and enticing (and studies have shown that a lot of women are attracted to men with scars!) - whereas, i am a woman, and scars on women are seen differently.

in no way, shape, or form am i telling anyone who is a male with scars that they should be worried about their scars any less because i know it affects many of us JUST THE SAME no matter what gender, however, sometimes i feel more pressure when it comes to appearance and looking "flawless" because i'm a girl. i think it is a good idea to get BOTH gender representations from celebs, public figures, etc.

holdontohope...how are your responses from others so far? is there some sort of email address that we can send our pictures and blips to? please keep us updated! this could help so many people regain their life back....from acne, diseases, car accidents, burns, war, etc....we all want our faces back!!!

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you will never see anyone with scarring on tv or in movies.

Well Tommy Flanagan has serious scarring and he always gets the role of the bad guy. Ray Liotta has some pretty bad acne scarring too.

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you will never see anyone with scarring on tv or in movies.

Well Tommy Flanagan has serious scarring and he always gets the role of the bad guy. Ray Liotta has some pretty bad acne scarring too.

Bad skin or not, there's a place for every kind of character in Hollywood. As far as women go, I have yet to see visible acne scars (save maybe one or two small ones) on ANY woman in film or television. They use the magic of lighting and makeup to hide it if there is any. But this is all beside the point. If you're suffering, you are suffering, and the goal is to push for solutions that END THAT SUFFERING. Let's not get off topic! We're on a mission! : )

I need your photos, but if you're absolutely not willing to show your face, then please send me a statement under 100 words describing how acne scarring (or other types of facial scarring) has affected you, and how a real solution would change your life. I need as many of those as I can get.

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Holdontohope. Wow. I am so impressed with your determination and knowledge shown in this thread.

Putting together an awareness campaign is probably going to be one of the most challenging campaigns you've ever worked on.

We have no cute puppy that needs homes, or children with protruding bellies that are hungry, or positive results for society. For example:

1. Acne scarring does not affect others

2. Acne scarring won't kills us

3. Acne scarring does not cost the government, insurance companies and employers a lot of dollars in health care

4. Acne scarring does not restrict our physical or mental ability in contributing to society

5. Acne scarring does not affect the environment

6. Acne scarring is not something that can be controlled or used as a self-help campaign

7. Acne scarring does not infringe on the public

8. Acne scarring does not lead into more serious health issues

I think these points should be considered. It's always best to know what couild potentially work against your success, and somehow making a (negative) point become a positive strategy.

Good Luck! I too am behind you on this.

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Holdontohope. Wow. I am so impressed with your determination and knowledge shown in this thread.

Putting together an awareness campaign is probably going to be one of the most challenging campaigns you've ever worked on.

We have no cute puppy that needs homes, or children with protruding bellies that are hungry, or positive results for society. For example:

1. Acne scarring does not affect others

2. Acne scarring won't kills us

3. Acne scarring does not cost the government, insurance companies and employers a lot of dollars in health care

4. Acne scarring does not restrict our physical or mental ability in contributing to society

5. Acne scarring does not affect the environment

6. Acne scarring is not something that can be controlled or used as a self-help campaign

7. Acne scarring does not infringe on the public

8. Acne scarring does not lead into more serious health issues

I think these points should be considered. It's always best to know what couild potentially work against your success, and somehow making a (negative) point become a positive strategy.

Good Luck! I too am behind you on this.

Trace D, THANK YOU for your very open and insightful post. I think you make some very good points. The truth is that no one is interested in helping any effort -- whether it is for-profit or nonprofit, unless they themselves are deeply motivated in some way. Some motivations are:

1.) MONEY -- this is a powerful motivator, but once the quality of your life or someone dear to you is affected in some other profound way (i.e. health) this is no longer a primary motivating factor. I know many people personally who were exceedingly wealthy, then they lost their health due to cancer or other disease, and suddenly that vast prosperity meant nothing. All they longed for was their health.

2.) The individual has been affected in some way -- negatively or positively -- and thus feels compelled to embark on a mission due to their profound devotion to a new-found cause. Examples: A woman who beat breast cancer becomes a fierce cancer research advocate; a mother who loses her son to drunk driving joins MADD in the crusade against drunk driving; etc, etc, etc.

3.) Love for whatever he or she is pursuing. Many people who deeply love the arts, or cooking, academia, foreign languages, etc, etc. devote their lives to either becoming a master themselves, teaching others the subject, or creating community centers that promote this thing that they love so much. Many people love what they do so much (especially artists) that they are willing to live that meager, "starving artists" lifestyle in order to keep doing it.

As far as the list that you made, I'd love to, if you don't mind, add my responses:

1. Acne scarring does not affect others

Ask any parent, sibling, or significant other if the emotional/psychological devastation that acne scarring has caused to their dear loved one has added stress and grief to their own life, and there will be a resounding "YES!" If acne scarring causes an individual to suffer, then by default, the closest loved ones will also suffer. When I went through a deep depression due to my skin, my family was devastated that they had lost their happy, outgoing, joyful, incandescent daughter/sister/girlfriend/friend. I never wanted to hurt the people I loved so deeply, but my months of suicidal depression ripped a hole in all of their hearts. I've thankfully overcome much of that despair and channelled it into this Hopeskin.org project, but it still is something I have to work through on a daily basis. I know for a fact that acne scarring has also had this same effect on the families of many other acne scar sufferers with whom I have corresponded. Many parents would be willing to pay any amount to end the suffering of their precious children. I'm a grown woman, and pay for my own way, but I know that even my father, who is not wealthy, would move mountains to pay for a procedure (if there was one) to restore my skin --- just because he loves me and wants me to be happy. The *Moderator edit, URL removed - read the board rules. * will certainly try to create public awareness about acne scarrng and other types of facial scarring, but is also making efforts to generate funding from people with deep pockets who are personally connected to the cause.

2. Acne scarring won't kill us

Acne scarring won't kill us....but neither will benign forms of alopecia, quadriplegia, burn scarring (to some degree), facial deformities, missing limbs, and other things like illiteracy, bigotry, and making less than $20,000 per year. These things won't necessarily kill us (please let's not ensue in an argument of semantics as to whether or not this could be true) .... but life would be a hell of a lot better without them. And isn't that enough of a reason? That's a good enough reason for millions of both for-profit and nonprofit efforts all around the world.

3. Acne scarring does not cost the government, insurance companies and employers a lot of dollars in health care

Some governments cover the cost of acne scar revision procedures. Furthermore, it is my sincere belief that people with acne scarring, were their skin to be fully restored, would prove to be significantly more valuable to society in every way. They would be confident, motivated, optimistic, and more productive. Not to mention the fact that they have an added compassion for the suffering of others due to their own struggle.

4. Acne scarring does not restrict our physical or mental ability in contributing to society

I have never been more "disabled," mentally and physically, than when I was literally unable to get out of bed due to the physical effects that my depression over my skin had on me.

5. Acne scarring does not affect the environment

True. But neither does cancer... : )

6. Acne scarring is not something that can be controlled or used as a self-help campaign

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here...

7. Acne scarring does not infringe on the public

See #s 1 & 3

8. Acne scarring does not lead into more serious health issues

See #s 2 & 4. I've spoken with many people who have been put on anti-depressants due to their competeley devastated sense of emotional well being. Anti-depressant risks and side effects are numerous. Also, many people have committed suicide due to depression over acne scarring. Death is a pretty serious health issue. ; )

I felt compelled to respond to your post, Trace D, and thank you for making some really good points! Some of you may feel compelled to split hairs over some of the things I said above. Certainly I could be debated over every point. But that's not the object of this thread. The object of this thread is to facilitate a discussion on how we can generate awareness and support for our cause. I really want to keep this thread free of any argument that doesn't propel us towards better solutions and better methods of reaching the goal of ending acne scarring.

The main point that I want to make is that our suffering is a good enough reason to have a cure. That is the goal of any humanitarian effort: to end suffering. People can tell me all day long the reasons why this will fail, why I'll never be able to raise awareness or support.... but that won't stop me. If I think of all the reasons why we can't succeed, why, 30 years down the road, we'll still be on this board, with no improvements, suffering from the same ole' thang...then of course I'd quit. The only reason I'm doing this is because I have the audacity to believe that it can be better. That is never going to change. And I'm here to help you guys believe that too.

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being overweight is often a personal choice stemmed from poor eating habits and lack of exercise.

To be really honest, I'd rather battle with my scars behind the closed door. The issue with my scars has been too traumatic for me to even talk about it, hence I don't (aside from the internet).

I'll probably feel very uncomfortable & sad seeing people with acne scars on TV show like Opera talking about their pain and suffering. I try to avoid thinking about my scars as much as possible everyday except for when I go visit my dermatologist's office or when I come to this board. I like it this way. Plus, I am afraid that raising awareness will bring more unwanted attention to my scars. I just don't want my scars to be noticed. You guys are brave people. :)

Another thing- obese people and people who obsess over their weight generally suffer from mental sickness. It's too quick of a judgment to say it's their choice that they're fat. Some ignorant people say we have acne because we don't wash face, as if it's our fault that we have acne or acne scars. We hate those ignorant comments, don't we. :snooty:

Good luck to you guys!

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being overweight is often a personal choice stemmed from poor eating habits and lack of exercise.

To be really honest, I'd rather battle with my scars behind the closed door. The issue with my scars has been too traumatic for me to even talk about it, hence I don't (aside from the internet).

I'll probably feel very uncomfortable & sad seeing people with acne scars on TV show like Opera talking about their pain and suffering. I try to avoid thinking about my scars as much as possible everyday except for when I go visit my dermatologist's office or when I come to this board. I like it this way. Plus, I am afraid that raising awareness will bring more unwanted attention to my scars. I just don't want my scars to be noticed. You guys are brave people. :)

Another thing- obese people and people who obsess over their weight generally suffer from mental sickness. It's too quick of a judgment to say it's their choice that they're fat. Some ignorant people say we have acne because we don't wash face, as if it's our fault that we have acne or acne scars. We hate those ignorant comments, don't we. :snooty:

Good luck to you guys!

Hey there, I completely understand you're sentiments. But then again think of the women who've had double mastectomies (i.e. they had both breasts cut off) after breast cancer and now are outspoken advocates for their cause, boldly telling their story on television, and in books and magazines. Celebrities are getting to the point where they are SELLING OUT to talk about how they used to suffer from acne (i.e. Jessica Simpson and Alyssa Milano for Proactiv). Why not talk about acne scarring? There are people who are willing to show their scars for the benefit of others. I completely understand that you and MOST PEOPLE would not want to do this. This doesn't at all mean that you are a coward, etc. That's perfectly, totally, completely normal, and I respect that. This is for the select brave few who feel comfortable doing that.

I think that you also make another good point. The term "public awareness" may sound like getting everyone on the planet to think about acne scars, notice acne scars, talk about acne scars.... that's not exactly what I have in mind. I want to try and preserve the feelings of acne scar sufferers as much as possible and not cause any further emotional distress. The term "public awareness" in this case is really about generating awareness and support among people who could help and are willing to help (i.e. securing grants from other foundations who are set up to give big chunks of change to other nonprofit efforts, powerful people with deep pockets who would be moved to lend support, etc.). This media kit is not to make "acne scarring" the thing everybody's talking about --- it's to get the attention of people who have the resources to help, and we have to use every angle to get their attention.

The average joe will not care, nor can he help. He is not the target of the campaign. It's to get the support of powerful people and also show the millions of people who suffer from acne scarring (and their loved ones who also suffer from seeing the pain of someone they care for) who don't frequent acne.org that there is some hope. Show them that there is a cause that's fighting to end their own personal suffering.

As far as the weight thing goes, I agree. We should absolutely not ridicule overweight people and chalk it up to personal choice. I am not quite slender now, but I once was, and suffered from terrible food addiction. I'd like to not get into a debate about this in this thread -- but food addiction is real and can be just as insurmountable as alcoholism or drug addiction. I even have some battle scars -- stretch marks -- that are just as permanent as acne scars to show for it. Many who have gained weight rapidly have stretch marks as a permanent reminder of being overweight (many have stretch marks for reasons entirely aside from weight gain). However, the end goal of Hopeskin.org is to help people who suffer from skin scars -- and that ultimately will include stretch marks, burn scars, surgery scars, etc. This widens the potential for our support base in a huge way. But, not to get distracted, this first campaign is for facial scarring, namely acne scarring (and similar scarring from stuff like MRSA and discoid lupus). But any advancements for that will certainly help any kind of skin scarring in the long run.

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