Although she would never remember the moment she was diagnosed with Arteriovenous Malformation, it would change her life forever. Although the disorder produced a massive tumor on her face, Lu Dorini, now 41, from Mangueirinha, Brazil, decided early on never to let disorder determine her fate.

At the time of diagnosis, she was only eight-months-old, but in the ensuing years, she has learned a lot about the condition. And since she refused to let the tumor rule her life, she has “higher self-esteem than anyone else in the world” because she learned to accept herself, tumor, and all.

The growth on Lu’s face cannot be simply cut off. It’s not a typical tumor but a tangle of blood vessels that connect, through veins and arteries, to her heart. The growth occurred because the tangle of blood vessels became engorged with blood.

“I am a woman with AVM, but I don’t let it control me,” she wrote in Portuguese on social media. “I have always studied normally, I’ve been working since I was 13, and I haven’t stopped my routine just because of my disorder. In fact, if anything, I have evolved more as a person.”

Not many people with a condition or deformation like hers are able to cope with the circumstance. Because her rare disorder makes her stand out from others, people stare and gawk. But she loves herself no matter what they think or say.

“I have always loved myself just the way I am, ever since childhood. I am a beautiful, smart, capable woman, and I have never thought I needed to be a different way to be accepted. I’m just like everybody else, and I deserve love and acceptance. I love myself, I really do love me.”

Lu decided to spread the love, so she founded her successful blog.

“I created my blog after speaking to a very worried mother whose daughter had hemangioma like me,” she wrote. “I’ve connected with people across the world now and also gives lectures on social media in the hope that I can inspire people to be happy and to love themselves and enjoy life.”

In addition to her blog, Lu has also published a book entitled “Between Waves of Emotion.” She wrote the book about her story with AVM “to help people to understand that it is possible to be happy even with an aesthetic difference or a serious health problem.”

Her Instagram account is also popular with tens of thousands of followers. Besides reflecting on her AVM journey, Lu also discusses positive psychology.

“My videos focus on themes like self-esteem, self-knowledge, character strengths, emotions, and matters of the mind and heart,” she reported. “I do all of this for one purpose; to fulfill my mission in the world of sharing my story and making people smile because I believe that it is possible to change the world if each of us does our part.”

Haters do not share the same positive attitude as Lu. Thankfully, she still has the confidence to help others.

“If anything, my self-esteem is high right now, I might even have the highest self-esteem in the world! I only respond to those who see my beauty, and if you don’t think I’m beautiful, then it’s your problem and not mine because I’ll continue to think that I’m stunning.”

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