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‘My cheek was swollen. The doctor said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before. Your life expectancy is 6 years old.’: Woman gets Facial Infiltrating Lipomatosis diagnosis after 22-year battle

“We were told, ‘The swelling must be from the position she slept in. It’s nothing. It will go away soon.’ Weeks went by, but nothing changed. When puberty hit, my face was growing faster than I was. I had unexplainable headaches and nosebleeds. I was sleeping all day long. Everywhere I went, I got stares, whispers, and pointing fingers.”

‘Take your kids, get out of there! Leave him now!’ There was a knock on our door. The cops. They’d seen the video.’: Woman narrowly escapes abusive man, flees home to family who cried when she was ‘finally free’

“My heart was pounding as I stood in the middle of the airport. My two boys aged 3 and 4, gazed up at me with sleepy eyes. It was 6:00 a.m. We were flying home to the USA. I was trying to act calm. The woman at check-in gave me a bewildered look when I told her we had no luggage to check. I was terrified I was going to be asked if I had their father’s permission to take them out the country. I didn’t.”

‘Are you ok tonight?’ I was in the grocery store trying to pretend everything was OK, but it wasn’t. I was bawling my eyes out. ‘This isn’t a forever feeling.’ I’m so grateful to you.’: Mom overcomes severe depressive episode thanks to kindness of strangers

“I was afraid to leave my house without my husband. ‘I know this is hard for you,’ he would say. ‘Can you tell yourself that you’re safe?’ ‘No,’ I would respond. I reached out as a bit of a last-ditch effort, right there in the grocery store, tears running down my face. The response was incredible. Those women saved me.”

‘Your sister’s been in an accident.’ He broke the news. ‘Where are the kids?!’ CPS had no idea they ever existed.’: Woman adopts long-lost nieces and nephews, ‘Our hearts are so full’

“I called my husband, worried what he would say. I wanted my nieces and nephews. He responded, ‘Let’s go get our kids.’ We had no idea what we were getting into. We had never even met the children, and we didn’t have a plan. One by one, they entered the room. I sat there quietly, although inside I was screaming, ‘I am your aunt!’”

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