Ana Rodarte today
PAGE 5
Before surgery, Ana says relatives used to force her to leave the house. "I thank them now because I don't know what I would have done if I would have been secluded," she says. 

Now, Ana says she's happy to go out on her own. "Being in public now is completely different," she says. "I'm more friendly to people. I don't see them as a threat like I did before. I learned it was better for me to let people in and not hide my feelings." 

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Ana says she's also much more comfortable with herself. "It took a lot of years to accept myself, but I am who I am," she says. "I feel a lot more confident now when I look in the mirror. A bit more resemblance of a normal person. I'm being more social and just wanting more things in life."

The only thing Ana says she's not willing to do is have children. "I don't want to pass on the disease," she says. "But it hasn't prevented me from dating."

Ana says she hopes her story can help others in her situation live fulfilling lives. "I want to let people know there's help and let parents know not to shelter their kids or people that are older not shelter themselves from society," she says. "That's not the way to live."

FROM: A Tumor Covered Half Her Face and Headline-Making Brothers
Published on May 06, 2010

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