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Emily Weitz
Big heart, sharp mind, deft pen, strong and kind.

I Never Wanted my Hemangioma to Define Me

Getty / Photo illustration by Katie Kosma

Emily Weitz | Longreads | October 2019 | 13 minutes (3,434 words)


Some kids spent a week of their summers at the Jersey Shore. Others went camping in the Adirondacks. I spent a week every summer of my childhood in the Children’s Ward of NYU Hospital. Muppet movie nights and a play room where children in wheelchairs piece puzzles together. The click click of high heels hurrying down hallways, the smell of cleaning supplies and anesthesia in the air.

I never wanted my hemangioma to define me. Even if it took up half my face, like a suffocating, throbbing purple blanket over the real me. I knew that it was the first thing people noticed when they looked at me. Who’s going to notice big brown eyes when they’re sitting next to a volcano that exploded on a little girl’s cheek?
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