I was just reading the stories from everyone, and felt urged to tell you all my own.
My name is Francisco, although everybody since I was born calls me Pachi. I was born in Granada, Spain on December 27th, 1977 with lamellar ichthyosis. The only cases of the condition in my family are directly related to me. My mother had a total of 8 children, of which two died. They both had lamellar ichthyosis as well. My other five brothers are what most people consider "normal".
I grew up in a medium to small Mediterrenean city where very little was known about ichthyosis. My parents, to whom I will always be grateful, did the best of all jobs bringing me up in life. Helping me realize that I was not less just because I had ichthyosis, and that I could do all I wanted in life anyway.
So went I finished Highschool in Spain, I decided I wanted to study in America. I went to college in Minnesota from 1995 to 1998. Graduated with a Marketing degree and went on to earn a Masters in International Business from Webster University in Saint Louis, MO, where I live currently. I am bilingual Spanish/English and fluent in Italian and French. I was the President of the International Club at my college and also presided the Spanish Association during my grad degree.
And that brings me to today... I started working for a international local firm here in St. Louis and will probably head back to Europe sometime next year for good. I love America though!
Please don't think my life has always been beautiful, because it has not. I just tend to be very optimistic at all times. Sure I went through teasing in highschool and get asked about my skin about one a week, but I justify people to a certain extent. My theory is that we are all "animals of custom". What we are used to, does not surprise us. So if you see a man in a suit, it does not bring your attention, because you see people wearing suits everyday. But if you see somebody with one leg, or with ichthiosis, etc... it is only human to wonder what happened to that person, and maybe stare at him or her for a second or two. I still don't like being stared at anyway.
I am single... hey! I am still 22! I've been kind of lucky with relationships, since even though I have been with not too many girls, I found one that really loved me and showed me what true love really was. Unfortunately she had to leave back to her country and I found myself alone again.
I finally take this opportunity to congratulate you all for your multiple ways of coping with the condition.
Thanks to Laura as well, I have learned so much about the condition through your website!