Aspiring model, 23, with one 100lb leg due to a rare condition that makes the left side of her body swell reveals she feels ‘beautiful’ despite trolls telling her to have an amputation
- Mahogany Geter, 23, from Knoxville, Tennessee, was born with lymphedema
- The fashion model’s left leg adds 100lb to her total body weight at its largest
- She was bullied as a child – but now boasts over 8,000 supporters on Instagram
A disabled woman whose leg adds 100lb to her total body weight, has vowed to never have it amputated.
Mahogany Geter, 23, from Knoxville, Tennessee, was born with lymphedema, a long-term condition where excess fluid collects in the body’s soft tissue, causing swelling on her left side.
She suffered ignorant comments and bullying as a child that knocked her confidence, but now she says she feels ‘beautiful inside and out.’
The aspiring model ignores online trolls and proudly shows off her disability with empowering photoshoots on social media.
Mahogany Geter, 23, (pictured) from Knoxville, Tennessee, experiences swelling on her life side due to lymphedema
Mahogany was diagnosed with the condition where excess fluid collects in the body’s soft tissue, after doctors noticed differences in her left leg shortly after birth. Pictured: Mahogany as a child
Mahogany’s leg adds 100lb to her 300lb total body weight at its largest and has made her the target of trolls and bullies
Shortly after her birth, doctors noticed the difference in Mahogany’s left foot and gave her mother Timika Geter, now 42, the lymphedema diagnosis.
There is no cure and excess fluid builds in Mahogany’s leg which can only be eased with physiotherapy and lymphatic drainage massage.
At its largest, Mahogany’s leg adds 100lb to her 300lb total body weight.
Mahogany who is the eldest of three sisters, said: ‘My mom was so worried when I was diagnosed but we have got through everything together. As a child I never felt pretty, I used to think God had cursed me. I felt ugly, like a freak of nature and cried in private so many times.
‘Then I decided that I was given this condition because I am emotionally strong and I can handle it.
‘Since then I have been learning to accept and celebrate myself.
Mahogany said as a child she ‘never felt pretty’ and would cry in private, while feeling like she had been cursed. Pictured: As a teenager
Mahogany learned to live with the condition and celebrate herself, after realising that she is emotionally strong. Pictured: Mahogany and her mother as a child
Mahogany who has received ignorant comments, said she wants to inspire other people to celebrate their differences. Pictured: Mahogany at age 18
‘I want to inspire other people to celebrate their differences. I now believe I am beautiful on the inside and out. I’m proud of what my body can do.’
Trolls try to mock Mahogany with comments telling her to ‘amputate her leg so she will look better’ but she has learnt to ignore them.
‘I have had my fair share of ignorant comments, one person told me my leg looked like a ham roll and one girl at school called me a deformed b***h. It has been so hard to rise above these mean people but I have no other choice,’ Mahogany said.
‘For the longest I felt so low about myself but once I got older and with loads of support from the online lymphedema community and my mom who is my inspiration, she is so strong, I realised how beautiful I am. Not only looks but as a person.
Mahogany said the support of the online lymphedema community and her mother have helped to overcome feeling low about herself
Mahogany, pictured as a teenager, who boasts over 8,000 followers on Instagram, said she wants to inspire others to accept themselves
Mahogany manages her condition day to day with massages, compression dressings and physiotherapy
‘It means I can try my best to inspire other people to accept themselves and see how beautiful they are.’
On good health days Mahogany likes to stay active with her physiotherapy and creates content for TikTok and Instagram, posted on her page lymph.goddess23 where she has over 8,000 followers.
What is Lymphedema?
Primary lymphedema is caused by alterations (mutations) in genes responsible for the development of the lymphatic system.
The faulty genes cause the parts of the lymphatic system responsible for draining fluid to not develop properly or not work as they should.
Primary lymphedema often runs in families, although not every child born to someone with the condition will develop it themselves.
Secondary lymphedema develops in people who previously had a normal lymphatic system that then becomes damaged.
Source: NHS England
She said: ‘People have been so nice and supportive of me online. It isn’t all trolling and negativity. I have met so many people online who keep me company on this health journey I am on.
‘I’m not currently working as I am focusing on getting my leg better. I spend a lot of time drawing, listening to music and posting content on my YouTube channel.’
Mahogany manages her condition each day with massage, compression dressings and physiotherapy. She drinks lots of water to flush out her system and has to avoid salty foods and alcohol.
Unfortunately she can suffer with flare ups of cellulitis, a painful skin infection caused by the swelling.
The model is often hospitalised for treatment with antibiotics.
Mahogany said: ‘It does get frustrating dealing with flare ups because I just want to live my life more freely and it feels like I can’t.
‘If I don’t keep on top of my condition I get flare ups. It can be overwhelming. When I feel low I take steps now to build myself up. I take a break from social media , I listen to music, meditate and definitely talk to my mother because she’s like my therapist.’
Mahogany added: ‘Despite the hard times I honestly feel like I live a normal life. I try to be strong and stay focused on my dreams of making it as a model.
‘If I ever make it big I want to buy my mother a house and take care of my family, then I’ll do everything I can to raise awareness of lymphedema to pay it back to everyone who has ever shown me kindness.’
Mahogany, pictured withh her mother, said she isn’t working at the moment because she is focusing on getting her leg better, but is hoping to forge a career as a model
Mahogany said she hopes to raise awareness of lymphedema and buy her mother a house if she finds success as a model
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